Head teacher of a state school dubbed the ‘socialist Eton’ sees his pay double to £260,000-a-year
- Colin Hall is believed to be the third best-paid academy head teacher in the UK
- His salary doubled in seven years and he received a £10,000 pay rise last year
- Holland Park in Kensington has three more employees who earn above £100,000
The head teacher of a state school dubbed the ‘socialist Eton’ is being paid at least £260,000 a year despite government calls for salary restraint.
Colin Hall is thought to be the third best-paid academy head in the country – despite only being responsible for a single school, Holland Park in Kensington.
Annual accounts published in trade magazine Schools Week show his salary has doubled in just seven years, and in the last year he got a pay rise of around £10,000.
The school earned its nickname because of its history of educating the children of rich socialists, who are wealthy enough to afford a house in the expensive catchment area.
Colin Hall is thought to be the third best-paid academy head in the country – despite only being responsible for a single school, Holland Park in Kensington
Former pupils include the four children of Tony Benn, the son of former Labour home secretary Roy Jenkins, and Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.
Mr Hall’s salary will raise eyebrows because the school was one of a number to receive a government letter last year urging pay restraint.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘A talented headmaster can really turn a school around, but when taxpayers’ money is being spent it’s important that a sense of proportion is maintained.
‘Like in any profession, it’s important that top pay is reserved for those who excel in the job and that failure isn’t rewarded.’
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary at the National Education Union, added: ‘It’s very hard to see how huge salaries can be justified, particularly when considered against head teacher remuneration in similar local authority schools.’
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According to the accounts, Mr Hall’s pay rose from between £245,000 to £250,000 in 2017 to between £260,000 to £265,000 last year – a rise of at least £10,000.
His pay works out at around £186 per pupil – way above the £13.75 per-pupil received by Sir Dan Moynihan, the country’s highest-paid academy boss, who earned at least £440,000 for running 44 schools last year at the Harris Federation.
Holland Park has another three employees on more than £100,000, including accounting officer David Chappell, who was paid between £180,000 and £185,000.
The accounts also reveal that Holland Park trust is arguing over who pays the bill for ‘significant defects’ such as ‘loose’ stone panels and ‘glass breakages’ to its £80 million building, which was finished in 2012.
The stone façade has not been properly secured, making the heavy panels ‘loose and prone to falling off’, while flooding has caused ‘potential irreparable damage’ to the swimming pool.
The school (pictured) earned its nickname because of its history of educating the children of rich socialists, who are wealthy enough to afford a house in the expensive catchment area
It comes after the Department for Education’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) wrote to Holland Park and other trusts paying at least one person a salary of over £150,000.
It demanded information about the ‘process’ and ‘rationale’ for setting salaries at this level, requesting information about the responsibilities staff have.
Any academies ignoring the request face being penalised in a new ‘financial capability assessment’ due to be launched next year or 2020 at the latest.
Holland Park, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, was one of the first comprehensive schools to be opened in the UK in 1958.
Among the former teachers at the school are Christine Blower, who recently stepped down from being the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.
Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker, is a governor.
A spokesman for the DfE said trust salaries should ‘reflect the individual responsibility and must be justifiable’.
He added: ‘We are aware of the building issues at Holland Park and are keeping in touch with the local authority and academy as they work to negotiate a solution. We have received assurances that both parties are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff.’
The school did not respond to a request for comment.
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