THE executive head of the inner-city primary school academy which wants to open a state weekly boarding school on the former St Cuthman’s site at Stedham has been awarded a 56 per cent pay rise, it has been revealed.
The pay rise has taken Sir Greg Martin’s salary to more than £200,000 a year, more than that of the prime minister, Durand accounts have shown.
Head of the Durand Primary Academy in Stockwell, south London, Sir Greg is also the man behind the controversial plan to set up the boarding school at Stedham for secondary-aged pupils from the Stockwell school.
The scheme, which has been given start-up costs of £17.3m from the department for education, has been criticised by both the National Audit Office and Margaret Hodge, who chairs the public accounts committee – who claimed the government failed to take into account the risks associated with the project before earmarking cash for it.
The Durand Education Trust’s accounts show Sir Greg’s salary rose from £128,322 to £200,822. In addition, he received an extra £28,316 in pension contributions. David Cameron earns around £150,000 a year.
The pay rise sparked fury among teachers’ leaders. Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “It is remarkably hard to see how this can possibly be justified in a publicly-funded school when those employed in the public sector are still restricted to a one per cent pay rise.”
A statement from the trust said: “Durand’s executive head does not just run a primary school, but now oversees an early-years school, a junior school, and a middle school which opened in September 2013 and is leading the development of Durand’s pioneering plan for a state boarding school in West Sussex.
“With more than 1,000 children being educated across three school sites, it is a hugely demanding role and governors are proud and privileged to retain the services of such an experienced and dedicated headteacher.”
The controversial boarding school plans for the St Cuthman’s site were refused by the South Downs National Park Authority in December on the grounds it had not been proved there was no scope to meet the demand outside the national park or that its harm to landscape character could be moderated.
The Durand Academy has six months to appeal against the refusal of planning permission by the NPA.
But a spokesman for the NPA said: “We aren’t currently aware of any plans to appeal.
“The owners were given listed building consent for works by Chichester District Council before the NPA came in to existence and we’re working with Chichester District Council to confirm this work is being carried out in accordance with that permission.”