Single-school academy trust head's pay soars to £280k

The head of an academy trust with just one school saw his pay rise to at least £280,000 last year – despite already being one of the best-paid school bosses in the country.

New accounts show Telford City Technology College Trust, which runs the Thomas Telford School in Shropshire, increased the salary of its highest paid staff member from £270,001-£280,000, to £280,001-£290,000 last year.

Although the employee is not named in the trust’s accounts, The Times reported in November that the trust’s highest paid employee is its accounting officer and headteacher, Sir Kevin Satchwell. The trust did not respond to a request for comment.

In Schools Week’s CEO pay table, published last year, Satchwell was already the third-highest paid boss in the country.

The pay hike comes as some trusts are reducing leadership pay amid growing government scrutiny.

But others are still awarding higher salaries. Schools Week revealed last month that Colin Hall, the head of the single-academy trust Holland Park School in Kensington, west London, received a rise to at least £270,000 last year.

Thomas Telford had 1,358 pupils in 2018-19, meaning Satchwell earns at least £206 per pupil. The school was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in January 2009, but has not been re-inspected in the last 11 years.

Provisional data for last year’s GCSE results show the school had an above average Progress 8 score of 0.4 and had 76 per cent of pupils achieving a grade 5 or above in English and maths, compared to a local authority average of 43 per cent.

Thomas Telford School opened in 1991, as one of 15 city technology colleges created to encourage private companies to invest in education. Its board members still include building materials company Tarmac Holdings and philanthropic organisation The Mercers’ Company.