Headteachers’ job is worth the money

Claire Shaw

The idea that headteachers who earn over £100,000 a year should be “named and shamed” according to Union leader, Chris Keates, is irrational, unnecessary and simply unfair.

The UK press reported this week that there are over 1,000 teachers in the country who are earning more than £100,000 a year, 200 of which are based in London schools.

Out of the highest paid headteachers in London, 17 are from schools in Tower Hamlets – the borough with the second most improved GCSE grades in the country, after Darlington.

For schools situated in a deprived area of London to exceed the GCSE national average for the first time is a significant achievement, one that would have taken a lot of time and effort.

Headteacher, Craig Tunstall, earned £186,203 last year. He successfully improved four failing schools in Lambeth. To suggest Tunstall should be “named and shamed” for helping children gain a good education seems very unreasonable.

Critics argue the increasing number of headteachers earning over £100,000 is putting a strain on school budget pressures, on taxpayers, and local authorities, which are being forced to pay higher wages due to competition.

Over 100 of these ‘over-paid’ heads run academy schools, which are free to pay their staff what they like. But the idea behind academy schools is to raise attainment levels. If this is achieved, then heads should be rewarded with a high wage package.

It is no mean feat to run a school. If Education Secretary, Michael Gove wants to “restrain” what heads get paid, even when a substantial number of schools in the UK have seen big improvements over the last year, he is simply saying that, headteachers do not deserve a good wage for improving the standards of education in the UK.

Headteachers have the high-pressure job of raising education standards in the UK to ensure all children are given a good start to life. A job worth the money.

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