Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, has an overall package of almost £500,000
Britain’s best-paid academy bosses earn a total of more than £21million, it emerged yesterday.
Almost one in five of the highest earners receive at least £200,000 a year, with Sir Dan Moynihan’s overall package at almost £500,000.
Sir Dan, chief executive of the Harris Federation of 44 schools, earns at least £420,000, with a minimum of £50,000 in pension contributions on top of this.
However, many academy bosses leading far smaller trusts still earn more than Prime Minister Theresa May, who takes home £150,402.
Salaries for headteachers in local authorities are also capped at £109,366 in England and Wales – with Inner London capped at £116,738.
The news comes as concern grows over academy pay levels, with Education Secretary Justine Greening demanding ‘restraint’.
The Times Educational Supplement (TES) analysed 121 trusts identified by the Department for Education last week as paying salaries of more than £150,000 to at least one individual trustee or staff member in 2015-16.
However, the DfE declined to name the individuals or reveal their salaries, despite stating last year that it would. The TES used the list of trusts to work out the highest-paid employees, and their salaries, based on academy trust accounts.
The news comes as concern grows over academy pay levels, with Education Secretary Justine Greening demanding ‘restraint’. Pictured is Sir Dan
Left is Michael McKenzie, headteacher of Alexandra Park School in London, who receives at least £155,000, and right is Simon Barber, the principal of Carshalton Boys Sports College, who earns at least £195,000 a year
Having examined the salary of the highest earner at each of the 121 trusts it found the combined wages totalled more than £21million, with 19 per cent of the best paid earning at least £200,000 a year, even before pensions are taken into account.
The analysis also revealed a 70 per cent rise in the number of trusts paying at least one person in excess of £150,000 a year.
The figure of 121 academy trusts listed as doing so in 2015-16 is up from 71 in 2014-15.
Salaries range from at least £150,000 a year to the £420,000-£425,000 paid to Sir Dan at the top end of the scale. This was followed by £290,000-£300,000 paid to Denise Shepherd, former chief executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust – although this included almost £86,000 in severance.
Denise Shepherd, former chief executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust was paid £290,000-£300,000, although this included almost £86,000 in severance
However, the research also reveals high salaries for leaders in small trusts, some of which run just one school.
Simon Barber, the principal of Carshalton Boys Sports College, earns at least £195,000 a year.
Michael McKenzie, headteacher of Alexandra Park School in London, receives at least £155,000.
One of the lower paying trusts is the Inspiration Trust, which has education minister Sir Theodore Agnew as its chair of trustees.
The trust runs five primary schools, seven secondary schools and one sixth form in Norfolk and Suffolk. Its chief executive, Dame Rachel de Souza, is at the bottom end of the top earners, on between £150,000 and £155,000 a year.
National schools commissioner Sir David Carter told the TES this year that having ‘challenging conversations’ about chief executive pay was a ‘very important’ part of the work of his eight regional schools commissioners.
Lord Adonis, who developed the academies policy under New Labour, told the publication in July: ‘If I had realised that academy principals or trust chief executives were going to be paid sums in excess of £150,000 when I was a minister then I would have intervened to stop it.’
A Harris Federation (above) spokesman said: ‘The majority of Harris academies are rated outstanding – many of which joined the federation because they were failing’
However, many academy bosses leading far smaller trusts still earn more than Prime Minister Theresa May, who takes home £150,402
In September, Miss Greening indicated that highly paid but poorly performing academy leaders were in her sights.
The Education Secretary told the TES: ‘We do think there has to be pay restraint, and that is linked to performance.
‘They will need to clearly demonstrate to the public and to parents that the level of investment in that leadership is worth it.’
But she believed Sir Dan’s salary was justified, adding: ‘There is no doubt that Harris academies have transformed the educational outcomes for many, many children.’
A Harris Federation spokesman said: ‘The majority of Harris academies are rated outstanding – many of which joined the federation because they were failing.’
A spokesman for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust said: ‘These figures are two years old and relate to the pay of our former chief executive.
‘In July 2016, we appointed a new chief executive who is recognised as an outstanding education leader, and whose salary is £140,000. All decisions about remuneration are in accordance with the trust’s agreement and contractual duties.’