By CELA on 26 Jun, 2020

It’s an ugly thought: to imagine that someone you trust is stealing from your organisation, perhaps directly from the families and children.

Yet every few months in Australia there’s a court hearing for fraud in an early learning or school setting.

Scroll down for your CELA Simple Guide to Fraud in Education Services

The principal of a remote West Australian school, who used more than $50,000 of school money to pay for groceries over more than three years, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

… pleaded guilty to 266 allegations of fraud and dishonesty after it was discovered he had used the bank accounts and credit card of Meekatharra School of the Air to fund his own lifestyle.

The culprit might be a long-serving employee, a junior trainee, or a volunteer. It might be your boss, or someone in head office, or an external supplier. In one recent case, the fraudster had awards for his community service.

A Melbourne pensioner and Order of Australia recipient who used hundreds of thousands of dollars from a charity he helped found to buy alcohol, lingerie and cigarettes has been ordered by a court to repay more than $1 million

The County Court heard more than $1.5 million in cash was paid by parents for child care between 2013 and 2016, but just $56,000 was deposited in the association’s bank account during the same period.

We consulted the experts for ways to help you spot fraud in your education service and, most importantly, to prevent it happening.

This Simple Guide shows you four places you might find fraud in an education service, and most importantly, eight ways you can prevent it. Scroll down for your two page Simple Guide to Fraud

On 26 May 2017, 29-year-old [director] was sentenced by the New South Wales District Court to 7 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years for fraudulently claiming $3,646,269.72 in child care benefits, forging documents and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

It is the largest single case of proven childcare fraud in Australia’s history.

A Simple Guide to Fraud in Education Services

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CELA Simple Guide to Fraud p2


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Meet the author


Bec Lloyd is the founder and managing director of Bec & Call Communication, providing professional writing, editing and strategy services to the school and early childhood education sector since 2014. In 2018 she launched UnYucky mindset and menus for happier family mealtimes. Formerly the communications lead at ACECQA and BOS (now NESA), Bec is a journo and mother of three who produces Amplify for us at Community Early Learning Australia.

About CELA

Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.

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