Salaries of college managers are competitive with those of equivalent workers in the private sector, but they have fewer perks and must take on extra tasks not expected in industry.
A special report on pay for College Manager shows the extent to which cash has to be more effectively targeted at management salaries if colleges are to persuade lecturers to apply for promotion. It draws on the latest pay studies by the Association of Colleges and Further Education National Training Organisation.
The Government has earmarked pound;50 million for pay increases to "good calibre" teachers in further education. The National Joint Forum of Unions and the AOC is drawing-up a model for allocating the cash, which they will discuss with ministers next month.
A huge "shopping list" from the unions includes rewards for committed teachers who stay in the classroom, the role of appraisal and performance revews and rewards for "team" achievement.
But colleges argue that there are important questions, such as the need to attract good calibre lecturers into management, which go beyond the scope of the additional pound;50m. Nor is there necessarily a single national solution to the dilemmas facing most principals seeking to appoint or promote.
David Mason, principal of Coleg Gwent in South Wales, has worked in public and private sectors so understands the problems of recruiting managers in both. But in FE, there is less sensitivity to market needs. "A college may reject a candidate simply because the person won't accept the rate for the job," he says. "In industry, there is more of a tendency to negotiate salaries."
John Mowbray, general secretary of the Association for College Management, says the colleges simply need more money to pay attractive salaries.
The Going Rate, page 25