Skint schools ‘losing out to academy chiefs’ salaries and smart cars’

Academy chains are wasting money on high executive salaries, smart cars, and branding at a time when teachers are being denied pay rises, a union conference has heard. Tes reports.

Delegates at the NASUWT teaching union’s annual conference yesterday passed a motion supporting campaigning to ensure education funding is used to support teaching and learning, and “not siphoned off for other purposes”.

Proposing the motion, Wendy Exton a union executive member for the South West said: 

“I can think of one MAT where staff had not had a pay award since 2014, and when I challenged the CEO about why he was earning a huge salary while his teachers were denied any pay increases, I was told by him ‘because I’m worth it’.”

She also said criticised “the endless branding of everything” in academy trusts, with leaders at one academy trust “all branded out in expensive jackets that all matched”, branded biscuits, and “visits to foreign countries that, paid out of school budgets, where only the CEO attends”.

The motion also called for the union to continue to campaign for extra money for schools in the government’s upcoming spending review.

However Luke Akhurst, from Leicestershire, spoke against the call for more money for schools, saying the priority should be to stop existing funding being “misspent” by academy trusts.

He said: “Despite the supposed shortage of money I have seen in Leicestershire in the last year alone chief executives appointed on £250,000, school improvement officers on £100,000. Well, they can’t be that short of money if they can spent that kind of money not on teaching.”

Read more Skint schools ‘losing out to academy chiefs’ salaries and smart cars’

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