The Mail has picked up on the National Audit Office’s probe into Durand Academy and, in particular, the pay and other income earned by headteacher Sir Greg Martin or companies he runs…
An academy headmaster paid nearly £230,000 a year also raked in cash running a business based at the school.
Sir Greg Martin enjoyed a 56 per cent pay rise last year.
He is also sole director of a company which managed a health club and accommodation business on his school’s site and his ex-wife is the school’s deputy head.
A probe by the National Audit Office found Sir Greg’s firm was paid £508,000 in management fees over the past three years alone.
Investigators were unable to determine the extent to which he benefited from the arrangement, which the Department for Education has now ended.
The NAO said Sir Greg ‘received payments in the form of director’s remuneration and/or dividends’ on top of his headteacher’s pay.
Now the Education Funding Agency, an arm of the DfE which policies academies, ‘is planning to undertake a review of academy heads’ salaries’.
In a report published today the NAO reveals Sir Greg was handed a pay rise of 56.5 per cent in 2012/13, taking his pay package to £229,138 including pension contributions. This made him ‘one of the highest paid executive heads in the country’.
Yet earlier this year Ofsted downgraded his school – Durand Academy in Stockwell, south London – from ‘outstanding’ to ‘good’.
The report also reveals that for nearly two years the day-to-day running of the school has been delegated to Sir Greg’s ex-wife, Nathalie Parker, who earned a salary of between £115,000 and £120,000…
Sir Greg – who was knighted for services to education in last year’s Queens Birthday Honours – married Miss Parker in May 1996. The pair, who have two sons together, divorced three years later.
Miss Parker was appointed acting head at Durand in September 2012. The NAO report said Miss Parker ‘was appointed through an externally advertised, competitive process and Sir Greg was not on the panel that appointed her’.
It also emerged that Sir Greg received an unspecified sum for running a leisure and accommodation business at the school. The non-profit London Horizons business – a gym, health spa and flats – generates income which is ploughed back into the school.
London Horizons has paid GMG, a firm of which Sir Greg is listed as the sole director, for running the business for more than a decade.
Between 2011 and 2014, £508,000 was paid in management fees from London Horizons to GMG.
After scrutinising Durand’s accounts, the EFA earlier this year ordered the academy to terminate the contract with GMG due to the risk of a ‘conflict of interest’…
A spokesman for Durand Academy Trust said: ‘Sir Greg has a hugely demanding role and he has always innovated. We are privileged to retain the services of such a dedicated education leader.’…
I guess there are a couple of issues here – one is transparency and the other is whether Sir Greg, in undertaking a role that seems to go far beyond that of a traditional head, is entitled to much higher than normal remuneration. Perhaps it would be clearer if he was a commercial supplier of services to the school, or the head, but not both? Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
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