According to research obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, 108 senior teachers earn a higher salary than the Prime Minister, with some salaries being in excess of £140,000. 60% of these high earning teachers are employed by academies. However it was found that on average an academy secondary school teacher earns a salary of £37,900, where as a secondary school teacher at a council-controlled school earnt more, averaging a salary of £38,900. Should there really be a wage gap of £100,000 between headteachers and classroom teachers?
The research continued to show that a total of 739 academy headteachers had salaries in excess of £100,000 whereas only 381 teachers in local authority-run schools collected a similar wage. Academies are able to do this due to having more freedom over wages as they are not controlled by local authorities. Findings showed that 675 of the 739 of academies headteachers earning six-figure salaries were also secondary school heads. This trend also continued in council-controlled schools with 235 of the 381 headteachers earning six figure salaries being secondary school heads.
Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers said ‘teachers will be dismayed at this growing inequality while they continue to face a depression in pay’. Last year the Schools Teacher’s Review Body said heads could receive up to £132,685 but only in exceptional circumstances. Chris Keates, of the NASUWT union, supported Christine Blowers claim by stating that ‘the combination of increased autonomy for schools and weak governance is failing to provide the appropriate regulation and scrutiny to ensure that headteachers’ salaries are determined in an open, fair and transparent manner’.
Russell Hobby of the National Association of Head Teachers however claimed ‘large schools are complex organisations with hundreds of staff and children with budgets running into the millions, with that moral responsibility comes ever increasing pressure and risk, so headteachers deserve to be rewarded’. This claim was backed by a Department of Education spokesman who recently claimed that it is ‘vital’ to have the best people possible to lead our schools, if we are to raise standards and ensure that all pupils can reach their full potential.
Only 2 months ago Chancellor George Osbourne recently announced that the funding for teachers’ pay rises is to be limited to an annual 1% increase for the next four years. So why should classroom teachers’ pay be suffering when there are senior teachers earning extortionate salaries? Is Mr Hobby correct thinking the huge gap in headteachers and teachers pay is fair? Or should this salary gap be shortened? Do headteachers really warrant 6 figure salaries in a time when their own teachers aren’t seeing any salary rise at all? Have your say here…