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Academies: Pay

Department for Education written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the salaries of executives of academy schools earning more than £150,000 a year.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Academy trusts must exercise effective control over the use of public funding. That is why the Department has taken sustained action over the last two years to ensure executive pay is proportionate and justifiable.

Academy trusts are free to set their own salaries. Therefore, our challenge, and the consideration of the justification of any high executive salaries, takes into account factors including: educational performance, financial performance, the strength of the trust’s governance and the number of pupils being educated by the trust.

To date, the Department has challenged 278 academy trusts, both those paying a salary over £150,000 and those paying two or more over £100,000. The names of all these trusts are available on GOV.UK, along with guidance on the setting of executive pay. Since the Department commenced the challenge, 51 trusts have reduced salaries.

Most recently, the Department has strengthened the criteria for next year’s Condition Improvement Fund, which will incentivise academies and trusts to improve finances and governance. Bids will be assessed on a points based criteria and applicants outside of London will get a four-point deduction (a one-point deduction for trusts and academies in the greater London area) if they pay one salary over £150,000 or two or more salaries in excess of £100,000 and have failed to take appropriate action in response to our high pay challenge.

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