Academy trust gender pay gap is three times the national average

Women working for academy trusts in England earn 31 per cent less than men, new research shows.

According to Education Datalab, the median gender pay gap at the 471 academy trusts that have submitted pay data to the government is 31.7 per cent in favour of men, more than three times the national average.

The analysis shows that median pay gaps at individual trusts ranged 62.7 per cent in favour of men at the Sussex Learning Trust to 19.2 per cent in women’s favour at the PA Community Trust.

The average pay gap among all 7,520 organisations to have declared their pay data so far is 10.1 per cent.

The deadline for academy trusts and other public sector organisations to submit their gender pay gap statistics was last Friday. Private and voluntary sector employees have until the end of today.

All companies with 250 or more staff are required to provide details of their mean and median gender pay cap, information on who receives bonuses and the difference in payouts between men and women, and details of the proportion of men and women in each of four pay bands, or “quartiles”.

In February, early analysis of the gender pay gap data by Schools Week found that primary school academy trusts had the largest pay gaps between men and women, with high numbers of female staff in low paid roles identified as a significant factor influencing the figures.

Only 11 of the 471 trusts reported pay gaps that were in favour of women, while three reported that they had no pay gap at all. One in ten trusts reported a gender pay gap of 50 per cent or more in men’s favour.

However, Philip Nye, Education Datalab’s external affairs manager and researcher, pointed out that there are some issues to take into account with the data the government has published on the pay gap.

“The data doesn’t take account of the fact that men and women may be in different roles or different grades,” he commented.

“Some will consider this a limitation of the data – though it could be argued that using this approach in fact shines a greater light on the large gender pay discrepancy that exists in part precisely because of differences in roles and seniority.”

Nye also highlighted the fact that the figures only cover employees. This means that if one academy trust employs cleaning staff directly, while another outsources these duties to a third party, the first may find its pay gap looks worse if the cleaning staff are lower paid women.

For more on the gender pay gap, see edition 135 of Schools Week, which will be published on Friday April 13.