Teachers want 'excessive' heads' pay details published

By Judith Burns
Education reporter, in Liverpool

image copyrightThinkstock
image captionThere are calls for a more transparent approach to how much senior school staff are paid

Head teachers in some academies and free schools are receiving excessive salaries, with some earning more than the prime minister, a teachers' conference has heard.

"We need to guard against the rot of greed," delegate Simon Clarkson told the ATL annual conference.

There were 900 heads, in all kinds of state school, paid over £100,000, according to the most recent figures.

Mr Clarkson called for all schools to publish the pay ranges of senior staff.


Speaking in a debate on transparency in education at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' annual conference, Mr Clarkson said that if large salaries were defensible "no one should mind them being made public".

"When schools were under local control it would have been unthinkable as well as impossible that a head teacher of even a group of schools could earn more than a director of education, let alone the secretary of state for education, let alone the prime minister," Mr Clarkson told the conference.

Figures last year suggested that 41 head teachers were earning more than the prime minister's salary of £142,000. This was up from 31 the previous year.

Mr Clarkson, a delegate from Leicestershire. suggested that some executive head teachers and heads were now able to look at their budgets and decide how much to pay themselves.

The conference voted in favour of the motion that every school should publish its staffing structure and pay ranges of all teaching staff, including senior leadership salaries and those of executive head teachers. "Let me remind you whose money is being used to do this - ours," said Mr Clarkson.

"Let me remind you who this money should be spent on - the children and young people in our care.

"So I call for senior leadership salaries, including the salaries of executive head teachers to be published by schools."

"Once, the accountability was provided for by local authorities," said Mr Clarkson.

"County council offices up and down the country, elected members and council officers made sure that schools both kept to the rules and served the needs of their local communities."

Rising costs

Schools and colleges are facing cuts, despite government assurances it has protected budgets, the conference in Liverpool has heard.

Schools may be getting the same budgets as last year but costs are rising, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference was told.

"How many times have you heard that education funding is protected?" asked delegate Robin Bevan.

"It is not true, but it is the current educational mantra".

Schools and colleges are having to pay increased pensions and national insurance contributions for staff out of their budgets, while other costs, such as utility bills are also rising, said Mr Bevan.

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