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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Head teachers' pay 'inadequate'
teacher, anon, in secondary school class
Head teachers salaries have "fallen significantly"
Potential school principals are being attracted out of the profession by higher paid jobs elsewhere, a head teachers' organisation has claimed.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has said principals' salaries have fallen "significantly behind" those earned by staff in comparable jobs in the industrial and service sectors.

The situation is thought to be was worse in Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK because of the number of small schools whose principals are badly paid.

An evaluation was carried out into the salaries of principals who run small, medium and large primary and secondary schools.

These were compared to the salaries for similar management jobs in industry and the service sector and found an average shortfall of 14%.

'Inadequate'

The survey found the head teacher of a medium-sized primary school could earn 8,000 more a year in a comparable job in industry.

The survey took into account the skills, knowledge and responsibility needed to head a school.

David Hart, General Secretary of the NAHT, said head teachers had one of the most responsible and accountable jobs in the public sector.

He added: "It is becoming more and more difficult to recruit heads. Too many are leaving the profession prematurely.

"This can hardly be a surprise when the government refuses to recognise the importance of the head's role in pay terms.

"Salaries are not the only motivating force for head teachers but if they are so demonstrably inadequate the current recruitment and retention problems will only get worse."

The head teachers plan to use the figures to lobby for higher salaries.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's education correspondent Maggie Taggart:
"The head teachers say they will be using the figures to lobby for higher salaries"

In DepthIN DEPTH
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See also:

10 Mar 00 | Teachers Pay
Teachers' pay appraisal deadline extended
25 May 00 | Teachers Pay
Call for teachers' pay deadline delay
12 Mar 00 | Unions 2000
Heads demand pay rise
22 May 00 | Teachers Pay
Worries over 'unfair' performance pay
19 Apr 00 | Teachers Pay
Legal challenge over teachers' pay
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