LET'S BE clear about this, the new pay scales for headteachers which came into force this term are long overdue and richly deserved. Workload and responsibilities have increased out of all recognition in last ten years and it is universally acknowledged that the quality of the head is the single biggest factor in determining a school's success.
Unfortunately, her salary is now the single biggest item in our budget.
Our headteacher is a star. In a competitive market where every child arrives at school with a price on its head, she is our greatest selling point. Parents meeting her feel immediately that they and their child will be cherished. She is worth her weight in gold, but we can't afford a solid-gold head.
What really worries me is the seven-point scale, which even for a smallish primary like mine could take her salary over pound;40,000. This is one seventh of our total budget.
On that basis, the head of the senior school next door with a budget of pound;1.5 million would be paid pound;200,000. Worth every penny no doubt, but disproportionate in terms of other claims on the budget - computers, books, sanitation. So where's the money to come from?