More academies under fire for “excessive” levels of executive pay

Eleven more academy trusts have been warned over “excessive” levels of executive pay, it has been revealed.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) wrote a letter to each of the trusts last year demanding information about top-level salaries.

It comes after the regulator announced it would clamp down on academy trusts paying wages disproportionate to the roles carried out by top bosses.

Under the new rules, academy trusts who pay one executive more than £150,000 or pay multiple executives salaries between £100,000 and £150,000 must set out their rationale for doing so.

Since 2019, the ESFA has written to some 212 academy trusts, with around 25 per cent of those reducing salaries as a result.

Commenting on the letters, Eileen Milner, Chief Executive at the ESFA, said: “On 03 October 2019, [I] wrote to the chair of trustees at 11 academy trusts, with between 4,500 and 6,000 learners on roll, about levels of executive pay.

“Trusts have a responsibility to ensure value for money and that salary and other remuneration payments are transparent, proportionate, reasonable and justifiable. The ESFA has a responsibility to ensure that best practice is exemplified in the system to ensure this accountability.”

The letter also reminds academy trusts of the new requirement for organisations to provide a direct email address for all members and trustees using the governance section of get information about schools (GIAS).

The rule forms part of the new Academies Financial Handbook launched last year.

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