x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Accused special needs school boss has left UAE for Australia

A school boss accused of fleeing Dubai with all its funds has returned home to Australia, it emerged this morning.

DUBAI // A school boss accused of fleeing with all its funds has returned home to Australia, it emerged this morning.

Parents were shocked yesterday when they turned up at St Andrews special needs school in Al Safa to find the gates locked and a sign saying the owner, Christopher Reynolds, had absconded abroad with all the funds.

"I have had to return to Australia to continue a legal battle over the custody of my son," Dr Reynolds said in an email to The National.

"I withdrew Dh200,000 of my invested funds in August to pay government and legal fees to allow me to return to Australia."

Dr Reynolds has been involved in a divorce with wife Sheena which was heard in Sharjah. It is unclear how he was able to leave the country as his passport is being held by the court. The couple have five sons.

The school was operated by an organisation called the British Institute of Learning Development, of which Dr Reynolds was managing director.

He said in the email: "The accusation that I have taken funds is unfounded."

csimpson@thenational.ae