The NASUWT continues to press the Government to provide greater transparency over income and expenditure in academies and also on actual levels of academy trust Chief Executives’ pay.

The Union also continues to campaign for the funding that academy trusts receive to be invested in the education of children and young people and the schools workforce, rather than being siphoned off into unspent surpluses, vanity projects and excessive trust leadership pay.

The Department for Education (DfE) has now published additional information about income and expenditure in schools and academies.

Its schools benchmarking web pages have been expanded to include additional 2016/17 data, so that information can be accessed about individual schools' and academy trusts’ income and expenditure, including staffing, non-educational costs, consultancy costs, surpluses and deficits.
The DfE has also published additional information about Chief Executive and leadership pay in academy trusts, together with correspondence sent by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to those trusts with high leadership pay levels.

The ESFA has asked for the rationale for high levels of Chief Executive and leadership pay and also additional information about pay processes, including:

  • the role and responsibilities of each individual paid more than £150k;
  • other benefits paid in addition to the base salary;
  • whether the pay of any member of staff earning in excess of £150k per annum had increased at a faster rate than teachers’ pay;
  • information about the academy trust pay policy, including:
    • how pay decisions are made and documented;
    • how discrimination is avoided;
    • how appeals are handled;
    • how often pay reviews are considered;
    • whether the pay policy is made available to all staff.

The ESFA has also informed academy trusts that it will scrutinise bonuses and the costs of travel, accommodation and pensions for trust leaders.

The NASUWT continues to press the Government to publish the actual salaries of academy trustees and senior trust employees, rather than banding salaries of up to £420k in a £150k-plus band.

The NASUWT is also pressing the Government to publish the responses provided by academy trusts to the ESFA correspondence.

The actions taken by the ESFA still do not go far enough to give the transparency for which the NASUWT has been campaigning.

However, this is a step in the right direction and the information that the DfE has published is useful information for NASUWT negotiators and representatives.

The Union’s continuing pressure on the Government has influenced these developments.