An US company founded by the chairman of a London-based academies trust has been paid more than £125,000 by the trust over the past two academic years, its accounts reveal. Aspirations Unlimited International (AUI) was paid for its “intellectual property and materials plus consultancy support”, which included travel and subsistence costs for its founder, Dr Russ Quaglia.
Quaglia is the chairman of the Aspirations Academies Trust (AAT) which, as we reported last month, runs nine academies in the south of England. The trust’s 2013-14 accounts say that AUI charged AAT “at or below cost” for its services, meaning the firm says it did not make a profit.
The academy chain said the fees included the provision of surveys and resources, extensive support and training in their use, speakers at senior leadership conferences and travel and accommodation for Quaglia, whose commitment “goes far beyond what could reasonably be expected for a chairman”.
Nevertheless, the AAT seems to be an organisation to keep an eye on.