£150,000-plus salaries of Norfolk and Waveney academy trust chief executives to be challenged

PUBLISHED: 12:29 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:53 06 March 2018

Chief executives of academy trusts in Norfolk and Waveney could have to justify salaries of £150,000 and above. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Chief executives of academy trusts in Norfolk and Waveney could have to justify salaries of £150,000 and above. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Bosses of academy chains in the region who earn more than £150,000 could be forced to justify their salaries for the first time.

Rachel de Souza. Picture: Andi SapeyRachel de Souza. Picture: Andi Sapey

Lord Agnew, Department for Education minister and founder and trustee at the Inspiration Trust, has said the government will write to trusts to ask how steep pay relates to performance.

The challenge will affect a handful of chief executives in our region whose pay meets the threshold, including Dame Rachel de Souza, who heads up the 14-school Inspiration Trust.

According to accounts up to August last year, she was paid £150,000 to £155,000 and received pension contributions of £20,000 to £22,000.

At the Creative Education Trust, which runs five schools in Great Yarmouth and eight elsewhere, chief executive Marc Jordan was paid £170,000 to £180,000, a £10,000 pay rise on last year, and given £20,000 to £30,000 in pension contributions.

At Norfolk Educational Services (NES), which provides support to institutions within the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group, three directors were paid a total of £323,000.

They included former TEN Group chief executive Dick Palmer, who stepped down at the end of last year.

The TEN Group runs schools including Wayland Junior, Wayland Academy, Fakenham and Attleborough Academies, as well as City College Norwich and City Academy Norwich.

James Goffin, Inspiration Trust spokesperson, said two of its schools - Hethersett Academy and East Point Academy, in Lowestoft - had, since joining, gone from special measures to being top of their counties for student progress.

Ian Cleland, chief executive of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian BurtIan Cleland, chief executive of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt

“While leadership of the trust is crucial to that,” he said, “we mustn’t lose sight of the hard work of every student and staff member and the support from families that goes into achieving great results.”

Meanwhile, Sir Steve Lancashire, chief executive of Reach2 - which runs 52 schools including Beccles and Gunton Primary Academies - was paid £240,000 to £250,000 last year, including a one-off performance bonus.

Ian Cleland, chief executive at Academy Transformation Trust, which has schools including Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, was paid £225,001 to £220,000, up from £185,0001 to £190,000 the year before.

Scott Lyons, National Education Union (NEU) Norfolk spokesperson, said: “We completely agree with Lord Agnew’s comments and the huge divide that has come into schools.

“It’s not right, it’s not proper and it’s not fair, and it creates tension in school.

“Our members have received a 1pc, 2pc pay rise if they are lucky, and for some academy chief executives you’re talking 15pc.”

Salaries for bosses ranged around the region.

Unless stated, all figures include pension contributions.

• West Norfolk Academies Trust, which runs 11 schools, paid chief executive Andy Johnson £150,000 to £160,000, £10,000 more than in 2016.

• Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, overseeing 14 schools, paid chief executive Duncan Ramsey £80,000 to £90,000.

• Sapientia Education Trust, based at Wymondham College and running nine schools, paid chief executive Jonathan Taylor £125,000 to £135,000, up £5,000 on last year.

• Right for Success Trust, running eight schools, paid chief executive Valerie Moore £140,000 to £150,000, the same as 2016.

• Wensum Trust, operating 10 schools, paid chief executive Gerard Batty £130,000 to £140,000, the same as in 2016.

• Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust, which runs 30 schools county-wide, paid one senior member of staff £110,000 excluding pension contributions, the same as last year.

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