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NAHT welcomes Lord Agnew’s letter to academy trusts about executive pay


This week, Lord Agnew, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System has written to the chairs of all academy trusts. In the letter, he states his belief that executive pay should not increase at a higher rate than classroom teacher pay. He also says that pay should be reduced if educational performances at a trust are declining and confirms that the DfE will shortly be writing to all multi-academy trusts about this issue.

You can read the letter here.

Welcoming the letter, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT said: "We’re in danger of creating an exaggerated debate about leadership pay in MATs that will be great for newspaper sales but will tell us little about true leadership pay levels or the value of the leaders in post.

“Inevitably the focus goes to a very few high salaries that are not representative of the sector. We need to set our own moral compass on leadership pay. Education is a morally and ethically driven profession. This task should not be beyond us, nor should it be taken away from us because of a very tiny number of high earners.

“It is encouraging to see Lord Agnew writing to the chairs of all governing bodies in England to be more rigorous on these financial decisions. As he says, ‘CEO and senior pay should reflect the improvements they make to schools’ performance and how efficiently they run their trusts.’ Rigorous should not mean cheap. Appropriate reward will recruit and retain the best. Neither a cap on pay nor a blind adherence to the false comparison to the Prime Minister’s salary would be the right approach. But we do need to set appropriate reference and structural points so that leadership pay is appropriate, fair and transparent.

“NAHT’s position is that there should be a national framework that defines the roles and sets out the pay and conditions of all those employed in our national, publicly funded education system. The public has a right to be reassured that public funds are being used well. I’ve written to Lord Agnew today to ask for a meeting with him to discuss these challenges in more detail.”