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New benchmarking service now available to guide the remuneration of school trust executive teams

13 October 2021

The Confederation of School Trusts (CST), as the sector body for School Trusts, today releases a salary benchmarking service for executive roles in School Trusts, in conjunction with partners XpertHR, Cendex and Browne Jacobson. This new evidence-base for School Trusts will be built upon year-on-year, ensuring a reliably current and comprehensive annual salary report of executive roles in School Trusts.

Based on data from an XpertHR independent survey, this benchmarking will be a source of welcome support for School Trusts and their trust boards. The full benchmarking service includes granular data across the number of employees and pupils on roll within a trust, and areas such as religious character, region, comparisons of part-time and full-time staff and summaries of pension provision and contribution and health benefits, among other things.

XpertHR already works with other sector bodies throughout the higher education and charity sectors to produce salary benchmark datasets and tools to help boards to make fair, evidence-based decisions about executive reward. This new service for the School Trust sector launches today with a publicly available high-level summary report of some of the key findings from the first salary survey, though the summary report alone does not provide sufficient information to inform decision making. Those who wish to undertake a comprehensive benchmarking exercise by accessing and scrutinising the full survey results can subscribe to the XpertHR Cendex platform, to inform remuneration decisions from this autumn and beyond.  

CST members and all of the school trusts which participated in the benchmarking survey are able to subscribe to Cendex at preferential rates.

Leora Cruddas, chief executive, Confederation of School Trusts, said:

“We are delighted to know this benchmarking service is now available to support School Trust boards make evidence-informed decisions on remuneration. Without comprehensive and representative data, it is increasingly difficult to understand and benchmark the remuneration of different levels of executive roles in the School Trust sector. 

“I am particularly pleased to note that average rates of School Trust CEO pay compared to other relevant industry sectors demonstrates clearly that pay in the School Trust sector is not disproportionate. In fact, pay in the School Trust sector is comparatively lower than other industry sectors, particularly taking into account the level of accountability for School Trust CEOs.”

Jennie Jakubowski, Survey Manager, XpertHR, said:

“XpertHR is pleased to be working with the Confederation of School Trusts, the sector body for School Trusts in England, and supported by Browne Jacobson LLP in creating this resource. We are also very grateful to the more than 120 school trusts which participated in the survey, helping to ensure that the benchmark data is representative.”

Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services, Browne Jacobson LLP, said:

“This benchmarking survey is a really important step for the education sector and provides Boards with added confidence and accountability for the decisions they will need to make on executive salaries.

“It is a core governance duty for Boards to make fair, robust and evidence-based decisions about pay and rewards.  

“Salary benchmarking data is a clear aspect of meeting that expectation so the rationale for Boards to include it in their formal executive salary decision making is clear.”

For further information on the benchmarking service, please contact cendex@xperhr.co.uk or visit: https://cstuk.org.uk/policy-research/executive-salary-benchmarking.

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