Academy headteacher sees pay rise to £260,000 despite crackdown on excessive salaries

Award made despite warnings of ‘loose panels’ and ‘glass breakages’ at school at a time of funding cuts

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent
@Eleanor_Busby
Friday 25 January 2019 15:07
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The head of an academy, once dubbed the “socialist Eton”, has seen his pay rise to £260,000.

Colin Hall, who is the head of Holland Park School in Kensington, west London, saw his salary increase by at least £10,000 last year despite a government crackdown on academy bosses’ salaries.

Holland Park trust, which only has one academy, has three more employees on more than £100,000.

But the financial accounts for Holland Park have revealed that Mr Hall’s pay rose from £245,000-£250,000 in 2017 to between £260,000-£265,000 last year – a rise of at least £10,000.

Mr Hall is now one of the best-paid academy heads in the country.

Dayo Olukoshi, executive head of Brampton Manor Academy in East London, was also paid at least £220,000 last year - a rise of £20,000 on 2016-17.

But Sir Dan Moynihan remains the country’s highest-paid academy chain boss – with a salary of at least £440,000 for running 44 schools at the Harris Federation.

The Holland Park school accounts also reveal that there have been a number of “significant defects”, including loose stone panels and “glass breakages”, to the school building at a time of funding cuts.

Holland Park, which has around 1,400 pupils, became a flagship school for comprehensive education when it opened in 1958. It became known as “the socialist Eton” after a number of left-wing politicians, including former Labour cabinet member Tony Benn, sent their children to the school.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), told Schools Week: “It’s very hard to see how huge salaries can be justified, particularly when considered against headteacher remuneration in similar local authority schools.”

In 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) sent the academy chain a letter asking it to justify the high salaries of its executives. It was one of the first trusts to be singled out by the government.

A DfE spokesperson said: “Academy trust salaries should reflect the individual responsibility and must be justifiable, which is clearly set out in the 2018 Academies Financial Handbook.

“This applies to all trusts and we have already challenged Holland Park on their executive pay.”

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They added: “We are aware of the building issues at Holland Park and are keeping in touch with the local authority and academy as they work to negotiate a solution. We have received assurances that both parties are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff.”

Holland Park School Trust has been approached for a comment.

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