State schools Heads paid more than £150,000

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The latest TES pay survey shows that senior figures in the education system are earning record salaries and bonuses.

According to the Times Educational Supplement, the standard starting pay for academy heads is £110,000. However, some state school headteachers earn even more, although salaries often include bonuses for other work.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said top salaries were still restricted to a small number of heads. “There’s no question at all, these are difficult jobs with massive responsibilities and accountabilities,” he said.

The gap between the richest and the poorest working in the schools sector is wider than ever, with some education leaders now on salaries of more than £200,000 - 20 times the average pay of a teaching assistant.

The survey also shows that the salaries of state school head teachers are rapidly closing in on those of heads in leading independent schools, with a number of jobs being advertised at salaries above £100,000, some offering more than £150,000.

John Howson, recruitment analyst at Education Data Surveys (EDS), said: “Although still not competitive with salaries for company directors, senior salaries in schools have increased significantly over the past few years, widening the gap between the staff and those in leadership positions.

“Whether it is sensible for a school to spend up to £1 in every £20 of its budget on leadership is a key issue for governors. But, having let the genie out of the bottle, putting it back won’t be easy.”

The highest-earning head is Anthony Little of Eton, who earned up to £189,000 plus pension contributions and free use of a house in 2008/09.

While a growing number of comprehensive heads are expected to earn more than £100,000, the average primary head was on £52,000 while a secondary head earned £73,000.

National pay agreements mean that teachers’ pay in state schools is broadly predictable, with those in areas such as London, or who receive teaching and learning responsibility points, earning more than the standard scales.

This may change if more academies use their powers to break away from the national pay agreement, but currently relatively few do and those that have done so have increased teachers’ pay only slightly.

However, the latest national figures show a clear link remains between gender and earnings.

So while male primary teachers earn, on average, no more than their female counterparts in secondary schools, men earn an average of £1,300 more.

This gap tends to become more pronounced in more senior posts, with male special school heads earning, on average, £5,900 more than their female counterparts.

Studies by the General Teaching Council for England have indicated that women are about four times as likely as men to say that factors in their private lives, especially children, have limited their careers.

Top earning Heads:
(data from TES)

  • Headmaster, Eton - Anthony Little: £180,000 to £189,999 (Plus pension contributions and use of a house)
  • Principal, Cheltenham Ladies’ College - Vicky Tuck: £170,000 to £180,000 (Plus pension)
  • Headmaster, Wellington College - Anthony Seldon: £162,880 (Plus pension)
  • Headteacher, Durand Primary, Lambeth - Greg Martin: £155,000 (Basic salary of £70,000 plus £85,000 for managing onsite gym)
  • Headteacher, proposed academy, Ashford, Kent - Advertised at Around £125,000
  • Headteacher, Saint John Bosco School, Wandsworth - Head advertised at £100,000 to £120,000
  • Headteacher, proposed CofE academy, Plymouth - Head advertised at £115,000 (up to)
  • Headteacher, Hope Academy, Liverpool - Head advertised at £110,000 (Plus performance-related bonus and relocation package)
  • Headteacher, Birmingham Ormiston Academy - Head advertised at £110,000 (Plus benefits and performance bonus)
  • Headteacher, North Wolverhampton Academy - Head advertised at £110,000 plus
  • Headteacher, Garston and South Liverpool Business and Enterprise Academy - Head advertised at £100,000 to £110,000 (Plus performance-related pay)
  • Headteacher, Grace Academy, Solihull - Head advertised at £100,000 (Including bonus and benefit)
  • Bassaleg Comprehensive, Newport, Wales - Head advertised at £88,664 to £102,734
  • Shafton Advanced Learning Centre, Barnsley - Head advertised at £88,664 to £102,734
  • Bispham and Beacon Hill High School - Executive head advertised at £86,514 to £100,228
  • Headteacher, Holyrood Secondary (Scotland’s largest secondary school) - Tom McDonald: £78,000

Salary by position:

  • Secondary head (male): £74,400
  • Secondary head (female): £70,600
  • Special school head (male): £64,900
  • Special school head (female): £59,000
  • Primary head (male): £53,300
  • Secondary deputy (male): £52,300
  • Primary head (female): £51,500
  • Secondary deputy (female): £51,200
  • Special school deputy (male and female): £49,100
  • Primary deputy (male): £44,100
  • Primary deputy (female): £43,100
  • Special school teacher (male): £37,500
  • Special school teacher (female): £36,300
  • Secondary teacher (male): £35,000
  • Secondary teacher (female): £33,700
  • Average teacher pay (overall): £32,990
  • Primary teacher (male and female): £31,000
  • Teach First teacher: £20,000 (approximate)
  • Pay increases from a minimum of £16,734 in the first year to a maximum of £26,000 in the second, depending on the school
  • School caretaker: £15,641
  • Teaching assistant: £10,402.