The former CEO of The Barnfield Federation was the highest paid further education principal in the country, Luton News can reveal.
Figures from the Skills Funding Agency’s annual college accounts show that Sir Peter Birkett was paid £228,000 in the 2012-13 academic year- a pay packet that tops every other FE head in England.
Sir Peter’s pay jumped £20,000 from the previous academic year, while he was also given £17,000 ‘benefits in kind’ and a £32,000 pension contribution.
Alone the basic salary was £85,500 higher than the Prime Minister’s annual pay.
A college spokesperson said: “Barnfield Federation is a group of companies comprising a college, five academies/schools, a shared service company and other limited companies.
“The salary published in the college accounts 2012-2013 was that of the CEO of the Federation at that time, and who is no longer a Federation employee.”
The revelation comes after the SFA issued a damning report in February on “irregular and improper” spending during Sir Peter’s tenure as CEO.
The report found that £2,124 was spent on three marble plaques to commemorate Sir Peter’s knighthood, while £10,000 was blown on annual staff parties- nearly £2,000 of which was for alcohol.
Sir Peter announced his departure from the federation in July and joined GEMS Education UK & Europe in September.
Just three months later he resigned, stating that a Department for Education investigation into his conduct would be a “distraction”.