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Thursday, 24 September 2020 19:13

School Leaders in Kent and Medway on salaries of over £150,000, and others

Index

 Other Trusts, including those where school leaders have retired or otherwise departed 
 
Turner Schools
The recently departed Dr Jo Saxton, the very high profile CEO of Turner Schools, an underperforming and controversial small Folkestone Trust of just five schools, has featured strongly on these pages and took home a salary of £149,783 for 2018-19. Coincidentally this was just £217 below the ceiling of £150,000 above which academy trusts are called in by the Department of Education to justify such payments.
 
Barton Court Academy Trust
Barton Court currently has just two schools: Barton Court Grammar, headteacher (probably) paid £80,000 in 2018-19, up from £70,000 the previous year, resigning at the end of the year form family reasons and Charles Dickens School.  Until September 2019, the Executive Headteacher for these two schools, Kristen Cardus also had direct control of Charles Dickens and had a salary of £140,000 for 2018-19, a large salary for a two-school Trust. 
 
Knole Academy
Also off the list goes Mary Boyle the now-retired head of the moderately performing single Kent secondary school Trust, Knole Academy, who was the highest-paid in Kent two years ago on £205,000 without a blush. The previous year her salary was slightly higher at £210,000, the small reduction presumably following the Department for Education’s letters (see introduction above). In contrast, her successor was paid £60,000 for the last eight months of the school year 2018-19, which is equivalent to £90,000 p.a., in line with many other similar sized single school trusts.
 
Mayfield Grammar School
I believe that Elaine Wilson was the highest-paid academy grammar school headteacher in Kent and Medway on £130,000 in 2018-19. The lowest academy heads were paid £80,000, one experienced (now moved on) and three new. 
 
 
Barnsole Primary Trust, Medway.
Sean McKeown, CEO of the Trust and headteacher of Barnsole Primary School on £120,000, lost his job after standards fell at two of the three schools in the Trust, Barnsole and Bligh primaries. The third school, Danecourt Special, continues to enjoy a Good standard according to Ofsted, partly thanks to the appointment of a new headteacher. Mr McGeown has moved on, presumably thanks to his experience with Danecourt, to be Interim Executive Head of the new North Wiltshire School bringing three Special Schools and their current headteachers together. 
 
Castle Trust Medway
Now reduced to a single junior school in Sussex after its original school, Delce Academy, crashed under Headteacher and CEO Karen White on £105,000, and has been re-brokered, but who still has Greenway Academy with its 350 pupils to run. Much of the Delce recent self-story has been fantasy, which is continued on the Trust website
 
 
Other Primary Trusts
A swift trawl through the salaries of some Primary Academies in single school Trusts indicates that around £50- 60,000 in 2018-19 is a common sum, with many below this figure. I am still working on this and will expand this view. 
 
The highest-paid single trust primary school headteachers I have found was Stuart Pywell, Executive Head at St Stephen’s Junior School with 430 pupils, a single school academy trust, taking home £115,000 in 2018-19, but who retired this summer. Part of a minor syndrome of headteachers of single schools calling themselves 'Executive Head', on this occasion on the basis of taking on a struggling school, Pilgrims' Way Primary in 2011, but then having it taken away the following year. There are at least ten headteachers of single school primary academy trusts on salaries of £60,000 or less, the lowest I have found being £45,000.  

I don’t believe any primary head has come close to a previous head of Meopham Community Primary, who in 2014-15 was paid a salary of £155,000 the year before he retired, having run two schools in a Federation with Meopham into the ground.  As with Knole Academy, it is a powerful reminder of the foolishness of some Academy Boards of Governors who fail to consider their responsibilities.  

CEOs of Trusts, promoted from headteachers within. 
I have been puzzled for some time by the high salaries of CEOs promoted from the role of HT within a Trust and seeing a rise in salary where they give up their headship, although this is a very different role. 
 
In a recent correspondence I received the following contribution to this issue: When MAT’s are generically created from within a high performing school the HT steps up into the role. This typically comes with a salary enhancement for good or bad. In my experience, few of these CEOs enter into a new Employment contract with the Trust. This is a fatal oversight by the ESFA. The enhanced salary typically would compensate for leaving the HT benefits however few chose to go that route. And whilst most CEOs are not now acting out a  HT role they retain the benefits and protection should they find themselves in the crosshairs. This includes union membership. I believe that this anomaly leads to unjustified settlements to see CEOs on their way at a huge cost to the sector and to the funds available to the children. Typically these are pitched at £100k. I believe all CEOs should be required to enter into an employment contract with the Trust and resign their HT role upon promotion.

 

 

 


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