FOI request reveals expense claims of academy leaders

The Observer is reporting the findings of a Freedom of Information Act request on the expense claims of the leaders of academy schools.

Expense claims released under the Freedom of Information Act lay bare for the first time what critics claim is an extraordinary extravagance by some academy chain chief executives and principals, at a time when schools are struggling financially.

…thousands of pounds have been spent at top hotels and even rooms in luxury golf clubs by senior executives working for academy trusts. The public has also regularly funded first-class travel and poured money into taxi firms.

The largest 40 academy trusts have spent more than £1m of public money on executive expenses since 2012.

Meanwhile, as former education secretary Michael Gove’s vision of a more market-led school system has materialised, in which multi-academy trusts have taken the place of local authorities, salary levels have soared within the management tier, it can be revealed. More than half of the largest 50 chains pay their chief executives more than the prime minister (£143,000).

More at: Taxpayers fund large wages and lavish perks of academy school chiefs

What do you think? Is this extravagant spending or are these figures in line with the rest of the business world? Should education be part of the ‘business world’ at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter ~ Jon

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  1. Channel 4 Dispatches broadcast tonight will expose high wages and lavish perks in academy trusts.  Programme details here:

  2. Andrew84Kelly SchoolsImprove Funny how so many academy trust bosses praised by Cameron and Gove have been slapped with financial notices to improve: Liam Nolan (Perry Beeches), Sir Greg Martin (Durand), Sir Peter Birkett (Barnfield Federation), Patricia Sowter CBE (Cuckoo Hall), Sajid Raza (Kings Science Academy, now on trial for fraud).  And they’re only the ones who’ve been found out.  
    As the Observer article explains, there are people profiting from being involved in academy trusts.  It’s all legitimate, of course, any related party transactions are supposed to be ‘at cost’.  But as former chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, said: they are wrong and should be stopped.  The National Audit Office warned that ‘at cost’ would be difficult to evidence especially for services because the cost of these was ‘subjective’.

  3. northernteacher

    The whole concept stinks and these figures just add fuel to the fire! Teachers stuck with a 1% pay rise, but for the execs the sky’s the limit.

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