Academies pay highest earners over £200,000


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The Independent Online

The Government has defended its support for academy schools after it was revealed that a number of charities than run them are paying senior staff six-figure salaries.

It was reported last night that the director general of the E-Act chain of academy schools, Sir Bruce Liddington, earned £280,017 last year in salary, pension contributions and bonuses.

A director at the Harris Federation, which runs 13 academies, earned £243,027 – a rise of £26,411 on the year before – according to the report.

Academy schools receive tens of millions of pounds from the government each year.

A spokesman for the Department of Education last night defended the schools, which were initiated by the previous Labour government, adding that it wanted "more good chains to evolve". Academy chains take a slice of the funding of each of their academies, for their central office costs.

The percentage they take is much less than Local Authorities take for similar functions and yet they still provide a high quality service.

Meanwhile, the education blog SchoolDuggery yesterday revealed that the proportion of pupils that attend free schools and are eligible for free school meals is half the national average.

The writer and free schools champion, Toby Young, said that the discrepancywas because "[free] schools are perceived to be above average and middle-class parents are generally more energetic about trying to secure the best possible opportunities for their children than parents on low incomes".