TES reveals salary gaps

19th March 2010 at 00:00
Pay disparity between England and Scotland chiefs

Size matters when it comes to the salaries of the top people in education in the UK. A special TES pay survey reveals huge disparities among those who run education north and south of the border, partly accounted for by the population differences.

But there is a growing gap in the earnings of headteachers in the different countries, which is more to do with different policies.

The highest earner in Scottish education, perhaps unexpectedly, is Janet Brown, chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, who commands pound;123,026, putting her in 29th place in our rankings - considerably behind the pound;170,000 paid to her English counterpart.

Bill Maxwell, the new head of the inspectorate, is next on the Scottish list in 42nd place, with a salary of pound;110,000 - again less than Christine Gilbert, chief schools inspector in England, who is on pound;196,000 and could have earned more if she had not turned down her performance-related bonus, which would have taken her to pound;232,500.

Other key figures are also modestly remunerated compared with their English counterparts. Bernard McLeary, chief executive of Learning and Teaching Scotland, is in 47th place on pound;104,611; Michael Russell (49th place on pound;99,259, including his MSP pay); Tony Finn, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (50th on pound;98,913); and Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (54th on pound;89,388).

By long custom, the EIS general secretary is on a formula where he is paid the same as the top salary for a headteacher, plus 12 per cent.

It is headteachers' salaries which are the most striking feature of the differences between Scotland and England, which will fuel demands from Scottish heads for pay hikes.

Tom McDonald, head of Holyrood Secondary in Glasgow, Scotland's largest, pockets a mere pound;78,000 to recognise his responsibility for around 2,000 pupils - little more than the average salary for heads in England and Wales.

By contrast, the top earner in a state school in England was a primary head on pound;155,000, although that included a bonus. Since September, at least 42 headteacher posts in England have been advertised on salaries above pound;100,000.

The top-earning Scot in the list does not actually work in Scotland. At number three is Glasgow-born, former primary head David Bell, who receives up to pound;205,000 as the permanent secretary at the Department for Children, Schools and Families. This contrasts with pound;125-130,000 for Leslie Evans, director general of the Directorate of Education and Lifelong Learning in Scotland.

neil.munro@tes.co.uk

Original paper headline: TES reveals salary gaps between England and Scotland chiefs

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