A pat on the back, now pay up please

8th June 2001 at 01:00
SchoolS that won Government pay bonuses for staff in recognition of improved pupil achievement are being hit by additional administrative charges.

In Lincolnshire, the education authority is picking up a 1 per cent charge for distributing school achievement awards, after headteachers were initially told they would have to make the same deduction from their individual awards.

Department for Education and Employment guidance on administering the awards says payroll suppliers may make small administrative charges. A department spokeswoman said the level of charge was down to the school and payroll supplier, and that other areas could be affected.

Around 7,000 English schools are getting the awards, averaging around pound;5,000 for primaries and pound;25,000 for secondaries The money has to be distributed as staff bonuses in recognition of improvements in pupil performance.

However, shortly after announcing the winners, ministers admitted calculating errors had led to around 300 schools missing out on awards - and another 300 schools getting money they had not earned.

They were allowed to keep the cash but missed out on certificates and official recognition.

Richard Hall, head of Branston junior school, Lincoln, said the administrative charge was like "patting you on the back with one hand, and taking away with the other".

"The staff were very appreciative of the award, and hadn't expected it. But it's a curious state of affairs to be rewarded and then to have to pay for the privilege," he said.

Letters, 26

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today