Warning over 'super league' of highly-paid academy trust chiefs
Warning over ‘super league’ of highly-paid academy trust chiefs – with 98 now earning more than Boris Johnson’s £158,000 salary
- Investigation by Schools Week found 29 bosses earned a minimum of £200,000
- It also discovered that an overall 55 per cent received wage increases in 2019-20
- Harris Federation’s Sir Dan Moynihan was named England’s best paid trust chief
- The widening gap between bosses’ and teachers’ pay was described as ‘toxic’
Warnings have emerged over a ‘super league’ of highly-paid academy trust chiefs with 98 now earning more than Boris Johnson’s £158,000 salary.
An investigation by Schools Week analysed data from trust’s accounts between 2019 and last year, finding that 29 bosses earned a minimum of £200,000.
It also discovered that 25 chiefs had pay rises equal to or over £15,000, with an overall 55 per cent receiving wage increases – triple the number of pay cuts.
The Harris Federation’s Sir Dan Moynihan was named England’s best paid trust chief executive with a salary of at least £455,000, followed by Sir Kevin Satchwell, the executive head of Thomas Telford School, with a minimum salary of £290,000.
Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), Dr Mary Bousted, described the widening gap between bosses’ and teachers’ pay as ‘toxic’.
The Harris Federation’s Sir Dan Moynihan (pictured left) was named England’s best paid trust chief executive with a salary of at least £455,000, followed by Sir Kevin Satchwell (right), the executive head of Thomas Telford School, with a minimum salary of £290,000
In total, 98 bosses raked in over £158,754, higher than the Prime Minister’s salary between 2019 and last year.
Dr Bousted said: ‘We don’t need a super-league of CEO pay. I’ve no problem with education professionals being well-paid.
‘But the increasing gap between CEO and teacher pay is toxic.’
From 2017, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) sent warning letters to trusts that paid bosses over £150,000 or numerous wages between £100,000 and £150,000, asking them to explain the reasoning behind the salaries.
But the Department for Education (DfE) reportedly said that a problem with its data collection has prevented it from handing out these letters over the past year and a half.
Dr Bousted commented: ‘The letters didn’t work. And if they’re not even doing that, what are they doing?’
Julian Drinkall (pictured left), who earns £285,000 a year, and Colin Hall (right), who has a salary of £280,000
Dayo Olukoshi (pictured left), who earns £252,136, and Jon Coles (right), who earns £252,000
Earlier this year, the new president of the NASUWT teaching union, Phil Kemp, warned of a ‘Wild West’ school system in England.
Top 10 highest paid academy bosses
1. Sir Dan Moynihan – £455,000
2. Sir Kevin Satchwell – £290,001
3. Julian Drinkall – £285,000
4. Colin Hall – £280,000
5. Dayo Olukoshi – £252,136
6. Jon Coles – £252,000
7. Hamid Patel – £250,382
8. Simon Beamish – £235,000
9. Anita Johnson – £230,000
10. John Murphy – £230,000
He claimed education is ‘too often’ in the hands of a small group of academy chain chief executives.
Mr Kemp, a North Tyneside teacher who works with pupils who have been, or are in danger of being, excluded from mainstream schools, previously said: ‘The salaries being paid to individuals in some of these academy trusts is not just eye-watering, it’s verging on criminality in my view.
‘So many salaries, paid for from the public purse, rising over the £200,000 mark, and some well-publicised, almost reaching half a million pounds.’
Academies, which are state schools that sit outside local authority control, have more freedom over areas such as the curriculum and staff pay.
He said: ‘The snouts have to come out of the trough and the public purse protected from those who will take advantage of the increasing deregulation of our education system.
‘Those taking these huge salaries should hang their heads in shame.’
In February 2019, minister Lord Agnew wrote to 28 chairs of trustees, asking to justify salaries over £100,000.
He said at the time: ‘Academies are raising standards in schools across the country – replacing underperforming council-run schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas and helping young people to raise their aspirations through a better standard of education.
Hamid Patel (left), who earns £250,382, and Simon Beamish (right), who earns £235,000
Anita Johnson (left), who earns £230,000, and John Murphy (right), who earns £230,000
‘The best academies place freedom in the hands of school leaders but with that autonomy comes greater accountability and transparency, which is exactly why I am insistent that the salaries of their executives are justifiable.
‘And just because we are advocates of the academies programme, doesn’t mean we won’t call a trust out where we believe they are not acting responsibly.
‘The overwhelming majority of academies are behaving responsibly and by publicly challenging the minority of trusts that are not complying with this request, we will ensure that every pound of public money is spent as effectively as possible to continue improving the standard of education in our schools.’
The data refers to accounts from 277 trusts, 12 of which have shut, that were handed warning letters over the past four years.
MailOnline has approached the Harris Federation and Thomas Telford School for comment.
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