The Mail is reporting that a record number of senior teachers are earning six-figure salaries as the rise of academy schools brings bumper pay packages.
Statistics show 1,230 teachers were paid more than £100,000 last year, up 4 per cent from 2013.
Of those on six-figure salaries, 60 per cent worked at academies, which have more freedom over wages as they are not controlled by local authorities.
The figures – obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – show 108 teachers were paid more than the Prime Minister, with salaries topping £142,000.
Chris Keates, of the NASUWT union, said: ‘The combination of increased autonomy for schools and weak governance is failing to provide the appropriate regulation and scrutiny to ensure that headteachers’ salaries are determined in an open, fair and transparent manner.
‘The opportunity and potential for abuse is significant.’
Of the 739 academy teachers paid more than £100,000, 675 run secondary schools and 64 were in charge of primaries. In local authority-run schools there were 235 secondary heads and 146 primary head teachers.
The average salary of a secondary school teacher is £37,900 at an academy and £38,900 at a council-controlled school.
Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers, said: ‘Teachers will be dismayed at this growing inequality while they continue to face a depression in pay.’
…Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: ‘Large schools are complex organisations with hundreds of staff, thousands of children and budgets running into the millions.
‘With that moral responsibility comes ever increasing pressure and risk, so it is right to reward head teachers who are doing a good job on a level comparable to similar-sized roles.’
Interestingly the issue is blamed on academies, and the report notes that 60% of the salaries over £100k are in academies, but that is also the proportion of secondary schools that are now academies so perhaps the situation is more nuanced in this respect?
Perhaps predictably, Russell Hobby, who represents heads, justifies the higher salaries but what do you think of the positions on Chris Keates and Christine Blower: are they right to challenge high pay rates for school leaders or should they actually welcome them?
Please give us your position on this in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link