Guidance to support academy trusts setting levels of pay for executive leaders.


Setting executive salaries: guidance for academy trusts



Who is this publication for?

This guidance is for:

  • trust boards
  • chairs of trustees
  • academy remuneration committees
  • chief financial officers
  • accounting officers/chief executive officers


This guidance will help academy trusts to:

  • make robust, fair, reasonable and defensible decisions about executive pay
  • identify the key points for consideration when setting executive salaries
  • determine a fair remuneration package that appropriately reflects the level of challenge and responsibility of the role
  • justify and be accountable for decisions around executive pay

This guidance applies to salaries for:

  • chief executive officer/accounting officer
  • chief financial officer/finance director
  • executive head teacher/principal
  • any other executive leadership positions

While academy trusts are free to set their own salaries for staff, high pay in the academies sector has been a divisive issue that has been a topic of media scrutiny, and boards should be conscious that their use of public money must represent the best value for money.

This guidance aims to support trusts in making decisions about pay and further enable boards to be confident about, and accountable for, these decisions.

You can read a message from Lord Agnew and Eileen Milner about levels of pay in the academy sector.

Published 9 July 2019