Heavenly pay for hellish top jobs

THERE is probably no happier London head than one who works in Kensington and Chelsea. They are offered one of the best recruitment deals in the capital, matching packages given to most senior members of the council.

"We have no problems getting applicants," said a council spokesman. "Governing bodies have access to our recruitment and retention packages.

"These include health insurance and help with transport, travel cards or lease cars which can be anything up to a Mondeo ... it's up to the individual school.

"We also use head hunters, schools can have access to them if they need to use them. Recruitment packages are very much up to individual schools.

"Advertisements are infrequent and we have no problems with attracting aplicants."

St Cuthbert with St Mathias, a primary with 200 pupils in Earls Court, is looking for a new head to start in September. The current incumbent is leaving after 14 years. The school is offering pound;41,000 to pound;47,300, private health insurance and transport benefits. The head's salary is also linked to pupils' performance "Transport benefits can be anything from a travel card allowance to the use of a lease car," said a school spokeswoman.

One London-based recruitment analyst said headteachers missed the "fringe benefits boom" of the late Seventies and early Eighties because the unions opposed it.

"Kensington and Chelsea are unusual in doing this. It shows they recognise the problems there are in attracting heads."

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