More than 100 council employees in the Eastlondonlines boroughs were paid more than £100,000 in 2013-14, according to figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance ‘“Town Hall Rich List”.
This includes 11 school academy staff whose pay is unregulated by the local authorities despite being funded by the taxpayer. One executive of the Harris Foundation collected £375,611.
Tower Hamlets Council paid 33 staff more than £100,000, Hackney paid 25, Croydon 24 and Lewisham 19. The figure for Tower Hamlets is the seventh highest in London.
A Tower Hamlets spokesperson said: “We believe that the salaries paid to senior management represent good value for money for the taxpayer – and help ensure that the council can recruit and retain the best people for the job.”
The council is tasked with making cuts of £63 million over the next three years.
Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance Jonathan Isaby said: “The point of this research is to promote transparency and to allow taxpayers across the country to compare their council and its services to neighbouring authorities.”
“Taxpayers will not begrudge good pay and perks for employees where services are run efficiently and costs are kept down, but taxpayers will now be able to judge whether their council is delivering value for money and can demand improvement if necessary.”
Under the Localism Act 2011, councillors vote on and publish online an annual statement of their council’s policies on pay, including salaries for senior council officials.
No such obligation exists for staff in the private companies that many public services have been contracted to.
According to the same Taxpayers’ Alliance report, 12 school teachers and academy executives earned over £150,000 in 2013-14 in Croydon, Hackney, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets. This includes the principal of the Bethnal Green Academy, the school attended by four female pupils who left the UK to join ISIS in Syria.
Swanlea School is less than a mile from Bethnal Green Academy, and does not have academy status. It had no employees earning over £100,000, despite teaching more students and having an “Outstanding” Ofsted Rating.
At least 110 school staff were paid over £150,000 in the UK. Mark Keary, principal of the Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets was the third highest earner in the country, according to the study, earning £220,000 in the year 2013-2014.
This reflected a 30 per cent increase in his salary from around £170,000 in 2011-12. This wage exceeds Prime Minister David Cameron’s.
Conisborough College in Lewisham paid their head teacher Robert Ellis £155,332, one of the highest wages for a state school.
Academies are publicly funded like state schools but not regulated by local authorities, allowing their teachers to have higher wages funded by the taxpayer.
Clapton Girls Academy in Hackney paid their head teacher, Cheryl Day, £165,000 in 2013-14, nearly £100,000 more than the average secondary school head teacher in the UK.
The Croydon-based Harris Federation paid nine of their employees over £150,000 including their Chief Executive, Sir Daniel Moynihan, who received £375,611. They have a total of 20 staff on over £100,000.
The Harris Federation controls London’s biggest group of academy schools. The Harris Federation have previously come under criticism for high wages, and their founder’s political donations to David Cameron and the Conservative Party, totaling over £900,000 to date.
Academies have undergone dramatic growth from 203, in 2010, to 3,420 conversions since the coalition Government came to power. Academies now account for over half of all secondary schools in the UK.
Chris Keats, General Secretary of the NAS/UWT teachers’ union, said: “The stories of six-figure salaries, bonus and benefit packages for increasing numbers of head teachers at a time when teachers have faced deep cuts to their pay and are facing increasing barriers to pay progression, are deeply concerning.”
“The fault lies with the system created by this Government. It was encouraged in the coalition and continues to encourage a culture of paying head teachers what they want and teachers what you can get away with.”
A spokesman for the Harris Federation said it had “transformed some of London’s hardest to improve schools”.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance also published the names of council employees who earn over £150,000, with 17 across the Croydon, Lewisham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets boroughs.
Croydon Council has four staff members earning over £150,000: Nathan Elvery, Chief Executive; Paul Greenhalgh, Executive Director of Children, Families & Learning; Dr Mike Robinson, Director of Public Health and Hannah Miller, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director Adult Services, Health and Housing.
Hackney Council has six staff members earning more than £150,000 including Chief Executive Tim Shields and Alan Wood, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services.
Lewisham Council has five staff members being paid more than £150,000: Frankie Sulke, Executive Director of Children and Young People, Janet Senior, Executive Director of Resources and Regeneration, Aileen Buckton, Executive Director of Community Services, Kevin Sheenan, Executive Director of Customer Services and Robert Ellis the head teacher of Conisborough College.
In Tower Hamlets two council staff members are paid more than £150,000, but only one is named in the report: Stephen Halsey, Head of Paid Service; Corporate Director, Communities, Localities and Culture.
Croydon, Hackney and Lewisham councils had not responded to requests for comment on pay for senior management at the time of publication.
NHS Foundation Trust bosses were also identified. There is 41 staff across the borough’s authorities that earn over £150,000. This included four employees on over £200,000.
Matthew Patrick, incoming Chief Executive of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, got paid £457,000 which included £359,000 in pension related benefits on top of his £100,000 salary.
The NHS is expected to make year-on-year efficiency gains over the next four years, equating to £20 billion by 2014-15. Junior doctors are threatened with longer working hours, including weekends with no pay rise.
By Henry Longden and Rosie Slater
Follow Henry Longden on Twitter @HenryLongden
Follow Rosie Slater Twitter @RosieSlats