An academy trust boss has stepped down after a government investigation found payments totalling £145,006 were made to a company he owned without tax or national insurance deductions.
An Education and Skills Funding Agency investigation published this week revealed that Education for the 21st Century trust failed to make the deductions on payments totalling £145,006 to a firm owned by chief executive Paul Murphy.
The payments, for his services as CEO, ran from 2014 and were paid on top of Murphy’s salary as a headteacher. The transactions were not declared in the trust’s 2015-16 accounts.
Trust failed to deduct tax from £145k payments to CEO’s company
The cracks in the English school system are growing. So is the evidence that children are falling through them. Our report this week that four academy chains including the high-performing Harris Federation are losing between 5% and 7% of pupils in the run-up to GCSEs raises questions to which the schools, Ofsted and the government must now provide answers.
While the number of children leaving schools when they are aged 15 or 16 is rising nationally (from less than 0.1% seven years ago to 2% this year), and some large local authorities have seen rises of 4-5%, academies are losing more pupils than other types of schools. Guardian research this summer showed that the majority of schools that issued more than 20% of pupils with a fixed-term exclusion in 2016-17 were also academies.
The Department for Education has named the 125 academy trusts that paid at least one salary of more than £150,000 last year.
The list is published in the Consolidate Annual Report and Accounts, which collates data from the more than 7,000 academies in England for the academic year 2016-17.
In the previous year, 121 trusts paid at least one salary of £150,000, representing 4.1 per cent of the sector.
The 125 trusts paying this much in 2016-17 represented 4 per cent of the sector.
The number of trusts paying at least one person more than £100,000 rose from 873 in 2015-16 to 941 in 2016-17.
Professor Richard Hatcher, BCU
We need to open up a discussion about what local democratic accountability means. The fundamental principle should be that every citizen has a stake in, and therefore should have a voice in, their local school system as well as their local school. An elected local authority can make that possible. But local authorities aren’t very democratic. In fact they tend to exclude popular participation in strategic decision-making. So the discussion about a genuinely democratically accountable local school system has to go hand in hand with a discussion about participatory democracy in local government.
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he number of academy trusts that ran a deficit has increased, with a total shortfall between them of £65 million, new Department for Education accounts reveal.
There were 185 single or multi-academy trusts in deficit in the 2016-17 – up from 167 a year earlier.
The total cumulative deficit across these trusts was £65 million – up from £50 million the previous year.
However, the level of surplus cash across the academies sector has also grown to £2.4 billion – up from £2.2 billion in 2015-16.