Chief reporter John Dickens launches our new weekly column with some of the most interesting findings from academy trust accounts for the 2015-16 financial year. An academy trust chief executive who resigned after a misconduct investigation received a payout of of more than £85,000. Denise Shepherd was suspended as chief executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), which runs 10 schools in Kent and Portsmouth, in May last year. It was reported in a national newspaper that a whistleblower raised concerns over her dealings with staff. An independent investigation found no further action was required, but Shepherd later resigned and a new interim chief executive was appointed in July. Accounts show Shepherd was handed a termination notice payment – which included a payment in lieu of notice – totalling £85,833. The payment pushed her remuneration for the 2015-16 year into the £295,000 to £300,000 bracket. She was paid in the £195,000 to £200,000 bracket the previous year. Accounts state the “high-profile case” also resulted in “significant and unexpected” legal costs paid for from the reserves of one of its schools, Rochester grammar. The trust board planned to “consider options” on distributing the cost among its other academies. A spokesperson…http://schoolsweek.co.uk/accounts-watch-academy-trust-chief-gets-85000-severance-pay-out/
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