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Stat of the Week

59,000 - Teachers who are paid on the leadership scale

59,000 - Teachers who are paid on the leadership scale

Fancy a job on the lucrative leadership scale, which officially goes up to more than Pounds 100,000 and unofficially probably reaches about 50 per cent higher?

Finding your first senior management teacher job has never been easier. For the first time, there are now more assistant heads than deputy heads: 19,000 compared with 18,500. Considering that the assistant head grade has been around for less than a decade, its acceptance by governing bodies as a part of leadership teams has been phenomenal. In the past two years alone, 1,100 assistant head posts have been created in primary schools, taking their number to more than 6,000, which is about one for every three primaries. The number in secondary schools has levelled out at about 11,400, meaning an average of more than three for each secondary school.

The expansion of the assistant head grade has been partly matched by a decline in the number of deputy headships. A further 200 were lost in the past year, and the number is down about 15 per cent over the past nine years. Most of the decline has been in the primary sector, where 2,500 deputy head posts disappeared between 2001 and 2009.

The loss of these particular posts is a cause of concern to those who worry about the problems associated with headteacher recruitment. This remains an issue, even though there has been a small fall in the number of headteachers - down from 23,500 to 21,800 since 2001 - as a result of amalgamations and closure of small schools.

The number of leaders with "head" in their job title now preside over fewer classroom teachers than at any time since 2001: it is a clear case of more chiefs and fewer Indians.

John Howson is a director of Education Data Surveys, part of TSL Education.

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