SCOTLAND'S directors of education are looking on with growing alarm as some of their most senior colleagues are leap-frogged in the pay stakes by headteachers for whom they are responsible.
The problem has been exacerbated by the post-McCrone pay awards. So alarmed have the directors become that they have presented their case to Sir Neil McIntosh, former chief executive of Strathclyde Region, who is conducting a review of chief executive's salaries which have a knock-on effect on those of the directorate.
The resulting pay squeeze for directors has been graphically illustrated by a survey carried out by John Dobie, former director in Edinburgh, on behalf of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES).
From April this year, when teachers had the first 10 per cent of their 23 per cent pay rise, salaries of second-tier posts below the level of director of education will be less than those of he highest paid secondary heads in 25 of the 32 authorities.
John Mulgrew, the association's president, says: "The deteriorating positions of second and third tier officials is a matter of great concern."
Mr Mulgrew added: "There are early signs that people who may have been interested in directorate posts are not coming forward because of the salary differentials."
Second-tier officials, many deputising for directors, earn from pound;38,890 a year in Shetland to pound;73,521 in Edinburgh. Heads of the largest secondary schools are on pound;60,252 but that will rise to pound;69,300 by 2003.
There are also dramatic differentials with other sectors. Glasgow's director, responsible for more than 300 schools, receives pound;96,693 compared with pound;148,000 for the principal of Glasgow University.
The director in Aberdeen, with more than 100 schools, is on pound;76,254 while the principal of Aberdeen College earns pound;89,000.