94 academy trusts asked to justify six-figure salaries

Ninety-four academy trusts have been ordered to justify the six-figure salaries of head teachers or chief executives, as the government clampsdown on excessive pay in academy schools.

Eileen Milner, ESFA chief executive, on behalf of Academies Minister, Lord Agnew, wrote to 63 trusts that have been newly-identified as paying multiple staff members in excess of £100,000 and 31 trusts that have failed to provide adequate justification for doing so, despite previous communication from the government on the issue.

The Chairs of Trustees at all 94 trusts have been asked to provide a rationale for paying six-figure salaries and offered advice on setting and structuring pay to ensure it is commensurate with the education on offer and the number of pupils educated by the trust.

213 academy trusts have been asked to justify high salaries in the last 18 months and 50 have already altered salaries to ensure that pay is proportionate, reasonable and in-line with other trusts that comply with rules on salaries set out in government guidance.

Those trusts that have yet to respond to previous correspondence have been told to comply with this request, and provide evidence on 12 different aspects of their pay policy, including details of succession planning for highly-paid staff where trusts intend to reduce the level of salary in future.

Trusts receiving the letters will be required to provide information on twelve different aspects of their pay policy, such as providing a rationale for setting salary levels and evidence that a robust process has been followed in line with the Academies Financial Handbook.

The letters follow the Department’s most recent updates to the Academies Financial Handbook on setting executive salaries to ensure that all trusts are paying staff fairly and proportionately.


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