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Tough talk in pursuit of pound;150k for heads

Headteachers of Britain's toughest schools should earn pound;150,000, according to a union leader.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, will call for what is effectively a 92 per cent pay rise at his union's annual conference in Brighton this weekend. He says the super-salary is needed to reflect extra responsibilities on heads brought about by the Children Act and the move towards extended schools.

"Salaries of pound;150,000 should be commonplace for heads of the most challenging schools and pound;120,000 should not be exceptional in larger extended and community schools," Mr Dunford is expected to say.

Heads often deserved more, he said, because of growing expectations of schools and the lack of job security, particularly in tough schools. "If society puts this many demands on schools then society has to pay for it," he told The TES.

His proposals would give many of his members a 54 per cent pay rise and those in the most challenging schools at least 92 per cent.

The latest School Teachers' Review Body pay survey showed in 2003 that heads of the largest schools were, on average, paid the equivalent of pound;77,985 at today's figures.

Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, speaking at her first teacher union conference, can expect vocal opposition to her 14-19 white paper. Sue Kirkham, SHA vice-president, will tell of heads' disappointment at the decision to ignore key elements of the Tomlinson report, when she responds to Ms Kelly's speech.

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