Peterborough primary school trust defends £100k salaries

Lime Academy Watergall Primary School , Bretton EMN-180903-150559009
Lime Academy Watergall Primary School , Bretton EMN-180903-150559009

A trust running three Peterborough schools has defended salaries of two top employees - after being asked to justify the pay by the government.

The Department for Education contacted 28 academy trusts across the country with staff who earn £150,000, or two staff that earn more than £100,000.

The Lime Trust - which runs Abbotsmede, Parnwell and Watergall primary schools in Peterborough, as well as a London primary school - sees CEO Lynne Harrowell earn £137,000, and chief operating officer Amanda Daoud earning £102,000.

Academies Minister Lord Agnew said: “The best academies place freedom in the hands of school leaders but with that autonomy comes greater accountability and transparency, which is exactly why I am insistent that the salaries of their executives are justifiable.”

A spokesman for the trust said: “The Lime Trust takes its responsibility to show value for money with public funds very seriously.

“External moderation or advice is taken by the Trust when reviewing pay of all senior leaders to ensure pay remains within appropriate parameters.

“The CEO earned £137,000 last year, within national pay scales. She has responsibility for a Multi Academy Trust of four schools based in two local authorities, over 250 staff and the education of over 1800 children.

“Our Chief Operating Officer, who earned £102,000, manages an over £10m budget and has transformed the finances of our Peterborough schools.

“We are delighted with the work of the headteachers and the progress made in all our Peterborough schools, which our monitoring tells us will be maintained in 2019.

“Lime Academy Watergall is one of the most improved schools in the country moving from a low base in 2016 of 21 per cent of children in Year 6 achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths combined to 64 per cent achieving the expected standard in 2018. This brings the school in line with national averages.”

The trust said it is also working with Peterborough City Council on a £2.6 million expansion of Parnwell Academy, which will be opened ‘in a few weeks.’