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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Heads want slice of privatisation profit
Surrey, privatising schools
Surrey has pioneered the private running of schools
By BBC News Online's Katherine Sellgren at the NAHT conference in Harrogate

Teachers and heads working in state schools run by private companies should get a share of any profits made, head teachers say.

The demand follows last week's announcement that Nord Anglia had won a seven-year contract to run Abbeylands School in Surrey, specialising in business and enterprise.

If the school is successfully turned around, the company will receive bonus payments.

Now the National Association of Head Teachers believes staff at the school should be entitled to a slice of those bonuses.

General secretary, David Hart, said that while the union had "reservations" about bringing in private businesses to run state schools members of his union would ultimately be responsible for improving results at the school.


If our members and their teacher colleagues are in that school working their socks off to get it right then in my view they should have a slice of the action

David Hart
He said he would be writing to Nord Anglia in the next week to put forward the NAHT's views.

Mr Hart said he foresaw that private firms could be brought in to run over 500 secondary schools which were below "the magic 25% A-C grade government target".

"One thing that heads tend to say is if Nord Anglia or WS Atkins are going to make a bomb out of this, it will be because we have jacked the results up. What are schools going to get out of this?

"If our members and their teacher colleagues are in that school working their socks off to get it right then in my view they should have a slice of the action.

"It will be our members that will be thrown on the scrapheap in two to three years' time when Nord Anglia doesn't get the results it expected," Mr Hart said.

Their bonuses should come out of company profits, not the school's budget, he added.

Change in the law

Chairman and chief executive of Nord Anglia Education, Kevin McNeany, said there would have to be a change in the law before he could offer incentives to public sector teachers in schools with which his firm was involved.

"We would very much like to 'incentivise' all our staff but we don't employ them so it would be difficult for us to pay bonuses to people who are not actually employed by the company," he said.

There was no procedure in place to do that currently in terms of teachers' remuneration which was enshrined in law, he said.

"We would be urging whichever party forms the next government to amend the legislation so that we would have the opportunity to incentivise our staff," Mr McNeany said.

See also:

25 May 01 | Mike Baker
22 May 01 | UK Education
15 May 01 | UK Education
24 Mar 01 | Mike Baker
Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


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