Rise of the six-figure head

14th September 2007 at 01:00
Increase in secondary school leaders earning pound;100k or more and workloads are lighter

AS MANY as 220 secondary heads are earning more than pound;100,000, an official pay survey shows.

And a third of 3,700 secondary heads in England and Wales occupy the top 10 points of the pay scale, earning pound;78,500-plus a year.

The figures, from a survey by the School Teachers' Review Body, have been published with its report on workload, which shows that for the first time since the workload agreement, secondary heads' working weeks have plummeted by seven-and-a-half hours in the past year.

While most other teachers' workloads had been gradually reducing in size since 2000, secondary heads' weeks had climbed to a peak of 65.1 hours last year.

But this year the survey of more than 2,000 teachers and heads shows the average secondary head worked only 57.6 hours.

This is all good news for heads, but the survey reveals a huge gap between rich and poor that is most evident in London. Figures show the typical woman primary teacher in inner London earns pound;32,565 just pound;1,500 more than a counterpart in the provinces. This is because 45 per cent of classteachers in inner London are in their first five years of teaching.

A typical primary head in inner London earns pound;63,000, about pound;15,000 more than a school leader outside the capital largely because London schools tend to be bigger.

The survey estimates that 4 per cent of the 3,700 heads about 150 people are on the top two points of the leadership scale or higher. Experts calculate that about 70 out of the 82 academy heads are also being paid more than Pounds 100,000.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he expects heads' salaries to soar in line with market forces. "With retirements, a record number of headships will be advertised," he said. "Governors will be forced to pay successful heads more or face losing them."

The survey showed 30,000 fewer teachers receive learning responsibility payments than held management allowances. About 22 per cent of schools mostly primaries said they had made no progress or had no plans to make TLR payments.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said this figure confirmed a "national disgrace" in primary schools.

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said some primaries were unable to afford a large number of responsibility payments.

The unions have also picked up on figures suggesting that only about half of teachers eligible to progress to the upper pay scale actually apply to do so.

Mrs Keates said this showed heads and governors are failing to advise teachers they are eligible.

Supersalaries, pages 4-5

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