Bradford

Inquiry into Outwood Grange Academy head teacher's pay

A head teacher is being investigated after it emerged he was being paid for consultancy work at other schools on top of his £130,000 salary.

Michael Wilkins, head of Outwood Grange Academy in Wakefield, received almost £100,000 extra for work at schools in Harrogate and Doncaster in 2009.

Wakefield Council said some of the additional consultancy work should have been covered by his agreed salary.

Outwood Grange said it would continue to work with other schools.

The council said its investigation was trying to determine whether he was being paid more in consultancy fees than agreed or spending too much time away from his main role.

'Open and transparent'

A spokesman said: "Full clarity on the element linked to consultancy is being covered within the ongoing review, along with the extent to which Mr Wilkins fulfilled his full-time role as opposed to these duties being undertaken by other staff during this period."

It emerged Mr Wilkins was paid £97,300 for work as a national leader of education in the year before Outwood Grange became an independent academy in September 2009.

National leaders of education are described as "outstanding head teachers or principals who, together with the staff in their schools, use their skills and experience to support schools in challenging circumstances".

Bernadette Livesey, the council's director of legal and democratic services, said internal auditors uncovered the external payments and carried out a detailed review, which was reported to the audit committee in November.

She added: "We have done, and are doing, all that we should to pursue this issue.

"As a responsible council, we strongly believe that the use of public money should be open and transparent."

A statement issued on behalf of Outwood Grange governors and Michael Wilkins said: "Local authorities have praised the results obtained by Outwood teachers through the NLE programme and during that time the teaching staff at Outwood have also continued to deliver year on year record results for our own pupils.

"We are determined to carry on supporting the NLE programme by working with other schools in more challenging circumstances to improve the provision of education to their students."

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