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Perry Beeches head Liam Nolan set to keep his job despite 'second salary' finding

A Birmingham academy “superhead” found to have received two salaries is expected to keep his job as a headteacher.

Liam Nolan has walked away from Perry Beeches The Academy Trust.
Liam Nolan, Perry Beeches The Academy Trust executive headteacher.

The Government is set to break up the Birmingham academy chain which paid a second salary to "superhead" Liam Nolan - but Mr Nolan is expected to keep his headteacher job.

Five academies and free schools run by Perry Beeches The Academy Trust are to be handed over to new managers after an inquiry found Mr Nolan was paid an extra £160,000 over two years on top of his salary of £120,000.

But Mr Nolan is likely to carry on as a headteacher, employed by the new trust.

He will no longer carry out any additional roles, having previously been the Trust’s chief executive and accounting officer.

Management of the schools is expected to pass to West Midlands Academy Trust, which lists David Kershaw, the Cabinet Member for Education on Coventry council, as a director. The deal has not yet been finalised.

It has emerged that the Department for Education has been working on the deal for “some months”, since it first became aware of allegations about financial arrangements at Perry Beeches.

The Education Funding Agency, which oversees education spending for the Government, launched an investigation after it received claims from a whistleblower that what it calls “an additional second salary” was paid to Mr Nolan.

And last week the agency published a report saying that it discovered the trust had made payments of £1.297 million over two years to a business called Nexus Schools Ltd, which in return provides a range of services to the trust - including the services of its chief executive (CEO), Mr Nolan.

Liam Nolan at Perry beeches V school, in Talbot Way, Small Heath.
Liam Nolan at Perry beeches V school, in Talbot Way, Small Heath.

The report said £160,000 had been paid specifically for the work of the chief executive over two years.

It said: “The trust pays Nexus for providing the services of a CEO for Perry Beeches multi-academy trust. Nexus then sub contracts this role to Liam Nolan Ltd, whose sole director is the Accounting Officer.

“The Accounting Officer is also paid for his concurrent role as Executive Headteacher separately through payroll at £120,000 per annum in 2014/15.

“The academy paid Nexus £72,000, including VAT in 2013/14 and £88,800 plus VAT in 2014/15 for the CEO role.”

Mr Nolan has stood down from his chief executive role, and will no longer be accounting officer either.

But Whitehall sources say it will be up to the schools’ new managers whether he carries on as a headteacher, and it is thought likely he will continue to be employed in this capacity.

The trust, which has been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron and former Education Secretary Michael Gove, runs Perry Beeches The Academy and four other secondaries, named Perry Beeches II, III, IV and V.

However, Mr Nolan was also praised by Labour MPs and took part in Labour fundraising events.

In an interview with the Birmingham Mail in 2014, Mr Nolan complained that he was not paid enough . However, at that point he appeared to indicate he was paid only £120,000, telling the Mail: “I am paid a fantastic salary of £120,000. Some headteachers are paid as much or even more than me to run one school. I run four schools and have to look after a budget of £30 million.”

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