Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 18:00 UK

More pay for wider-ranging heads

head teacher at desk
The aim is to have greater flexibility in heads' remuneration

The government has agreed to rethink the pay of head teachers in England and Wales, as more schools federate and leadership is more varied and complex.

The move could involve extra rewards for top heads, some of whom already earn in excess of 125,000 a year.

A head teachers' union said their schools should also be rewarded.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has told the independent School Teachers Review Body it should go ahead and review the situation, as it had recommended.

In its report to the government on pay and conditions, the STRB said the long-standing arrangements for leaders were based on a traditional model of one permanent head for each school and a narrow view of responsibilities.

But as new structures and roles had emerged, a range of local pay arrangements had been put in place.

"The current position is confusing for all involved and both leaders and employers are exposed to risks.

"In the absence of any national framework or established conventions on local oversight, there is no consistency of practice and there is a risk of inequity."

Under the existing arrangements the leadership group pay "spine" has 43 levels in each of four bands.

Currently these range from 34,938 to 98,022 in the lowest band and 41,541 to 104,628 in the highest - actual salaries being determined by governing bodies.

Latest statistics, from 2006, showed 28 school leaders were then paid more than 100,000. Three of those were on more than 125,000 and one was getting more than 150,000.

The review body suggested changing the pay and conditions document covering England and Wales to cover things such as:

  • an overall head formally leading two or more schools
  • leaders having responsibilities for more than one school or service
  • external roles such as School Improvement Partner and consultancy for national bodies
  • leadership of services for children, young people and communities
  • fixed-term appointments
  • shared and joint leadership posts

But it added it did not think even these modified arrangements would provide a sound basis for the future.

So it recommended a wider review in time for changes to be implemented from September 2011. Mr Balls has agreed to that.

He told the Times newspaper: "I would like to see top rewards for the best head teachers so that they can deliver rising standards for all children and spread the benefits of their experience to other schools in their area."

He added: "If you are a head teacher of a school of 1,500 pupils, plus staff, that's a huge responsibility.

"If you were excellent at doing that we want to, where possible and practical, reward you for taking on the extra responsibility of doing that in more than one school."

Currently there are 120 head teachers in the National Leaders in Education scheme, who are paid to advise partner schools. This is to be expanded to 500 over the next five years.

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, John Dunford, said: "This is about more than pay - and it is about more than heads.

"For a head to take on more than one school, there must be highly capable and experienced senior leaders who can 'act up' and share delegated responsibility.

"Therefore, additional rewards for other school leaders and for the school itself, as well as higher salaries for heads, should be introduced in any new system."

Shortage of heads 'set to peak'
19 Feb 08 |  Education
Heads 'do not improve schools'
17 Apr 07 |  Education
Top heads for toughest schools
15 Jan 07 |  Education
High fliers 'want to be teachers'
25 Jan 06 |  Education
Call to improve county's schools
30 Nov 05 |  North East Wales
Parents demand more headteachers
01 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Some schools face staff 'crisis'
15 Feb 05 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific