Year on Year Pay Increases for Headteacher out of line with guidance

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It is and always will be completely independent

Many people have come forward worried that pay increases for Nigel Griffiths and top staff at JKHS are against the guidance of the Academies Financial Handbook

Nigel Griffiths is not only the Headteacher of John Kyrle High School but he is also the Accounting Officer.

John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form which, being an Academy, runs as a Limted Company. As such, each year, they submit their accounts to be made public at Companies House.

Academies are supposed to adhere to the Academies Financial Handbook (click to view) and in point 2.31 it clearly states "executive pay and benefits should not increase at a faster rate than that of teachers, in individual years and over the longer term".

The Academies Financial Handbook on its cover clearly says it is for "academy members, trustees, accounting officers, chief financial officers and auditors".

So, what is the increase of pay and benefits that Teachers have had that executive pay should not increase at a faster rate than?
1) Teachers have effectively had a pay freeze since 2010
2) A fight to remove a 1% pay cap in 2017
3) It said that some may or may not receive up to 3.5% in 2018 or 2019
...that's it.

SO... how can it be explained that Nigel Griffiths has had multiple and repeated large pay rises? Many people have been in touch pointing out the following evidence of exactly that. This seems to be simple proof that there is PLENTY of funds that John Kyrle COULD invest in mental health, mental health support services within the school, and in education resources such as staff and materials. These hard to come by funds are clearly not being used to benefit students.

Remember that Nigel Griffiths has an Operational Headteacher to run the school day to day, meaning he doesn't have to do that.

Nigel Griffiths' increasing wages are as follows (taken from JKHS' own completely public yearly accounts)

£145,000 - £150,000 Year ending August 2020 (Pension £30,000 - £35,000)
£140,000 - £145,000 Year ending August 2019 (Pension £20,000 - £25,000)
£140,000 - £145,000
Year ending August 2018 (Pension £20,000 - £25,000)
£140,000 - £145,000 Year ending August 2017 (Pension £20,000 - £25,000)
£130,000 - £135,000 Year ending August 2016 (Pension £15,000 - £20,000)
£120,000 - £125,000 Year ending August 2015 (Pension £15,000 - £20,000)
£130,000 - £135,000 Year ending August 2014 (Pension £20,000 - £25,000)
£125,000 - £130,000 Year ending August 2013 (Pension £20,000 - £25,000)
£120,000 - £125,000 Year ending August 2012
£110,000 - £120,000 Year ending August 2011

So, when teaching staff are not getting increases, Nigel Griffiths is supposed to oversee as Accounting Officer that he does not have pay and benefits that "increase at a faster rate than that of teachers" and yet his pay rises are clear and large, way out of line with anything that teachers have received.

Is Nigel Griffiths being paid more than other Headteachers in the region? Yes. A comparison follows further down this page.

Anyone can verify these numbers, plus the fact that Nigel Griffiths is the Accounting Officer (he signs as such in the accounts), simply by cross checking at Companies House's records for John Kyrle High School

It has also been pointed out by many that Nigel Griffiths has David Boyd as an "Operational Headteacher" apparently this title implies he doing a lot of Nigel Griffiths' job. Plus the fact that so many people claim they can't get to see Nigel Griffiths (including this group), it begs the question what Nigel Griffiths does, how his role overlaps with David Boyd's, and why JKHS needs to spend a quarter of a million pounds on their 'top two'. As of the last published accounts David Boyd is on £100,000-£110,000.

The ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency, who fund Academies like JKHS) have thresholds set when an academy has two or more staff who are being paid between £100,000 and £150,000 and it states that when this is true of an academy, that they are among the top 3% of highly paid academies for executive pay in the whole country.

JKHS are in that top 3% of the whole country despite only being a single academy in a small market town in rural Herefordshire. (Note that JKHS are in the company of some very large schools and multi-academies).

The closest regional pay we could find for the 'top two' at other academies, for example, in 2018 was a total of £165,000 which is about £85,000 less than JKHS.

Even comparing to the next highest paid nearby, JKHS spends £85,000 more on its 'top two', there is also a very strong case for Nigel Griffiths not being needed if David Boyd is running the school, which would free up £145,000. Other academies, even ones overseeing multiple schools don't seem to effectively have two headteachers like John Kyrle does.

John Kyrle High School at the end of Summer 2019 have looked for voluntary redundancies, people talk of them looking for about 6 redundancies and accepting about 12 (even though it is said they only needed about 6).

So, cuts at JKHS have apparently resulted in long term teaching assistants now being out of a job. Plus it is said that newly qualified teachers are not getting their contracts renewed. It has also been reported that after school Adult Education has been cut, subsequently only with rooms on the premises being offered for these activities for anyone wishing to put them on privately - all this will be confirmed in due course. It has been mentioned by some that many staff were asked to re-apply for their own positions with associated distress caused.

It should also be noted that in addition to David Boyd as "Operational Headteacher", JKHS also has a Deputy Headteacher, and 4 Assistant Headteachers ....this is way more top heavy in management structure than any other local secondary academy. Why? Why does it need to be?

This top heavy management structure is expensive. It begs the question if JKHS had a more typical management structure, with pay in line with others in the area, would 2019's "cuts" be needed? Probably not. These cuts are commented as many as being as result of the school leadership spending £187,000 on legal fees attacking the proper process followed by a school in a neighbouring county from opening its own sixth form. The school took on the South West Regional School's Commissioner and the High Court Judge in question dismissed the school's arguments and their attack aimed at Dene Magna school.

What has this got to do with Mental Health and the school's refusal to engage in a simple meeting when requested to? Well, if the Headteacher and his Chair of Trustees seem happy to go against the principles laid out in the Academies Financial Handbook, perhaps it is not surprising that neither of them are willing to engage about the request for a meeting about mental health from over 300 regular parents and members of the community.

Mental Health issues at the school are being pointed out, but luckily, people have positive suggestions for ways the school can improve things quite easily, these can benefit pupils and parents, and of course in turn can help the school itself.

Most improvements won't cost money, which is great news, but further high-impact improvements can certainly be brought about with funding. Support staff such as potential full time counsellors at the school for example, can easily be paid for by addressing executive pay at the school.

The request for a simple public meeting to talk about Mental Health with the school is backed by 100s of parents and members of the community, it has the backing of teachers, and of mental health professionals.

The group would like to pass on heartfelt regards for teachers, teaching assistants and support staff who lost their jobs at the beginning of the summer. Plus, we extend our thanks to all the individual subject teachers who do a great job of educating and supporting children at JKHS. We await the Senior Leadership at JKHS to engage, yet so far they have refused to despite it being their duty to engage with parents and the community. Read more in a quick catch up here.


For extra background, here is an example of the other local schools' Headteacher pay compared to John Kyrle for the finanical year ending 2017. The headteachers of the following local academies and their wages are listed:

Hereford Sixth Form £100,000 - £110,000
John Masefield £85,000 - £90,000
Whitecross £70,000 - £80,000
Dean Magna £90,000 - £95,000
Nigel Griffiths, JKHS, £140,000 - £145,000
(With an additional "Operational Headteacher" doing the day to day running of the school, himself on wages similar to the highest paid actual Headteacher in these other schools).