Six-figure academy salaries

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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…

4 thoughts on “Six-figure academy salaries

  1. Salaries should be equitable and proportionate to experience agreed but the huge gaps in salary lead to inequality in society . Such gaps should be curbed so that such positions can command respect and give way to motivation in a positive sense to the junior teachers without generating envy and hostile environment.

  2. I come from a family in which we have a history of teaching.Starting the first school in the county of the then county of Monmouth.Since that moment in history two of the family have become headteachers.The fact that schools have grown in size does not make the burden more onerous, it is just a matter of an increase in capitation which in many ways increases the opportunities for schools when facilities can be afforded.Any excuse to increase salaries reflects the attitude of heads who enjoy the executive position and reward themselves in their perceived roles as leaders when the teacher at the interactive white board face achieves miracles with a disproportionate decrease in reward.

  3. This is ridiculous! As a classroom teacher I cannot comprehend this gap in earnings, especially considering over the last decade less is expected from SLT and more from the classroom teacher! We do above and beyond lugging boxes and boxes of marking home, giving up days in our holidays, to have more piled onto us. Our directed hours have increased meaning less available time for marking and assessment, and yet we are now responsible for all behavioural matters which no longer escalate above the department! I do get frustrated when at 5pm our SLT are not in school yet the car park is full of teaching staff cars! Anything ran by SLT has slowly been redelegated to other staff, and when I think about the wage difference it makes me question my career choices, teaching is no longer a well paid graduate job for the hours put in, unless you climb to the top losing your connection with the students, who are hopefully the reason you started teaching anyway!!

  4. This is just typical of the way society is going. A few very rich at the top with the people doing the real work paid less and less. There really shouldn’t be much difference between the pay of a teacher and that of a head. The teacher is doing the job of teaching. The important job. A head isn’t actually teaching and is fulfilling a mainly administrative role. It is a different role and in my opinion not as vital as that of the teacher. Certainly not warranting a massively bigger salary. It seems to me that this government is harking back to Downton Abbey times when the landed gentry and aristocracy did almost nothing for the vast wealth they got from their estates.

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