Revealed: The 50 academy trusts that cut chief executive pay


The government has named 50 academy trusts that have cut executive pay following pressure from officials.

A list, sent to Schools Week under the freedom of information act, reveals the names of the trusts that have stopped paying salaries of either £100,000 to £150,000 or over £150,000. However this does not include any trusts that may have cut the pay of their bosses – but their salary is still above the £150,000 threshold.

The Department for Education has also indicated it expects the number of trusts that have adjusted their leaders’ pay to increase.

Most of the trusts in the list are small. Twenty of the 50 are single-academy trusts, while 18 have between two and five schools. Five of the trusts have between six and nine schools, and seven have 10 or more.

The largest trust is the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, which has 15 schools and as of last August paid a salary of between £110,001 and £120,000 to its highest-paid employee. This is equivalent to a minimum of £7,333 per school and £20.79 per pupil.

Another trust that has reduced pay is Paradigm, which Schools Week revealed last year was one of a handful of trusts paying their bosses over £200,000 – despite having just a few schools.

Other notable trusts on the list include the University of Chester Academy Trust, which is in the process of being wound up and giving up its 13 schools amid massive financial problems, and Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust, which was investigated in 2015 over finance and governance concerns.

Watford UTC, which was hit with a financial warning in May this year, is also on the list.

It follows a clampdown on excessive executive pay by the government in the form of a series of written warnings to trusts.

Last December, ESFA chief executive Eileen Milner wrote to trusts with just one school that had staff earning more than £150,000-a-year, asking them to justify the salaries.

Then in February, Milner wrote to 87 trusts with more than one school which paid over £150,000 to any employees.

Eileen Milner

In April, the senior civil servant then wrote to trusts with multiple employees in the £100,000 to £150,000 pay bracket.

Lord Agnew, the academies minister, told Schools Week last month that he had “declared war” on excessive academy pay, especially “mediocre trusts who are paying large sums of money”.

Agnew, appointed as minister for the school system last September, wrote to academy trusts earlier this year warning them they were “not being rigorous enough” in curbing excessive pay.

Lord Agnew

Agnew said officials had had “very stiff conversations” with some trusts.

“We’re nailing them. I’m after them,” he said.

However, he defended the £440,000-a-year salary of Dan Moynihan, the highest-paid academy boss in England, which he said was “reasonable” because of the size of the trust, its financial situation and outcomes for pupils.

Analysis by Schools Week in the spring revealed that Moynihan is paid the equivalent of £10,000 for each of Harris’s 44 schools, and the equivalent of £13.75 a pupil.

A DfE spokesperson, in relation to the list of 50 trusts, said: “It is important to note that these figures are still changing as our activity to challenge trusts is ongoing… We will have an updated picture once we have received and assessed academy trusts’ 2017-18 annual accounts returns.”


The trusts that cut pay: Full list

These are the names of the 50 trusts that have informed the DfE they no longer pay salaries of either a) between £100,000 and £150,000 or b) over £150,000

Abbey Multi Academy Trust

Ambitions Academies Trust

Amethyst Academies Trust

Bradford Academy Trust

Burntwood Trust (Previously Burntwood School)

Charters School

Chrysalis Multi Academy Trust (previously Claremont High School Academy Trust)

Coastal Academies Trust

Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust

Drapers’ Multi-academy Trust

Eastern Multi-academy Trust

Endeavour Academies Trust (Previously Macmillan Academy)

Exmouth Community College

Eynsham Partnership Academy

Fort Pitt Thomas Aveling Academies

Fylde Coast Academy Trust

Grace Academy

Great Academies Education Trust

Greater Manchester Academies Trust

Highcliffe School

Hillyfield Primary Academy

James Brindley School

Kingsbury High School

Mulberry Schools Trust

New College Durham Academies Trust

Oldbury Academy

Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy Trust

Paradigm Trust

Prospect Education (Technology) Trust Limited

Redborne Upper School and Community College

Redhill Academy Trust

South Lincolnshire Academies Trust

St Helen’s Catholic Junior School Academy

St Matthew Academy (previously The St Matthew Academy Limited)

St Paul’s Academy Limited

The Alec Reed Academy

The City Academy, Hackney

The Duston Education Trust

The Futures Trust

The Gosforth Federated Academies Limited

The Heath Family (North West)

The Thrive Partnership Academy Trust

The Watford UTC

Transforming Lives Educational Trust

Trinitas Academy Trust

Unity Schools Trust

University Academy Keighley

University of Chichester (Multi) Academy Trust

Valley Invicta Academies Trust

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust

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