Exclusive: Top-earning academy bosses revealed

3rd November 2017 at 00:03
More than £21 million is spent on salaries of top-paid academy employees, Tes analysis reveals

England’s highest earning academy bosses are revealed today in a Tes analysis of 121 trusts identified by the Department of Education (DfE) as paying salaries of more than £150,000.

The DfE last week named the academy trusts that paid at least one individual trustee or staff member more than £150,000 a year in 2015-16. However, it declined to name the individuals or reveal their salaries, despite saying last year that it would do so. 

But Tes has used the list of trusts named by the DfE to compile a full list of the highest-paid employees, and their salaries, based on information in academy trust accounts.

Their combined salaries come to more than £21 million, with almost one in five (19 per cent) of the individuals paid at least £200,000 a year, before their pensions are taken into account.

Salaries range from at least £150,000 a year to the £420,000-£425,000 that Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, is paid.

Sir Dan’s overall package is approaching half a million pounds a year once his pension contributions of £50,000-55,000 are taken into account.

However, many of the academy bosses now earning more than the prime minister are from far smaller trusts, some of which run just one school.

Simon Barber, the principal of Carshalton Boys Sports College, who earns at least £195,000 a year, is one example. Another is Michael McKenzie, headteacher of Alexandra Park School in London, who earns at least £155,000, according to trust accounts.

The extent to which academy trusts are paying large six figure salaries comes amid mounting concern over the levels of remuneration of academy bosses.

Earlier this year national schools commissioner Sir David Carter told Tes that having “challenging conversations” about chief executive pay is a “very important” part of the work of the eight regional schools commissioners he oversees.

And in July this year Lord Adonis, who developed the academies policy under New Labour, told Tes“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”.

One of the lower paying trusts is the Inspiration Trust, which had education minister Sir Theodore Agnew as its chair of trustees until September this year. 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.

There has been a 70 per cent rise in the number of trusts paying at least one person in excess of £150,000 a year, with 121 academy trusts listed as doing so in 2015-16, up from 71 in 2014-15.

The figures below show the remuneration of the top paid individuals at the academy trusts identified by the Department for Education, as stated in their annual accounts for year ended 31st August 2016. These figures do not include employer pension contributions unless otherwise stated.

Academy Trusts
Trust nameHighest salary ('000)NameTitle
Harris Federation420-425Sir Dan MoynihanChief executive
The Thinking Schools Academy Trust290-300 (includes 85.833 severance)Denise Shepherd (resigned 31/8/16)Chief executive
Telford City Technology College Trust Limited270-280not disclosednot disclosed
Torch Academy (now known as the Nova Education Trust)260-265John TomasevicChief executive
Academies Enterprise Trust236Ian ComfortChief executive
Ambitions Academies Trust235-240Brian Hooper (resigned 1/6/16)Chief executive
Bright Futures Educational Trust225-230Dame Dana Ross-WawrzynskiChief executive
Perry Beeches The Academy Trust220-230Liam Nolan (resigned 11/5/16)Chief executive
Holland Park School220-225Colin HallHeadteacher
The Boston Witham Academies Federation215-220Adrian ReedChief executive
Paradigm Trust213Amanda PhillipsChief executive
Aspirations Academies Trust210-215Steve Kenning (resigned as member 14/11/16)Chief executive
St Matthew Academy210-220 (see note 1)Michael Barry (resigned 2/6/16)Executive Headteacher
The Gorse Academies Trust210-220Sir John TownsleyExecutive Principal
The Rodillian Multi Academy Trust210-215Andrew GoultyChief executive
Leaf Academy Trust210-220Rosanne McMullen (resigned 31/12/15)Chief executive
Loxford School Trust Limited210-215Anita JohnsonChief executive
ARK Schools205.63 (see note 2)Lucy HellerManaging director
The Rosedale Hewens Academy Trust205-210Clive NeatheyChief executive
Ormiston Academies Trust205-210Professor Sir Toby SaltChief executive
The Kingsdale Foundation200-210not disclosednot disclosed
Dixons Academies Charitable Trust Ltd200-210 (includes pension)Sir Nick WellerExecutive Principal
Hillyfield Primary Academy200-205Steve Lancashireexecutive head
Partnership Learning195-200Roger LeightonChief executive
Tauheedul Education Trust195-200Hamid PatelChief executive
City Learning Trust195-200Carl WardChief executive
Knole Academy Trust195-200Mary BoylePrincipal
Carshalton Boys Sports College190-195Simon BarberPrincipal
Oldbury Academy190-200John Martin (retired 31/12/15)Principal
The Silver Birch Academy190-195Patricia DaviesPrincipal
Brampton Manor Trust190-200Dayo OlukoshiExecutive Principal
Joseph Leckie Academy Trust190-195Keith WhittlestonePrincipal
Academy Transformation Trust185-190Ian ClelandChief executive
The Slough and East Berkshire C of E Multi Academy Trust185-190Paul A McAteerChief executive
Tollbar Multi Academy Trust185-190David HampsonChief executive
Southfields Academy180-185Jacqueline ValinPrincipal
The Cardinal Hume Academies Trust180-185Martin TissotExecutive Headteacher
University Academy Keighley180-185Linda Wallsgrove (principal until 31/3/16)Principal
Valley Invicta Academies Trust180-185Philip Limbert (resigned 7/6/16)Chief executive
Wakefield City Academies Trust180-190Alan Yellup (resigned 31/5/16)Chief executive
Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust180-190not disclosednot disclosed
Green Spring Education Trust180-185Mark Keary (resigned 27/6/16)Chief executive
QED Academy Trust175-180Nigel McLaughlinChief executive
Swakeleys School for Girls175-180Sue PryorHeadteacher
The Collegiate Academy Trust175-180Sir Mark GrundyPrincipal
Central Learning Partnership Trust175-180Douglas SelkirkChief executive
Hatton Academies Trust175-180Victoria BishopExecutive Principal
Outwood Grange Academies Trust173Sir Michael Wilkinsfounding chief executive
Landau Forte Charitable Trust170.167Antony EdkinsChief executive
Guru Nanak Sikh Academy Limited170-175Rajinder SandhuPrincipal
Barnet City Academy (now known as AIM Academies Trust)170-175Angela TriggExecutive Principal
Swale Academies Trust170-175Jon WhitcombeTrust principal
The City Academy Hackney170-175Mark EmmersonPrincipal
David Ross Education Trust170-180not disclosednot disclosed
The Dean Trust170-175Tarun KapurChief executive
The Heath Family (North West)170-180Heather MullaneyPrincipal
Oasis Community Learning170-180John MurphyChief executive
Blackbird Academy Trust170-180 (includes 80.864 severance)not disclosednot disclosed
Cranford Community College170-175Kevin PruntyExecutive Headteacher
Haberdashers' Aske's Federation Trust170-175Adrian PercivalChief executive
L.E.A.D. Multi-Academy Trust170-175Diana OwenChief executive
GLF School169.435Jon ChalonerChief executive
TBAP Trust165-170Seamus OatesChief executive
The Alec Reed Academy165-170Gary LobbettChief executive
The Gosforth Federated Academies Limited165-170Hugh RobinsonPrincipal
Burntwood School165-170Helen DorfmanPrincipal
Graveney Trust165-170Graham StapletonPrincipal
Leigh Academies Trust165-170Simon BeamishPrincipal
The Elliot Foundation Academies Trust165Hugh GreenwayChief executive
The John Wallis Church of England Academy Ashford161.011John McParlandPrincipal
Aquinas Church of England Education Trust Ltd160-165Kathy GriffithsChief executive
The Brooke Weston Trust160-165Andrew CampbellChief executive
The Cathedral Church of England Academy Trust (Wakefield)160-165Tay Warren (resigned 31/8/16)Principal
The Collegiate Trust160-165Gordon SmithPrincipal
The Education Alliance160-170Chris AbbottChief executive
The Education Fellowship Trust160-165Johnson E KaneChief executive
The Howard Partnership Trust160-165Rhona BarnfieldChief executive
City of London Academies Trust160-165Richard BannisterPrincipal
Creative Education Trust160-170Marc JordanChief executive
Exmouth Community College160-165Anthony AlexanderPrincipal
Greenwood Academies Trust160-165Wayne NorrieChief executive
Ivybridge Academy Trust160-170Robert HaringPrincipal
King Edward VI Handsworth School160-170not disclosednot disclosed
Matrix Academy Trust160-165Dame Maureen BrennanPrincipal
Alexandra Park School (now known as New River Trust)155-160Michael McKenzieHeadteacher
St Paul's Academy Limited155-160Patrick WinstonPrincipal
The KJS Academy Trust155-160Margaret WilsonHeadteacher
The Sabden Multi Academy Trust155-160Frank StanfordChief executive
Wickersley Partnership Trust155-160David HudsonHeadteacher
Bourne Education Trust155-160Alex RussellHeadteacher
Chingford Academies Trust155-160Mark MorrallExecutive Principal
Durrington Multi Academy Trust155-160Sue MarooneyHeadteacher
Gateway Learning Community155-160Kevin SadlerChief executive
Northern Schools Trust155-160Nigel WardChief executive
Bradford Academy Trust154.84Gareth Dawkins (deceased)Executive Principal
E-ACT153.014David MoranChief executive
Trinity Academy Halifax152Michael GoslingChief executive
Academies South West150-160Roger PopePrincipal
Ashlawn School Academy Trust (now known as Transforming Lives Educational Trust)150 (see note 3)not disclosednot disclosed
Ashmole Academy Trust Limited150-155Derrick BrownHeadteacher
Avonbourne International Business and Enterprise Academy Trust150-155Debbie Godfrey-PhaureChief executive
Prospect Education (Technology) Trust Limited150 (see note 4)not disclosednot disclosed
Redborne Upper School and Community College150-155Nigel CroftPrincipal
RMET150-155Simon DeckerChief executive
Sandwell Academy Trust Limited (now known as Thomas Telford Multi Academy Trust)150-160not disclosednot disclosed
Southmoor Academy150-155Dr Philip IngramChief executive
St Helen's Catholic Junior School Academy150-160Bozena LarawayHeadteacher
The Duston Education Trust150-155Jane Herriman (resigned 31/5/16)Principal
The Hoddeston School Trust150-155David KennedyHeadteacher
The Kemnal Academies Trust150-155Karen RobertsChief executive
The Northumberland Church of England Academy150-160 (includes pension)Andrew DayExecutive director
The Priory Federation of Academies150-155Ian JonesChief executive
The Williamson Trust150-155Gary Holden (resigned 31/8/16)Executive Principal
Washwood Heath Multi Academy Trust150-155Beverley MabeyChief executive
United Learning Trust150-160 (see note 5)not disclosednot disclosed
Carmel Education Trust150-155Maura ReganChief executive
Highcliffe School150-160not disclosednot disclosed
Inspiration Trust150-155Dame Rachel de SouzaChief executive
Lion Academy Trust150-160not disclosednot disclosed
Ninestiles Academy Trust Limited150-155Christine QuinnChief executive
Brigantia Learning Trust Limited150-160Christopher FrenchPrincipal


1 St Matthew Academy: Academy trust accounts list one individual, who is not identified, in the “£210,001 to £220,000” band. The trustees’ remuneration and expenses section of the accounts states that executive headteacher Michael Barry had remuneration of £120,000-£125,000 and an “additional £90,000 - £95,000”.
2 Ark Schools: Lucy Heller is also managing director of Ark Academies Projects Ltd, Ark UK Programmes, and chief executive of Ark. 50 per cent of her salary is charged to Ark Schools.
3 Ashlawn School Academy Trust (now known as Transforming Lives Educational Trust): Lists one individual (not identified) “in the band £80,001 - £220,000”.
4 Prospect Education (Technology) Trust Limited: Does not disclose identities of "higher paid staff" but states there were “two employees earned in excess of £80,000”. It adds “for reasons of both confidentiality and business sensitivity, the trustees have determined that the actual salary band for these two individuals will not be disclosed”.
5 United Learning Trust: Chief executive Jon Coles is paid by the parent company, United Church Schools Foundation Limited. The parent company's latest accounts do not disclose his salary but lists one individual in the £230,000-240,000 pay bracket.

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