DfE ditches controversial academy brokers for ‘education advisors’

The controversial reign of academy brokers, paid up to £1,000 a day by the government to convince headteachers to convert their schools into academies, appears to have come to an end.

The Department for Education has dropped the model of using dedicated academy brokers in favour of a pool of educational experts.

Each regional schools commissioner now has a group of experts, recruited through open competition, to call upon when brokerage work is required.

This marks the end of controversial academy brokers who faced allegations of bullying and intimidation over their handling of school leaders.

Some brokers also faced tax questions over their “off book” employment, which meant they could pay corporation tax of 20 per cent, instead of income tax at 45 per cent.

Figures reported by The Telegraph found two brokers were paid up to £900 a day and another eight were paid £800 a day, plus VAT.

The shift to the education expert model was revealed in a parliamentary written answer to Jess Phillips MP last week.

The department’s spend on brokerage services has fallen from £3 million in 2013/14 to £2.2 million last year.

It takes the total spend on brokers to nearly £14 million since 2010.