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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Cash bonus for top principals
Stock exchange
Heads are moving towards City-style bonuses
Head teachers of successful schools in New York are to receive cash bonuses worth up to $15,000.

These business-style bonuses will be made to the principals of the 300 most-improved schools, in a move that follows prolonged debate about how to offer incentives to successful heads.

In the United Kingdom, head teachers have called for such bonuses, calling for a cultural shift in how leaders in education are rewarded.

They have argued that if the government wants to attract high-calibre head teachers, the pay and conditions need to match the perks on offer in industry - including company cars and performance bonuses.

Accountable

The importance of head teachers in setting standards in schools has been recognised in both the United States and in the United Kingdom - and the announcement in New York is the latest stage in an increasing trend towards linking school pay to performance.

The New York scheme, which has not been welcomed by head teachers' unions, is intended to promote successful staff and also to make heads more directly accountable for their performance.

And in Iowa this month, the state has approved measures which will directly link classroom teachers' pay to the results of pupils in tests.

In the United Kingdom, teachers are now beginning to receive performance-related pay, after substantial resistance from teachers' unions.

'Golden hellos'

Teachers' unions accused the government of seeking to impose a system which they said would be unfair and divisive.

Cash bonuses have also been introduced in the United Kingdom as part of recruitment and retention packages, in an attempt to encourage more graduates into teaching and to prevent staff from leaving the profession.

In a substantial shift in how teachers and student teachers are rewarded, the government has introduced a range of "golden hellos" and "golden handcuffs", worth up to 5,000.

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See also:

05 Jan 01 | Education
Bonuses for teachers in tough schools
07 Sep 00 | Education
'Superheads' call for 120k a year
02 Jun 00 | Unions 2000
100k plus perks for 'hyperheads'?
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