Wakefield school boss paid £25,000 a month

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A chain of academy schools paid its temporary boss £127,000 for five months’ work via his private company, it has emerged.

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) paid the equivalent of over £25,000 a month for the services of Mike Ramsay as interim chief executive between March and August last year, latest accounts show.

The cash was paid to Hi Tech Group Ltd, a company controlled by Mr Ramsay. The company was also paid to provide IT services to the trust, which runs 21 schools.

WCAT said Ramsay’s pay was in line with market rates and proper tender processes were followed when awarding contracts.

Accounts for the financial year ending August 31, 2016, show that payments to Hi Tech Group over the 12 months totalled £295,926.

The financial report said: “The payments cover the provision of IT services to Wakefield City Academy, trust adviser services, interim CEO services and the development of bespoke software.”

The overall amount included £127,153 for “interim chief executive services” from Mr Ramsay for five months between March and July 31, 2016, WCAT confirmed.

It also included £46,101 for Mr Ramsay previously being an “executive adviser” to the trust between September 2015 and March 2016.

After July, Mr Ramsay was then employed directly by WCAT as chief executive on a fixed-term basis. The contract runs until August 31 this year.

A WCAT spokesman said: “The remuneration package covering the period March 2016 to August 31, 2017, is in line with the market.”

Last October, WCAT defended making payments to companies linked to Mr Ramsay after details first emerged.