The academies couple who contribute – and take out – a lot. Warwick Mansell

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A married couple holding senior positions in an academy chain with nine schools were paid nearly £400,000 between them in salary, expenses and pensions contributions last academic year, despite the trust saying its finances are tight, Education Guardian can disclose.

Steve Kenning, chief executive of the west London-based Aspirations AcademiesTrust, received £225,000-£230,000 in 2013-14, an increase of at least 32% on 2012-13, its latest accounts reveal.

Paula Kenning, whom the trust bills as its “founder and lead executive principal” and is also principal of one of its schools, Rivers academy in Hounslow, west London, earned £158,163 in 2013-14, her first full year in the job.

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