Pay gap between England's heads and teachers among world's biggest

Heads in England's secondaries have actual earnings more than twice those of teachers, says OECD

Helen Ward

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The pay gap between headteachers and teachers is larger in England's secondaries than elsewhere in the developed world, new data reveals.

In England, the average salary for secondary heads is more twice that of their teachers, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its Education at a Glance report published today.

And the equivalent gap in England's primaries is 83 per cent 

On average, across developed countries, a headteacher has a salary 39 per cent higher than teachers at primary level and 48 per cent higher at secondary level.

But the data on actual salaries – taking into account bonuses or other additional payments – shows that in England, secondary school heads earn £84,757 on average, compared to a salary of £33,415 for teachers – a gap of around 150 per cent.

On average, across the OECD secondary school heads earn £49,435, compared to teachers’ average earnings of £33,415.

Only in Luxembourg, do headteachers earn more than in England, with an average salary of £100,633 but in Luxembourg teachers also have higher earnings – £83,390 on average.

The report also looks at how teachers and headteachers salaries compare to the salaries of other professionals where a degree is required.

“In almost all countries and economies with available information, and at almost all levels of education, teachers’ actual salaries are lower than those of tertiary-educated workers,” the report states.

But it adds that: “As actual salaries of school heads are higher than those of teachers, they are also higher on average than those of other tertiary-educated adults, and the difference increases with the level of education.

"On average across OECD countries and economies, school heads earn 21 per cent more than tertiary-educated adults at primary level, 34 per cent more at lower secondary level and 42 per more at upper secondary level.”

In England, a secondary head earns 119 per cent more than the average for a graduate and a primary head earns 48 per cent more.

The OECD also revealed that the teachers’ pay in England had dropped 10 per cent in real terms between 2005 and 2017.

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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