Teaching union attacks £550,000 payoff for executive

The Government’s teacher training agency faced criticism yesterday after it emerged a top executive was handed a exit package worth half a million pounds.

The sum was one of several redundancy and exit packages awarded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) over the last two years, together worth almost £7.4m.

Leanne Hedden, the TDA’s executive director for supporting delivery was awarded a total “exit package” worth £549,457 on leaving in March this year.

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The sum, which included pension scheme payments, was “compensation for loss of office” when the TDA moved from London to Manchester, according to the agency’s annual report.

Ms Hedden was one of three members of the agency’s senior leadership team that chose to take early retirement at the time of the move, the report shows.

The two others, who both left last year, were Habte Hagos, director of finance and procurement, who received an exit package worth £109,589 and Lorraine Chapman, director of corporate services, who received £86,715. The payments were based on their former salaries and years of service.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union told the TES: “The TDA seems to have accepted these costs because of the long-term savings they say will happen, but this money is being paid out at the same time as school budgets are being slashed.”