Hartlepool education chiefs dispute six-figure salary claims

The Hartlepool College of Further Education. Picture by FRANK REID

The Hartlepool College of Further Education. Picture by FRANK REID

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Education chiefs have disputed figures released by a campaign group which claims three people at colleges operating in Hartlepool received remuneration packages of £100,000 or more.

Hartlepool College of Further Education, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Cleveland College of Art and Design have been named in a report released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance into remuneration packages during 2013-14.

Hartlepool Sixth Form College. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool Sixth Form College. Picture by FRANK REID

The information was gathered through a Freedom of Information request alongside analysis of annual statements of accounts and includes salaries and could also include the likes of pension contributions and company cars.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has hit out at funding cuts made to the education sector while remuneration packages for senior staff at some education establishments in the UK remain “generously high.”

However, college chiefs in the town say the figures are out of date with staff who were paid the six-figure sums either having retired or taken pay cuts.

Darren Hankey, of Hartlepool College Further Education, in Stockton Street, said: “I can categorically say that there is not one single individual within this college who earns a six-figure salary, and since I took over in August 2013, efforts have been made to reduce the amounts spent on management costs.

I can categorically ssay that there is not one single individual within this college who earns a six-figure salary.

Darren Hankey

“Not too long ago, the college senior management team comprised of 10 people - this is down to four.

“At Hartlepool College of Further Education we are acutely aware that we have to operate through public funds and we do all we can to use the funds we get as wisely as possible to ensure our learners get the best possible education.”

Hartlepool Sixth Form College also said they had no-one receiving a six-figure sum.

Chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, said: “Taxpayers will not begrudge an inspiring headteacher or world-class academic a good salary if they produce great results and motivate their students, but too often this is not what we find.

“Where institutions fail but financial rewards continue to flow to those at the top regardless, there is clearly a serious problem and taxpayers have every right to be concerned.

“The pay and perks enjoyed by those working at our schools and universities - and indeed across the entire public sector - must more accurately reflect how well they are doing their jobs.”

Cleveland College of Art and Design declined to comment on the figures.