Principal pay poser

22nd December 2017 at 00:00
A new study questions the link between FE principals’ pay levels and performance

Whatever the type of educational institution you work in, it’s safe to presume that funding has been getting ever more stretched in recent years. Thank god there are dedicated professionals who are willing to push themselves outside working hours to ensure young people don’t suffer, eh?

Wrong. That’s what Education and Training Foundation boss David Russell argued last week. “We must not hold out the ‘hero’ model of teaching as a sustainable one, or one to be widely emulated,” he wrote. “That way we not only drive teachers away from our profession by creating impossible standards, we also risk letting policymakers off the hook.”

But what of college leaders? While much has been made of the cult of the superhead in schools, their counterparts in FE have attracted less scrutiny. But perhaps surprisingly, given the sprawling regional colleges many of them run, the CEO has a direct impact on student outcomes, according to the Centre for Vocational Education Research at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Before governors rush to entice the next cohort of super-principals, it’s worth noting that LSE’s researchers found no link between leaders’ pay and performance – which will be music to the ears of Andrew Adonis, given his campaign against excessive remuneration for university vice chancellors.

It’s important to remember that college leaders do a tough job. Those who do a good job deserve credit and fair – but not excessive – reward.


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