Not a big enough incentive for heads

14th November 2003 at 00:00
Montrose primary, in Leicester, has 490 pupils, aged between three and 11.

Forty per cent of pupils are from two large council estates, and 23 per cent are eligible for free school meals. Three years ago, inspectors described the school as "very successful ... providing a rich and varied education".

Sandra Sutcliffe, head

Current salary: pound;46,599 (L17)

New salary: pound;47,763 (April 2004)

Increase: pound;1,164

"There needs to be recognition of the demanding role that heads have, managing a school financially and keeping up standards. A proper salary to attract good-quality heads is going to save a lot of money in the long run.

This isn't a big enough incentive."

Lucinda Butwell, nursery teacher

Current salary: pound;21,108 (M3)

New salary: pound;21,636

Increase: pound;428

"I can afford to pay the bills, but I also have pound;8,000 of student loans. I end up spending my wage packet every month. If I want to go out for a meal or to the cinema, I have to think about whether I can afford it.

"Teaching is a vocation for me, and I don't want to do anything else.

But it's annoying when you realise you can't afford things in Asda. I could do with pound;200 more a month."

Andy Owens, deputy head

Current salary: pound;38,277 (L9)

New salary: pound;39,234

Increase: pound;957

"This is a pay cut in real terms. It makes me feel unvalued. Teaching here isn't a doddle, and that should be reflected by pay.

"I have two young children. To give them what they need, my wife and I will both have to work full-time. At the moment, she doesn't work, so we have no money."

Vivienne Bottrill, Year 2 teacher

Current salary: pound;34,356 (U1 plus 3 mgt points)

New salary: pound;35,214

Increase: pound;858

"There are not enough incentives for people who have been in the profession as long as I have.

My husband is in business, and he earns much more than I do, even though I work longer hours than he does. If it wasn't for his salary, I would really struggle and I resent that."

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