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News digest 11/3/16: Academy trust executive pay not justified, says Ofsted

11 March 2016 by Henry Ker

Academy trust executive pay not justified? - read more

Academy trust executive pay not justified, says Ofsted

The huge salaries paid to the top executives at some of England's biggest academy schools are not justified by the poor results of their pupils, according to watchdog Ofsted.

Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Sir Michael Wilshaw, raised concerns about weaknesses at seven multi-academy trusts and said that the trusts were sitting on millions of pounds that should be used to raise standards. He said: ‘Given these worrying findings about the performance of disadvantaged pupils and the lack of leadership capacity and strategic oversight by trustees, salary levels for the chief executives of some of these MATs do not appear to be commensurate with the level of performance of their trusts or constituent academies.’

 

Supreme Court ruling on bonus tax

UBS and Deutsche Bank could have to pay tens of millions of pounds in backdated bonus tax to HMRC after a Supreme Court ruling decided that the investment banks’ bonus schemes are not exempt from tax. Bonuses from as long ago as 2004 are covered in the ruling, which is strongly critical of the banks’ continued avoidance.

Lord Reed, in delivering the ruling, said: ‘In our society, a great deal of intellectual effort is devoted to tax avoidance … [they are] sophisticated attempts of the Houdini taxpayer to escape from the manacles of tax.’

 

Third trustee resigns from RSPCA

A third trustee has resigned from animal charity RSPCA, amid claims it is being badly run. Karen Harley’s, Treasurer of the charity, resignation follows that of two other trustees, Christopher Laurence and Sally Phillips, in the last six months. They both cited dissatisfaction at the way the charity is being run in their resignation letters, according to Civil Society News.

The departures of the three trustees continues a period of uncertainty for the charity, which has been without a chief executive for two years since Gavin Grant’s resigned in February 2014.

 

Lack of cyber security knowledge putting companies at risk

Companies’ data and reputation are at risk as they are failing to improve their employees' cyber security knowledge, according to research from Axelos (a joint venture of the government and Capita). Just a quarter of companies feel their training has been ‘very effective’ at changing employee behaviour.

The research suggests organisations are underestimating what impact their staff's knowledge-gap can have on their cyber security – this is despite three-quarters of large organisations suffering a security breach caused by staff in the past year.


Facebook to pay millions in UK tax

Social media giant Facebook is set to pay millions of pounds more tax to HMRC. This is the result of recent approval to changes in its corporate structure in Europe, which will route as revenue from advertisers through the UK, rather than Ireland.

The change is part of the US company’s plan to address recent criticism of tax avoidance in the UK.

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