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Thursday, 7 September, 2000, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
'Superheads' call for 120k a year
David Hart
David Hart says radical answers are needed to tackle failing schools
Big salaries, company cars and bonuses need to be offered to head teachers in the hundred most challenging schools in England, says a head teachers' union.

After a series of resignations by head teachers of "fresh start" schools, the National Association of Head Teachers says that a radical re-think is necessary for how so-called "superheads" are rewarded and how their performance is measured.

Management consultants commissioned by the union say that the rewards usually associated with private sector chief executives need to be on offer to head teachers hired to turn around failing schools.
Super head "reward package"
120,000 per year
15% per annum bonus
'Company' car
Health insurance
Allowed to set own curriculum
Allowed to set own timetable and terms
Allowed to determine intake

The report from Hay Management recommends head teachers receiving salaries up to 120,000 with the prospect of an extra 90,000 performance bonus after five years

This pay scale would be applied to the head teachers running fresh start schools, where "new" schools are re-opened on the site of failed schools which are judged to be beyond recovery.

It would also be on offer to the heads of the forthcoming city academies, which will seek to raise educational standards in deprived areas.

Altogether the union's general secretary David Hart estimated that the pay deal would be available for heads of about a hundred schools.

Widening gap

As well as scrapping the existing pay scales, Mr Hart also called for fundamental changes to how such struggling schools are run - calling for heads to be able to opt out of the conventional curriculum, to disregard the requirements set by Ofsted inspectors and to set their own timetable and terms.

Head teachers would also be able to set their own rules on admissions and could exclude the most disruptive pupils.

Under the proposals set out by the union and management consultants, head teachers would be hired on a five-year contract and the measure of success would not be determined by exam results.

"The gap between the most and least successful non-selective schools is widening - and children in deprived communities need to be given the education they deserve," said Mr Hart.

"This report represents a radical departure from conventional thinking on how high calibre heads can be attracted to take on the responsibility of turning round schools in real difficulty."

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See also:

02 Jun 00 | Unions 2000
100k plus perks for 'hyperheads'?
25 Aug 00 | Education
Superhead wanted mass expulsion
23 Jun 00 | Correspondents
Head quits over disruptive pupils
05 May 00 | Education
'Fresh start' school stays shut
21 Mar 00 | Education
Schools drop 'superhead' label
10 Mar 00 | Education
First 'superhead' resigns
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