DfE-funded free school charity adds £250K to pay bill

New Schools Network has boosted its senior management team from eight to 11, accounts also show

Claudia Civinini

Staff Pay New Schools Network

The New Schools Network, the charity set up to support free schools in England, has spent about a quarter of a million pounds more on staff in the last financial year compared with the previous one.

According to the charity's annual accounts, it spent £1,293,855 on staff costs in the financial year ending March 2020, compared with the previous financial year, when it spent £1,039,165 - an increase of £254,690.

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According to the accounts, the senior management team increased by three employees in the latest financial year.

The account reads: "There were a number of appointments and resignations from the senior management team during the year, meaning the total employees serving on the senior management team increased from eight to 11."

But this does not account for all of the extra spend: the senior management team was paid a total of £364,195, compared with £250,271 the previous financial year.

The charity was primarily funded with a £2.24m grant from the DfE last year, topped up by £25,000 in donations.

A spokesperson for New Schools Network said: “2019-20 saw us restructuring the way in which Academy Ambassadors is run, and also the introduction of our new chief executive mentoring programme.

"These changes are reflected in our expenditure on staff salaries and the number of roles on our senior leadership team.”

The Department for Education announced Wave 14 of the free schools programme in 2019, with applications submitted until September 2019. In total there were 89 proposed free school bids in wave 14.

This compared with 124 applications for Wave 13, of which 18 were approved.

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Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

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