Academy school bosses’ ‘immoral’ pay packets must be stopped, education sector told.


Academy trust bosses are taking home “immoral” pay packets, while teacher salaries and school budgets suffer, a teaching union has heard.

A small number of people are treating schools as a “gravy train”, milking the taxpayer for as much as possible, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ (ATL) annual conference was told. Ministers need to set rules on chief executives’ pay to curb exploitation, it was suggested.

Simon Clarkson, a delegate from Leicestershire, said “A small number of people have decided to treat education as a gravy train, and are milking schools, taxpayers and the funds that should be there for the children, for all they are worth.”

Seconding a motion calling for ATL to lobby government to ensure that the salaries and expenses of chief executives working in education trusts are not excessive, Tim Jefferson from Norfolk said that the position of CEO is an important role.

“When you look at the job description, the level of responsibility is clear,” he said. “There’s no doubt in this. The issue is with the amount of remuneration.”

“Yes, being a CEO is a huge responsibility. Supporting students is a huge responsibility, teaching students is a huge responsibility, leading a school is a huge responsibility. There are no government rules, or guidance, on how this pay should be set. This needs to change.”

A Department for Education spokesperson highlighted that it was up to governing bodies to determine school leader salaries. “It is vital we have the best people to lead our schools if we are to raise standards and ensure all pupils can reach their full potential. That’s why we have given all schools greater flexibility to set staff pay, reward exceptional leaders and attract strong leadership teams to work in the most challenging schools.”


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