Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 08:49 UK

'Bonus culture' entering schools

Writing
Governors are reported to be offering five figure salaries to head teachers

An unwelcome bonus culture is creeping into head teachers' pay, diverting funds from the classroom, a teachers' leader is warning.

Head of the ATL union Dr Mary Bousted is critical of what she says are highly paid school leadership roles which have little to do with children's education.

Every pound of bonus paid above school leadership pay scale was a pound less for books and equipment, she says.

The government said the level of pay should reflect heads' responsibilities.

'Super duper heads'

Some school governing bodies have advertised six figure salaries to attract good candidates to run schools and others are reported to have offered golden hellos.

Speaking at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers fringe at the TUC Congress in Liverpool, Dr Bousted said her union did not object to heads being paid a fair wage for a demanding and increasingly insecure job.

But, she warned, schools could now pay their heads more than the statutory national pay scale for school leaders (£102,734 outside London), and that there was evidence of some heads receiving bonuses as well.

She said: "The vast majority of school leaders in England and Wales still see education as a public service, but a few have been seduced into seeing it as a chance to make money.

'Dedicated'

"We strongly support schools working together to share good practice, and we strongly support school leaders working together.

"But we do not support the growth in executive heads, consultant heads, super heads, and super duper heads."

She added: "If there is an executive head plus a head in a school working under him/her, who is being paid for what?"

"Let's not forget that every pound of bonus paid above the school leadership pay scale if a pound less for books and equipment for pupils, and less for classroom based staff."

A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokesman said: "We know heads are dedicated to their jobs and want the best for their pupils and staff.

"The level of teachers' and school leaders' pay should fairly reflect the level of responsibilities.

"Heads are raising standards across the country and it is right that governing bodies should be free to reward leaders appropriately and fairly if they take on responsibility for more than one school or work with another school as a Consultant Leader.

"We want to ensure that there is a fair reward for the job."



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SEE ALSO
Bonus secondary teacher suspended
14 May 09 |  England
'Golden hellos' for head teachers
23 Mar 07 |  Education
City teachers could get more cash
11 May 07 |  Education

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