EXPERTS are set to carry out an urgent fire audit at Colchester Academy after the school was featured on BBC exposé show Panorama.

The programme alleged the school’s sponsor, Bright Tribe, was given £250,000 to be used to pay for essential fire safety improvements.

But instead a void was left in the ceiling and fire doors were not replaced.

Bright Tribe boss Michael Dwan was also presented with evidence showing more than £500,000 was given to Colchester Academy to demolish internal walls in the sports centre.

However, instead they were patched up with metal braces. He denied the accusations.

Julie Young, who represents Greenstead on Colchester Council, was a school governor until she was ousted when Bright Tribe took over three years ago.

In the aftermath of the programme, she called for an urgent fire safety assessment.

Now the fire service has confirmed an audit will be carried out on Thursday.

Mrs Young said: “Having watched the programme, it was clear there were some significant questions which needed to be answered.

“I actually hadn’t been in the building since I ceased to be a governor but the programme certainly identified areas where clearly questions need to be asked.”

The former governor added: “It has led to a lot of worry from parents who are genuinely asking if their children are safe going to the school. We have a community which needs answers.”

The fire safety inspection was only arranged after Mrs Young contacted Essex Fire and Rescue chief officer Jo Turton directly.

Mrs Young had initially been referred to the Freedom of Information unit when she asked for notes on the most recent fire safety inspection including what was found and whether any areas had been flagged for improvement.

The matter is also being investigated by Essex County Council and Colchester MP Will Quince has also requested a meeting with Education Secretary.

A spokesperson for Bright Tribe said: "The trust is under new leadership, with new trustees, a new interim chief executive officer and a new interim chief operating officer.

"They have ­­­­already opened investigations into the issues of serious concern as a matter of the utmost urgency, including commissioning their own independent assessments into the sports centre and fire safety, alongside the audit to be carried out by the fire service, which we fully support."