Two principals on IfA’s board – but what happens to their £15k paycheques?

One of the two college principals who will sit on the board at the Institute for Apprenticeships has refused to say what will happen to the salary she will receive.

The Department for Education at long last named the eight people who will sit on the IfA’s board on January 27. The roles – which first were advertised last June – attract an annual salary of up to £15,000, which the DfE confirmed would be paid to individual board members rather than their employers.

The new board includes the principals of West Nottinghamshire College, Dame Asha Khemka, and Blackpool and the Fylde College, Bev Robinson.

A spokesperson for Blackpool and the Fylde College told FE Week that Ms Robinson would not be keeping the cash, and that “any additional remuneration received in relation to this role will go to the college”.

However, West Nottinghamshire College refused to say whether Dame Asha would be doing the same.

According to the job adverts, which were posted on the Cabinet Office’s public appointments site by the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the roles involve a commitment of two days per month to “contribute across a range of the Institute’s strategic and governance issues”.

Any additional remuneration received in relation to this role will go to the college

The adverts called for applications from “senior figures with expertise in business, employer representatives, academics, and other senior representatives with expertise in particular aspects of apprenticeships and skills”.

A BIS spokesperson told FE Week last June that the £15,000 salary was higher than the £4,000 currently paid to board members of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which will cease its work when the IfA is up and running.

It’s not clear why the IfA remuneration package is so much bigger.

Membership of one of the DfE’s new technical education panels of professionals, which will help develop new technical qualifications, comes with a paycheque of £1,000 a quarter, according to adverts posted on behalf of the DfE last month, while panel chairs will earn £2,000 a quarter.

Crucially though, that cash will go to the chairs’ or panel members’ employers rather than the individuals themselves.

In return, chairs and panel members will be expected to meet every four to six weeks, and take on up to one day of additional work a month.

According to the most recent college accounts published by the Skills Funding Agency, Dame Asha was the third highest-paid college principal in 2014/15, with a salary of £245,000 – a sum that increased to £254,000 in 2016/17, according to her employer.

Bev Robinson

She is principal and chief executive of the West Nottinghamshire College Group, which is made up of eight organisations including the college itself.

West Nottinghamshire College was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in June 2012, and has around 26,000 learners.

Meanwhile, Ms Robinson’s salary of £150,000 made her joint-50th highest-paid out of 330 college principals.

Blackpool and the Fylde College has around 18,000 learners, and was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in October 2013.

The first deputy director for the new body, which will police apprenticeships, has also been appointed.

Ana Osbourne, who used to work for BIS’ enterprise directorate, will be the IfA’s new deputy director of approvals, with responsibility for overseeing the approvals process for standards.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited draft operational plan for the IfA is currently out for consultation, until February 27.

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