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Former head paid £375,000-a-year for leading trust with eight primaries

Sir Craig Tunstall's makes him one of the highest paid school leaders in the country

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Sir Craig Tunstall's makes him one of the highest paid school leaders in the country

The chief executive of a federation of eight primary schools in south London is earning nearly £375,000, it has emerged.

Accounts from Lambeth Council show that Sir Craig Tunstall, CEO of Gypsy Hill Federation in south London, took home the pay package, making him one of the highest earning primary school leaders in the country.

The figures were revealed by, an investigative journalism website, after it went through the local authority’s accounts.

According to the documents, Sir Craig took home a salary of £330,394 this year, with a pension contribution of £43,753. The federation which also runs two children's centres will open a secondary school, but not until 2017, and the pay figures are for 2015/16.

The package makes Sir Craig much better paid than the chief executives of most large academy chains, who often run scores of schools - both secondary and primary. It means he comes close to the  remuneration received by Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, which runs 37 schools, who is understood to be the highest paid academy trust chief executive in the country and takes home £395,000.

Sir Greg Martin, who last year retired as chief executive of the primary school, Durand Academy, which is also in Lambeth, attracted serious criticism for taking home £390,000 from his position as executive headteacher and director of private company that he ran from the school site in 2012/13.

Sir Craig and the Gypsy Hill Federation may face similar questions over the size of his earnings, which is two-and-a-half times that of the prime minister.

It is understood that Sir Craig’s salary is set by the schools themselves, and as the federation is not an academy trust, his earnings were included in the council’s accounts.

He was knighted for his services to education in 2014. 

A Lambeth Council spokesperson told TES Sir Craig's pay was a matter for the federation.

A statement from the federation said: "Sir Craig Tunstall is paid according to the appropriate regulated bodies for teachers pay which follows the financial regulations set nationally and adhered to by our Governing Body.  He receives remuneration for the post of chief executive headteacher of five Lambeth schools, one Lambeth Children Centre, three Southwark schools, one Southwark Children Centre, consisting of just over 4,000 pupils, and over 600 staff, and one free secondary school due to open in 2017.  

"Six of the schools have Ofsted grades of outstanding and two currently have good judgements with outstanding features. Due to his outstanding achievements within these schools he was awarded a knighthood.  He is currently a National Leader of Education and one of his schools is a National Support School which means he can be asked to assist other schools who are in need of help. 

"Sir Craig and his senior leadership team have gone through an amazing journey in each of our eight schools and two Children’s Centres across 11 sites.  We do not do quick-fix remedies.  The work they have done is substantial, and sustainable into the future.  At the heart of all we do (and all that Sir Craig has ever done) is to ensure that every child in each of our schools get the very best education we can deliver."

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