UTC support charity paid £7k for Lord Baker's personal secretary

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust spent nearly £7,000 funding a personal secretary for UTC architect Lord Baker, while raising more than £270,000 in licence fees paid by the institutions.

Accounts published last month, for the 2017-18 year, also show that Baker Dearing, which supports the UTC programme, relies heavily on donations from a range of charities with links to other peers and the trust itself.

The accounts show that once a week, the charity’s chair Baker received “secretarial support” provided by Baker Dearing “for his personal administrative matters”, amounting to £6,952 a year.

In the 2017-18, Baker Dearing made £272,000 from the £5,000 license fee that every UTC must pay.

In the same period, six UTCs received bailouts from the government totalling almost £1 million, while nearly every UTC had to hand funding back to the government after overestimating pupil numbers the year before.

Baker Dearing received over £1.7 million from donations last year. That includes £400,000 from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, £300,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, £150,000 from the Peter Cundhill Foundation, £100,000 from the Michael Bishop Foundation and £667,250 from the Edge Foundation – £511,250 in cash and in-kind support amounting to £156,000 with the shared use of Edge’s premises and staff.

The accounts note that Baker, Lord Andrew Adonis and Sir Kevin Satchwell were trustees of both The Edge Foundation and Baker Dearing during the year.

The Gatbsy Foundation was set up by Lord Sainsbury of Turville and the Michael Bishop Foundation by Michael Bishop, Baron Glendonbrook. The Garfield Weston Foundation is also a donor to the New Schools Network and Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust, both of which were formerly led by Toby Young.

A spokesperson for Baker Dearing said fundraising has been carried out for the trust since 2010, and trustees consider Baker’s secretarial support to be “an appropriate use of the charity’s funds”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said Baker Dearing is independent from the DfE and can choose how to spend its funds.

The trust also paid its outgoing chief executive, Charles Parker, a salary of between £140,000 and £149,999 last year.