Skip to main content

Female headteachers get smaller pay rises than men

News article image

Female teachers still find it harder to make the final leap to headship, and at secondary level they face a smaller pay rise if they do, new analysis reveals today.

One leading unionist said that the study, based on teachers working full-time, provided evidence of the “pernicious glass ceiling” that women can encounter in their careers.

Researchers found that between 2010 and 2014, men and women were equally likely to be promoted from classroom teacher to assistant head and from assistant to deputy. But when it came to stepping up to full headship, 33 per cent of men made the leap compared with just 29 per cent of women.

In secondary schools, male deputies who were promoted internally to become headteachers between 2010 and 2014 received £18,012 more whereas women who had done the same earned an average pay rise of £17,200, a difference of £812. For those deputies taking on the headship of a new school, men enjoyed an average pay rise of £17,698, compared with £16,296 for women, a difference of £1,402. The difference was not as great in primary schools.

Dr Rebecca Allen, director of research organisation Education Datalab, who carried out the analysis of government statistics, said: “If we think about rungs that teachers have to move up to become heads, it’s that jump from deputy to headship where there still appears to be a difference between the chances of men making the move compared to women.

“The greater pay rises for men are hard to explain. It may be that men are paid more because they are taking on schools that are more risky prospects but there might also be an element of bargaining.”

This is an edited version of a story in the 15 January edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full version here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you