Twenty-eight academy trusts have been ordered by the government to justify salaries of more than £100,000.
The academies minister, Lord Agnew, has written to chairs of trustees today in a bid to curb "excessive" salaries.
The trusts have been asked to provide extra details on the pay of executives who earn more than £150,000, as well as those earning £100,000 if two or more people in a school command a six-figure salary.
In the letter, Lord Agnew calls on the chairs to work with the government on the "divisive issue" of high pay, asking them to provide reassurance that they are not "diverting financial resources that could be more effectively deployed on the front line of education".
Lord Agnew said: "The best academies place freedom in the hands of school leaders, but with that autonomy comes greater accountability and transparency, which is exactly why I am insistent that the salaries of their executives are justifiable. And just because we are advocates of the academies programme, doesn’t mean we won’t call a trust out where we believe they are not acting responsibly.
“The overwhelming majority of academies are behaving responsibly and by publicly challenging the minority of trusts that are not complying with this request, we will ensure that every pound of public money is spent as effectively as possible to continue improving the standard of education in our schools.”
According to the government, to date, Education and Skills Funding Agency chief executive Eileen Milner has written to the chairs of trustees at 213 academy trusts, 45 of which have cut salaries.
The 28 academy trusts are:
- Alpha Academies Trust (Previously the College Academies Trust)
- Ashmole Academy Trust Ltd
- Carshalton Boys Sports College
- Chingford Academies Trust
- Cranford Community College
- Gateway Learning Community
- Guru Nanak Sikh Academy Limited
- Hartismere Family of Schools
- Hatton Academies Trust
- Holland Park School
- Inspirational Learning Academies Trust
- Joseph Leckie Academy Trust
- Knole Academy Trust
- Lime Trust
- Lion Academy Trust
- New River Trust
- PA Community Trust
- Southfields Multi Academy Trust (previously Southfields Academy)
- Southmoor Academy
- Swakeleys School for Girls
- The Boston Witham Academies Federation
- The BRIT School Ltd
- The Hoddesdon School Trust
- The John Wallis Church of England Academy, Ashford
- The Rosedale Hewens Academy Trust
- The Sabden Multi Academy Trust
- University Schools Trust, East London