Seckford Foundation increase salary of highest paid employee to over £200,000 a year

Woodbridge Head Stephen Cole
Highest paid employee?
The 2011 Accounts for the Seckford Foundation available from Companies House reveal that they have increased the salary of their highest paid employee from around £150,000 last year to between £200,000 and £210,000 a year. The highest paid employee now receives a salary at a similar level to the controversial former County Council CEO Andrea Hill who was paid £238,000. The current Suffolk County Council CEO Deborah Cadman is paid £155,000 a year.

The entire Seckford Foundation only has some 221 full time employees and due to a “cost reduction exercise” this number has dropped from 235, including the loss of 7 teachers since the last accounts.

In fact the Foundation made a small profit this year as a result of the cost cutting making a £138,239 profit for 2011 compared with a £543,610 loss in 2010. However the numbers at Woodbridge School have continued to decline from 929 to 906.

The accounts also reveal that the Foundation made grants of only some £24,318 to local schools and other groups. When you consider the salary of the highest paid staff member this does not seem a great deal. Indeed curiously this year they account for £23,431 “staff and office costs” making the 24K donations!

There are also a couple of interesting comments in the accounts about the expansion plans of the Seckford Foundation:
The desire of Suffolk County Council to divest itself from certain activities has led to a number of potential activities being examined during the year including the provision of local library services and expansion of the provision of care homes. Whilst these activities met the charitable objectives of the Foundation these have not been taken further at the current time, largely as a result of changes in policy by Suffolk County Council, but the Governors continue to keep such potential activities under review, not least as part of the current strategic review.
On the issue of Free Schools the accounts comment:
As part of the ongoing commitment the provision of excellence in education in the region two new legal entities were established in the year to facilitate the submission of two separate bids to the Department for Education to open Free Schools in both Saxmundham and Beccles following appeals for support from community groups in the respective towns The Foundation was able to make use of its existing expertise to submit these bids and, following a rigorous interview process for both bids, the Governors were delighted to learn on 10th October  2011 that both bids had been approved to proceed to the next phase of the application process
No mention is made in the accounts of the plans for Stoke by Nayland or Ixworth or the “Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust” the body mentioned in the adverts for staff at Beccles and Saxmundham. A search of the Companies House register reveals that no such company has yet been registered despite it having a logo and advertising for staff...
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