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Hundreds of school leaders paid in excess of £100k

By Katherine Sellgren
BBC News education reporter

image captionAround 800 head teachers, deputies and assistant heads in state schools were earning £100,000 or more

A growing number of England's school leaders are on six-figure salaries, Department for Education data shows.

Around 800 head teachers, deputies and assistant heads working in state schools were earning £100,000 or more in 2012, a census of schools shows.

Of these, some 200 were paid more than £110,000, while 600 were on salaries of between £100,000 and £109,999.

The average salary for full-time qualified teachers working in state schools in England was £37,600.

School leaders on salaries in excess of £100,000 are earning around double the average salary of a head teacher in state schools, of £55,700 in 2012 (£55,500 in 2011).

The census of the school workforce, taken in November 2012, reveals differences in pay between academy schools and those schools still under local authority control.

The data indicates that 400 secondary academy heads were earning in excess of £100,000, compared with 300 working in other state secondary schools.

The average salary for a secondary academy school leader is also higher at £61,900, compared with £60,900 for a head working in an authority-run secondary school.

But not all school leaders are on high salaries, with 1,600 on salaries of less than £40,000. The majority of these were working in nurseries and primary schools.

A DfE spokesman said: "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 that they can recruit and retain the highest calibre of school leaders. "

The department has asked the School Teachers' Review Body to examine school leaders' pay.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "The range of salaries shows how diverse school leadership has become in the last decade.

"It includes everyone from heads and deputies working in small village primary schools to an executive head in charge of a federation of several schools with pupils from three to 18. The current leadership pay scale doesn't reflect this, so it is difficult for governors to determine what is appropriate pay for someone working beyond the traditional role of a head in a local authority-controlled school."

Subject teaching

The census data also shows thousands of secondary school teachers are taking lessons in subjects that they have not studied at degree level.

It suggests many pupils are being taught by teachers who have no higher than an A-level qualification in the subject.

Almost one in four (23.1%) maths teachers - around 7,500 - do not have a relevant degree-level qualification, along with a fifth (20.1%) of English teachers - around 7,300 in total.

More than a third of physics teachers (around 2,000 teachers), half of those teaching Spanish (around 3,400), over half of information and communications technology (ICT) teachers (around 9,200) and more than two in five religious education teachers (around 6,500) do not hold a relevant qualification higher than an A-level.

The DfE said the numbers of teachers holding degree-level qualifications in the key subjects of English, maths and science has risen compared to 2011.

Overall, 96% of teachers hold qualifications at degree-level or above, a spokesman said.

Teaching assistants

The census also shows a significant rise in the number of teaching assistants (TAs) employed in England's schools.

The number of full-time equivalent TAs has increased threefold from 79,000 in spring 2000 to 232,300 in November 2012, the government figures show.

Between November 2011 and 2012 numbers of TAs increased by 12,500 (5.7%).

The chief inspector for schools in England, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has criticised schools for spending money on TAs instead of teachers, saying good-quality teaching was the best way to raise standards.

The statistics show there were 899,000 full-time equivalent staff in England's schools - teachers, teaching assistants and other school staff - up 23,200 on the previous year.

The total number of teachers and other school staff working in academy schools continues to increase, reflecting the progression of the academy schools programme.

In November 2012, there were 2,551 academy schools compared with 1,449 in November 2011 and 345 in November 2010.

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