The former CEO of seven Bromley schools at the centre of a tax probe has been suspended as a headteacher, it has emerged.

Paul Murphy stepped down as boss of Education for the 21st Century following revelations over payments to a company he owns.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) visited the trust in May after allegations emerged.

It discovered tax and national insurance were not deducted from £145,006 paid to a non-trading company owned by the former CEO.

The case has now been referred to the HM Revenue and Customs which will continue the investigation.

It has now come to light that Mr Murphy was, until last week, allowed to continue as a headteacher at one of the largest schools run by the trust.

Concerns were raised in Parliament by Bromley’s MP Bob Neill over the “extraordinary circumstances” where the CEO was allowed to remain in post.

Education for the 21st Century said Mr Murphy has now been suspended as headmaster of The Ravensbourne School.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We accept that some of our processes and systems centrally have not kept pace with our growth and we are working closely with the Regional Schools Commissioner’s office and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to strengthen these areas as quickly as possible.

“We have already appointed a new acting chief executive officer, and our actions will also include bringing in some new trustees to join the existing Trustees, all who have excellent experience and expertise, so that our oversight and governance is as strong as the education we deliver every day.

“Paul Murphy is no longer CEO and last week was suspended as head of The Ravensbourne School pending a disciplinary investigation.”

The trust runs eight schools in Kent and Bromley, including one free school, Eden Park High.

Mr Neill said Bromley has been “badly let down” by the trust and called for a meeting with the education secretary over the investigation.