More school chiefs earn £100k plus

Andover Advertiser:  Nine hundred school leaders were earning six-figure salaries last year, according to official figures Nine hundred school leaders were earning six-figure salaries last year, according to official figures

Record numbers of school leaders are taking home six-figure salaries, according to new figures.

Official data shows that almost 1,000 headteachers, deputies and assistant heads working in England's state schools are earning £100,000 or more.

Of these, a third have pay packets worth more than £110,000.

It means that this group of school leaders are earning around double that of the average state school head, and almost three times as much as an average classroom teacher.

The figures, published by the Department for Education (DfE), show how much classroom teachers and school leaders were earning as of November last year, by salary band and the type of school they work in.

In total, 900 were earning six-figure salaries, with 300 taking home over £110,000 and the rest paid between £100,000 and £109,999.

All of these school leaders were working in state secondary schools, with 600 of them working at academies and the rest employed at local council-run secondaries.

The statistics also show that o verall, the average salary of a school leader at any type of state school now stands at £56,100 compared to £55,700 in 2012.

It also reveals that the average salary for an academy leader, both primary and secondary, is higher on average than for those running maintained state schools.

At the other end of the scale, there were 1,800 school leaders taking home salaries of less than £40,000, the majority of whom are working in nurseries and primary schools.

Primary leaders are likely to be paid less as their schools are usually smaller, while many academies teach secondary-age pupils which many account, in part, for higher salaries in these schools. Rising numbers of schools are also converting to academy status as part of a government bid to expand the programme.

The figures also show that on average, a classroom teacher in England now takes home £34,600 a year, up slightly from £34,200 a year.

The data comes as the Government pushes ahead with reforms that will see teachers' pay will be linked to performance in the classroom, with schools setting salaries, rather than following a national framework.

This move has been strongly opposed by a number of teaching unions, with industrial action taken by both the NASUWT and National Union of Teachers (NUT) including a national one-day walkout by the NUT alone last month.

A DfE spokesman: "It's essential we have the best people in place to lead our schools if we are to raise standards. That's why decisions on pay are down to schools - so they can recruit and retain the highest calibre of school leaders.

"Last month the Secretary of State accepted the independent School Teachers' Review Body recommendations on school leaders' pay. As the nature of school leadership changes, these reforms will give schools greater flexibility to help schools ensure the most talented leaders are attracted to the teaching profession and are properly rewarded for taking on multiple or challenging schools."

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: " Concerns have been raised for some time that academy chains and free schools are paying excessive salaries to heads and leadership groups at the expense of spending on pupils and salaries for those outside of the leadership group. At a time of budget cuts this really is something that needs to be addressed."

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