Saturday 20 March 2010

E-ACT boss on £265k is best paid person in school and college education

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The head of a charitable trust that runs eight of the Government’s flagship academies  earns more than the person named as the highest paid in school and college education, it can be disclosed today.

Sir Bruce Liddington, the director general of the Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (E-ACT), was appointed last year on a basic annual salary of £265,000.

That means he overtakes Geoff Russell, the chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council, who emerged as the highest paid in a pay survey conducted by the Times Educational Supplement. (TES).

Mr Russell had topped the pay league with a total remuneration package of £258,343, including a £50,505 pension contribution.

Sir Bruce’ pay package, when bonuses, pension contributions, and health insurance are added, is expected to total more than £300,000 a year.

That is more than double the salary paid to Ed Balls, the schools secretary, who is on £142,000 a year.

As head of the LSC Mr Russell has overall responsibility for distributing a budget of around £11 billion (check) for further education and training.

Sir Bruce is in charge of E-ACT’s budget of around £50 million for the current year, allocated by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

E-ACT is funded almost entirely by government grants. The trust runs eight academies, two in London, three in Birmingham, two in Yorkshire and one in Lincolnshire.

E-ACT is believed to have awarded all its 40 staff a one per cent pay rise this year. In addition Sir Bruce and six department heads who form his senior management team were awarded a five per cent bonus.

Sir Bruce joined E-ACT in February 2009. Accounts filed by EACT at Companies House reveal he earned £154,583 in the seven months until the end August, giving him an annual salary of £265,000.

The accounts show that at least four other EACT employees received more than £100,000 in salaries and benefits during the 18 month period covered by the accounts, and one other received more than £190,000.

The Lincolnshire academy opened before Sir Bruce joined EACT. Seven have opened since his arrival, but much of the groundwork had already been done before he joined the trust.

Before joining EACT, Sir Bruce was a senior civil servant, rising through the ranks at the department of education in its various guises. The last post he held was as Schools Commissioner for England in the DCSF.

As Schools Commissioner, Sir Bruce, 60, was responsible for developing the Governments academy schools programme. He left only weeks after Lord Adonis, the former schools minister who was the architect of the academies policy, was shifted to a new job at the transport ministry.

The departure of both men followed the appointment of Ed Balls as education secretary in Brown’s first cabinet reshuffle in 2007.

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