Guardia Civil receive fraud allegations against ex-head teacher of European Sixth Form College

The former ESFC in Mijas Costa closed in August 2016.
The former ESFC in Mijas Costa closed in August 2016. / SUR
  • Parents of pupils at the former school in Mijas Costa have reported the administrators for allegedly accepting money under false pretences and falsifying exam results

The parents of several students, whose futures are in jeopardy due to apparent malpractice, have reported the head teacher and administrator of the former European Sixth Form College in Mijas Costa for fraud.

The parents, who filed the official report with the Guardia Civil in Mijas at the end of November, have accused the school's former head teacher, Debbie Leigh Campbell, of fraudulent practice that includes obtaining money under false pretenses and falsifying GCSE and A-level results.

The angry parents claim in the report that is now in the hands of the Guardia Civil - and to which this newspaper has had access - that the head teacher accepted money for school fees after 25 August 2016, with prior knowledge that the school was about to close down.

Parents say they showed up at the school on 30 August, in order to collect exam results, only to find that the building was deserted. The following day, an advertisement offering the property for rent appeared on a website.

The ESFC has been at the centre of a row since it went into official receivership last August and now parents of those students affected have taken the matter to the authorities.

The police report speaks of a sum of 42,210 euros paid by 25 people in school fees for the 2016/2017 academic year, even though the school was about to close down. Some parents had apparently paid for the first half of the 2016/2017 year, a total of 5,400 euros.

Missing exam results

Another part of the report concerns the examinations taken by the pupils through the UK examination boards Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Edexcel.

The parents had become alarmed when, although their children, who are all between 16 and 20 years of age, had sat GCSE and A-level examinations, the school was unable to present them with evidence of their results.

The parents allege that the head teacher failed to submit exam papers to the relevant UK boards. They claim that some scripts and course work had been found in a filing cabinet in Campbell's office after the school's closure.

They also allege that the head teacher offered some parents conflicting rates for the same examinations, and that she had falsified and presented exam results that did not exist.

Resitting exams

Carrie Wright's son is one of the students whose future hangs in the balance because of the situation, and he now needs to resit exams in order to gain his place at a university.

Another parent, who asked not to be named, told of a phone conversation she had with Campbell on the evening before Cambridge International Examinations and Edexcel were due to release exam results.

The parent said she had phoned because her daughter was due to fly to England the following day. The former head apparently assured the mother that the CIE and Edexcel were definitely going to release the grades.

However, when her daughter arrived at the university in the UK to enrol, she was refused entry because her A-level results could not be verified.

When confronted, Campbell, who originally stated the negligence was due to a serious illness, apparently claimed that the scripts had been lost in the post.

In the meantime, many of the students involved are, like Carrie Wright's son, having to resit examinations.

Those parents whose financial situation prevents them from funding further education say they have been left heartbroken and penniless; their only hope is a long and difficult legal process.

In a short statement issued to SUR in English prior to the 'denuncia', Campbell said, "In my communication with several parents, I stated that the receiver's responsibility is to work with lawyers to correlate accounts which will then go to court. I have explained that until this happens, no payments will be made. Insolvency means there are no current funds."

Campbell has previously denied any wrongdoing and stated that many of the school's problems were because some parents were behind on their fees. The former head teacher suggested that some parents had become unemployed and so fees were late, forcing the school to send out several debt letters during the course of the year.

The former head teacher has been unavailable for comment since the case was put in the hands of the Guardia Civil.