DfE named and shamed trust for failing to justify CEO pay by mistake

The government has been forced to update a list of academy trusts named and shamed for failing to justify executive pay after a chain was included by mistake.

Earlier this month, the Department for Education published a list of 31 academy trusts who had received a second warning for being “non-compliant” with its order to justify CEO pay.

The North East Learning Trust, an eight-school chain which paid its executive principal Lesley Powell a salary of £160,000 in 2017-18, was one of those named and shamed online on May 10.

But the department today published an updated list with the trust’s name removed. After being contacted by Schools Week, the DfE admitted the blunder – saying the trust never should have been on the list in the first place.

There are also further concerns over other names on the list.

Last week, Schools Week revealed that another chain, The Laurus Trust, had been included on the list despite having responded to the DfE’s first warning with a detailed response, including its reasons for paying its chief executive a salary of more than £152,000.

It is also understood that another trust included on the original list has lobbied the government to remove it amid claims it provides annual updates to the department on the pay of its top staff.

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