The Secondary Heads Association is calling for pound;150,000 salaries for heads of the toughest schools which would put them almost at the top of the education pay league, writes William Stewart.
It would mean them getting more than the pound;80,647, (plus pound;12,872 benefits), package earned by their general secretary, John Dunford, the man who made the call for the super-salaries. And it would put them above Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, who will receive pound;133,997 a year from April.
The highest-paid education authority chief, Kent's Graham Badman, earns Pounds 130,000. Only the highest-paid quango chief executives in education and two or three college principals would top the new salaries.
Mark Haysom, Learning and Skills Council chief executive takes home Pounds 180,000 and while Ken Boston, chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority was received a basic salary of pound;137,812 in 200304, with benefits taking his overall package up to pound;242,511.
The top of the pay scale for state school heads outside London is Pounds 90,360, although governors can pay more if they wish. The highest paid is thought to be Alistair Falk who receives pound;120,000 a year for running the West London academy.
A spokesman for Gabbitas, the educational recruitment consultants, said that heads of the top independent schools earned between pound;100,000-Pounds 150,000. Their overall packages usually include free accommodation, entertainment allowances and possibly a car .
Outside education, figures from Incomes Data Services, an independent research organisation, show that NHS hospital trust chief executives earned an average of pound;108,449 in 200304. This figure rose to pound;192,00 for a trust with a pound;374 million budget and 8,177 employees.
In 2003 in the private sector, chief executives of companies with a turnover of pound;10m-pound;60m earned an average of pound;142,856.
Bonuses averaged around pound;36,000.
A pound;150,000 salary would be more than 17 times the pound;8,500 starting pay of some of the lowest paid classroom assistants.
The heads' pay demand is included in a SHA manifesto produced in the run-up to the general election.
It also calls for school and college leaders to be given one term's paid study leave every five years, for the key recommendations for the Tomlinson report on 14-19 qualifications to be adopted and for the obligation on specialist schools to raise pound;50,000 to be dropped.