Bright Tribe founder resigns from £31k-a-year private school

Michael Dwan, founder of the Bright Tribe academy trust, has resigned as chair of governors at a private school in Cumbria after eight years at the helm.

Dwan’s departure from Windermere School, which charges up to £31,335 a year for boarding pupils, comes after a recent BBC Panorama investigation into his role at Bright Tribe.

New trustees at Bright Tribe are investigating allegations that the chain claimed public money for building work, lighting upgrades and fire safety improvements that were either not finished or never started.

He does not want Windermere School to suffer because of recent unbalanced and ill-informed coverage

A spokesperson for Dwan said he “does not want Windermere School to suffer because of recent unbalanced and ill-informed coverage and feels now that he is free of any connection he is able to respond in a more direct and concentrated manner to completely false allegations”.

Dwan became chair of governors at Windermere, which his own children attended, in 2012.

A spokesperson for the businessman, who donated more than £27,000 a year to the school on top of the fees for his own children, said he was pleased with the progress made during his time on the board.

According to the Education Uncovered website, Dwan’s departure was announced to parents in a letter from interim chair Jason Dearden, who is managing director of the Windermere Marina Village holiday park.

Dearden said Dwan “now feels it is right that he focuses his attention on his business interests and family”.

“Mike leaves a wonderful legacy. In the six years that he has led the governing body we have seen the school go from strength to strength.”

Companies House records show that Dwan was appointed as a director at Windermere in December 2008, under the name Alfred Michael Dwan.

He remains a director of more than 50 organisations registered at Companies House, including several education charities and a number of asset management firms.