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Pay bonanza for top college principals

A dozen FE bosses are on packages of more than pound;100,000 a year - and their peers are not far behind. Simon Midgley reports

A GROWING number of further education college principals are enjoying pay packages worth more than pound;100,000 a year.

A survey of more than 460 United Kingdom colleges in the 19971998 financial year found that 12 principals received total "emoluments" ranging from pound;102,999 to pound;119,000, a further 13 received packages of between pound;90,000 to pound;97,000 and some 51 got pound;80,000 to pound;89,000.

The emoluments figure is the principal's salary, plus a 12.5 per cent employer contribution to pension and taxable benefits (free home telephone and so on).

Of those surveyed, the biggest package - pound;119,000 - was received by Eddie McIntyre, principal of Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies, who was made a CBE in the New Year's honours list. He is closely followed by Liz Cristofoli at Oaklands College in St Albans, Hertfordshire, with pound;118,000.

Both the outgoing principal at Birmingham's Matthew Boulton College, Anthony Colton, and the new principal, Christine Braddock, were listed as getting pound;113,000. David Eade at Barnsley College received a package worth pound;107,596. Arthur Cotterell, of Surrey's Kingston College, received pound;106,000, and Douglas Keith, of Sandwell College, West Midlands, got pound;102,999.

Bringing up the rear were Brighton, Hove and Sussex sixth-form college, where the accounts listed the principal's emoluments as pound;32,000, Bishop Burton College, in Beverley, Humberside, where they were listed as pound;36,496, and Holme Lacy College of Agriculture, Hereford, with pound;37,432.

Bt Chris Thomson, who took over Brighton on September 1 1998 received a substantially higher package worth pound;49,680 in November 1999.

And Geoff Kerr, who took over at Bishop Burton on January 1 1998, says the pound;36,496 listed represents just seven months' earnings. The full-year figure would be some pound;62,564.

These figures, the most recent that are publicly available, come from several sources. The Labour Research Department - an independent research organisation for affiliated trade unions - culled figures from the published accounts of 286 colleges mainly in England but with a few from Wales and Scotland. These were first published in the oranisation's journal Labour Research.

These figures have been augmented by additional staff costs figures published in the 1999 Edition of Noble's Further Education Financial Yearbook, and by figures obtained directly from colleges.

David Eade, of Barnsley College, said listing emoluments rather than actual salaries was unfair and confusing. He said his actual 1998 salary was pound;87,000, which he regarded as fair.

Top-earner Eddie McIntyre, said that his Birmingham college had enjoyed unprecedented success since incorporation, which included having the best grades in the first full round of Further Education Funding Council inspections.

The council requires colleges to publish details of principals' packages in their annual accounts but does not itself publish the collected data in a form that would allow comparisons to be easily made. The Association of Colleges collects data on senior managers' salaries but does not publish it.

Full details, II and III

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