Harris Federation boss’s salary reaches £420,000 after latest pay rise

The country’s best-paid academy boss has been handed another pay rise – boosting his salary to at least £420,000.

It marks another salary increase for Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, who was paid at least £395,000 in 2015.

New annual accounts published by Harris, which runs 41 schools, show another seven staff members are also more than prime minister Theresa May’s £143,462 salary.

The pay rise will prompt concern from academy critics, and also comes while teacher pay rises are capped at just 1 per cent.

Analysis of some of the country’s other largest academy trusts account by Schools Week has also revealed that three other chiefs got pay rises of £20,000 or more.

It follows our investigation last year that revealed how salaries for some academy bosses also soared in 2015.

Toby Salt, chief executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, had been given a £30,000 rise, boosting his salary to at least £180,000 in 2015.

Ormiston annual accounts for the 2016 year show Salt, who will leave to join exam board AQA later this year, is now paid between £205,000 and £210,000.

A further analysis has revealed that six academy chiefs of some of the country’s largest academies got pay rises (compared to their salary in our investigation last year).

The two chief executives with pay decreases were appointed mid-year, both on salaries below the bosses they replaced.

Academy trust chief executive pay 2016

Harris accounts stated the pay of senior staff, including Moynihan, is set by a remuneration committee, which includes Lord Harris, chair of the trust’s board.

As part of a Schools Week profile last year, Moynihan said he did not set his pay, but added: “If we have a bad year, the money won’t be that.

“But our schools do well and the central charge to schools is 4.5 per cent, which is less than they paid to local authorities and they are now more successful. The people below me are paid well too.”

All of the trust’s schools that have been inspected by Ofsted have either been given “good” or “outstanding” ratings.

Moynihan added: “Also, why shouldn’t they be? This is children’s lives! People say, ‘it is money that could go to the children’. Well, yes, you can argue that. But if the kids are getting a great deal, and they are doing well, why shouldn’t we pay well?”

A Harris Federation spokesperson added the trust has “transformed some of London’s hardest to improve schools”.

“Despite many of these having been in special measures before joining Harris, all 30 of our academies so far inspected by Ofsted are judged ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’. Our teacher training for people entering the profession is also rated ‘outstanding’.

‘With 41 academies in total, we have maintained our success as we have grown. Harris has been recognised as a top performer by researchers at the DfE, Sutton Trust and Education Policy Institute as well as Watchsted and PwC.

If the kids are getting a great deal, and doing well, why shouldn’t we pay well?

“Our Board recognises that leadership is among the key drivers of our success, so leaders throughout our federation are rewarded for their contribution.”

But Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (pictured right), told Schools Week last year that academy boss pay was “dysfunctional

and completely unaccountable”, and said teachers would feel aggrieved at the “completely unjust state of affairs”.

She added: “Pay deregulation and the implementation of market reforms have predictably resulted in these massive disparities, with soaring salaries for some CEOs while teachers have suffered a pay freeze.

“It is totally illogical given the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.”

Christine Blower

The Department for Education previously told Schools Week it is up to governing bodies to determine school leader pay.

“It is vital we have the best people to lead our schools if we are to raise standards and ensure all pupils can reach their full potential.

“That’s why we have given all schools greater flexibility to set staff pay, reward exceptional leaders and attract strong leadership teams to work in the most challenging schools. This is in contrast to the old system which awarded teachers’ pay rises simply for time served, regardless of whether or not they were doing a good job.”

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  1. Kate McGovern

    Assuming this is public money. What does he mean by “If we have a bad year, the money won’t be that”??

    How is this justified when current and proposed school cuts mean huge decreases of spending per child?

  2. George Foster

    And how much rise did the Teachers get …Equity, Fairness ? I suspect it is a reflection of University Vice Chancellors situation…Access to public money + less regulation and the greed emerges…Bankers have given a good ( Bad ) example…….