Durand Academy: The primary with the £200k head

Henry Stewart's picture
My thanks to @miconm (Micon Metcalfe) who earlier tonight tweeted: “I love a good set of academy accounts. Wow-ee!”, linking to the Durand Academy Trust audited accounts. Durand Academy, a primary school in Lambeth (which has extended to Years 7 & 8 of a secondary school), has featured in LSN before. Here are some highlights of the accounts:

The headteacher, Sir Gregory Martin, received a pay rise of £72,500 – taking his salary from £128,322 in 2012 to £200,822 in 2013

This represented a 56.5% increase in his salary

The second highest salary rose from under £80,000 to between £115,000 and £120,000

The Trust paid £170,000 in “Governance Costs” (though this was a fall from the £578,513 figure of the year before). The governors meet 3 times a year

(For comparison the 8-form secondary I chair spends under £5,000 in governance costs, and governors meet an average 12 times a year, including sub-committees.)

The academy trust appears to have made a surplus of £1.64 million (income of £7.23 million against expenditure of £5.59 million)

This surplus was after spending £98,000 on “consultancy fees” and £255,000 on “management consultancy”

£243,000 (up from £186,000 in 2012) was paid for marketing and promotion to a company majority owned by Kevin Craig (Vice-chair of governors). (This was probably part of the £255k detailed above rather than additional to it)

However legal and professional fees were down from £455,000 in 2012 to £23,000 in 2013

The Trust had £2.4 million in the bank at 31 August 2013

The school’s results are impressive, with 89% achieving level 4 in reading, writing and maths in 2013

However Durand Primary school is now rated as Good by Ofsted – it was Outstanding as a maintained primary.

I shall not add any comments, except to note that I find these facts – all set out clearly in the accounts – a little surprising. This is, after all, public money. (Be careful in comments below. Take note of the amount the school is prepared to spend on legal costs.)


My thanks to @miss_mcinerney, @salfordmatt, @julesdaulby & @kalinski1970 for their tweets – which pointed me to the key parts of the accounts.
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Andy V's picture
Wed, 07/05/2014 - 07:38

Henry, Many thanks for highlighting these eye watering facts. It is one thing to get passed an audit by accountants but I wonder what question the NAO and/or appropriate parliamentary select committees (e.g. PAC, Education) might make of the situation.

Martin Richardson's picture
Wed, 07/05/2014 - 08:18

Were I a parent of a child attending this school, I might ask why it generated a surplus of over £1,500 per pupil in a single year. Might some of this not be best spent on improving their education further?

Roger Titcombe's picture
Wed, 07/05/2014 - 08:21

Henry is right to warn against comments. Like Henry it may be best not to.

R Smith's picture
Sat, 14/06/2014 - 13:00

I’m new to the Network and late coming to this discussion. The Durand boarding school venture is a story with many interesting facets. In this, my first contribution, I am simply responding to Andy wondering what PAC or NAO would say. In fact, they have already done an analysis and published findings a year ago. The focus was on the project as a whole rather than on the salary of the Executive Head. Still, I think that members of LSN will find it all the more interesting. One of the findings relates to the DfE’s degree of oversight and scrutiny of the project before approving funding - a theme that has wider, topical resonance! The sums at stake are large. This is a link to one of the media/press articles that covered the story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23126304

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Wed, 07/05/2014 - 15:49

Objective comments:
Anomalies may be due to the consultancy funding required to develop
a) the boarding facility for years 7 and 8 in Sussex ( cited on p.3 of the OFSTED report) and
b) the provision for 2 year olds from April 2014.
It's not your average British Primary ....its a combined primary/middle school with over 1,000 pupils ( 4 form entry) with a healthy CVA of 101.3 serving children of predominantly Black African or Black Caribbean heritage in London and a school free school meal rate of 43% ...pretty impressive I'd say.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 07/05/2014 - 16:56

Rosie - Durand has the lowest proportion of pupils with SEN statements/on school action plus in Lambeth: 3.8%. The Lambeth average is 12.6%.

Other Lambeth primary schools performed better in 2013 Sats with the same FSM rate or higher eg:

Henry Fawcett, 97% reached Level 4, 46.8% FSM, 13.4% SEN/school action plus

Vauxhall, 95% reached Level 4, 52.7% FSM, 20% SEN/school action plus

St John's Angell Town, 91% reached Level 4, 43.7% FSM, 15.3% SEN/school action plus

Barry Wise's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 09:43

Janet, the lower proportion on SA+ doesn't tell you necessarily that the intake is less challenging. A school with a v. experienced SENCO, well-trained learning support staff could conceivably have fewer on SA+ because they are able to get students to progress well without external help. The decision to step-up from SA to SA+ is normally one taken by the school when the student is not progressing satisfactorily.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 11:41

Barry - point taken. The latest Ofsted for Durand said:

"The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported at school action is above average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is below average."

School performance tables only give data for SA+/Statements so unless Ofsted comment on school action figures it's impossible to discover the info easily. Ofsted doesn't always make it clear what it means by "special needs" when it comments on the proportion in a school. Perhaps Sir Michael Wilshaw should give a standard definition (eg special needs = SA+/Statements, or SA/SA+/Statements) and ensure inspectors stick to it.

That said, Gove tried to make political capital out of Durand having MORE special needs pupils than the average AND getting all pupils up to Level 5 or above. Perhaps he meant low-level special needs because the SA+/Statement proportion was the lowest in Lambeth. Either way, he was wrong.


Andy V's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 12:08

Janet, I fear that the key stats you are lacking are detailed in RoL to which there is no public domain access.

Andy V's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 07:51


In the AFH (see link below) are interesting in relation to much of what Henry has highlighted (including the apparent level of surplus/retained reserves). This does not in any way imply any impropriety rather they are purely aspects of interest.


Barry Wise's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 08:03

This school is indeed unusual. Few primaries have one swimming pool, let alone two!
But important context for the surplus/retained reserves is surely that the school runs a business in the form of a gym/leisure centre and a block of flats, which brings in a large income. From reading various articles about the school it seems as if the idea is to use this income to subsidise the planned boarding. Also. as Rosie says, the school is mid way through a £17m + capital project to build the secondary school, so that probably explains the lawyers fees and some of the consultancy.

Andy V's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 12:07

Thank you Barry, but what is uncertain is (a) rationale for the Head's salary (b) for apparent payments/remuneration to the governing body and (c) level of retained reserves.

I am in no way suggesting impropriety but the amounts are significantly different to what one may refer to as the norm in schools.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 08/05/2014 - 13:12

And don't forget the £28k contribution to the principal's pension pot in 2013. That's £10k more than in 2012.

Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 09/05/2014 - 08:31

Who said: “Whatever one thinks of politicians, it seems wrong that the head of any academy can expect to earn twice the salary of the shadow secretary of state for schools”?

No, it wasn't Tristram Hunt. Neither was it Stephen Twigg of Andy Burnham, both ex-shadows for education.

It was Michael Gove shortly before the last election.


He must have changed his mind.

Adrian Hearle's picture
Tue, 13/05/2014 - 10:22

Is the £230,000 salary package only part of this headmaster's earnings from the school? What is the total figure and should this be more transparent in the financial accounts?

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 13/05/2014 - 12:34

Adrian - thanks for the link to Warwick Mansell's article which asked how much Sir Greg Martin earned via his company GMG.

There are in fact two companies with GMG in their name. Both of them have Sir Greg as a director. In addition, he's just set up a third company Companyfour Ltd.

n 2009, the Telegraph said London Horizons, the not-for-profit set up to provide income for Durand, paid Martin's company, GMG Educational Support Ltd, £146,000 for "management services".

The then chair of governors at Durand told the DT:

"It is true that Mr Martin gets the profits from GMG on top of his head teacher's salary, which is a bit more than £70,000."

Adrian Hearle's picture
Tue, 13/05/2014 - 18:01

I see that in the accounts for London Horizons Limited (the company that runs the leisure centre and accommodation facilities now owned by Durand Education Trust on land formerly owned by Durand Academy) for the year ended 31 March 2012 (the last period for which detailed accounts were published) that it paid £265,123 to GMG-related entities ("GMG Charges" and "GMG Salaries Reimbursement (Gross Wages)"). Although it is not made clear if these payments were all made to the company controlled by Durand Academy's headmaster (Sir Gregory Michael Gerard Martin - hence GMG), GMG Educational Support (UK) Limited, with such large sums involved, can it be right that that we are left to speculate as to what the total compensation package of Durand Academy's headmaster was in 2013? Can anyone do better than a guess?

In questioning Peter Lauener, the Chief Executive of the EFA, about he how exerts oversight, he replied: ".... as is the case for all academies we rely principally on the independent scrutiny from the academy’s external auditors to provide assurance that RPTs [Related Party Transactions] are properly disclosed, and that they are undertaken in accordance with principles set out in the Academies Financial Handbook." The problem is that Durand Academy Trust's auditors do not review the accounts of Durand Education Trust, London Horizons Limited or GMG Educational Support (UK) Limited and may not be aware of any RPTs between these four companies.

Andy V's picture
Tue, 13/05/2014 - 18:06

Thank you for the extra insights Adrian.

It strikes me that it is high time that cases such as this are taken up either by investigative journalists or a right minded MP or two ...

Adrian Hearle's picture
Fri, 16/05/2014 - 07:48

Yes, I expect the tax payer would be very interested to learn that state school headmasters could be earning as much as £300,000, £400,000, or even £500,000 per annum. Does the EFA even know what headmasters are receiving in addition to their salary packages?

… Blog post by Henry Stewart …

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