Harris Federation's Sir Dan Moynihan becomes first £500,000 academy boss

Pay rise, pension contributions and national insurance take Harris Federation CEO's package to at least £550,000

Harris Federation aims to continue expanding to beyond 50 schools

The chief executive of the Harris Federation has become the first academy leader in the country to break through the £500,000 pay barrier.

Sir Dan Moynihan's salary increased from at least £420,000 in 2015-16 to at least £440,000 in 2016-17.

According to Harris' financial accounts, published today, when employer pension and national insurance contributions of at least £110,000 are included, his total package for the year stands at £550,000 to £565,000.

Sir Dan's pay package has long been a lightning rod for criticism of CEO pay in academy trusts.

But last year, Lord Harris, the founder of the Harris Federation, said he was was a “great man” who “works very hard” and had saved the public purse millions of pounds.

Then-education secretary Justine Greening last year backed his pay packet. When Tes asked whether his salary was justified, her answer was yes, and she added: “There is no doubt that Harris academies have transformed the educational outcomes for many, many children."

It was also supported national schools commissioner Sir David Carter, who has said he has acted to reduce academy CEO pay in some other cases.

Last year, he told Tes: "Every single one of Harris’s academies are 'good' or 'outstanding', so as a parent would I be worried about [his pay]? I think I would be more concerned about the quality of education my child is getting."

The Harris Federation runs 44 schools, and last week it was named as the third best performing multi-academy trust for GCSEs, and the fourth best for progress made in maths by primary school pupils.

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