Headteachers' pay to be capped at £140,000

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Headteachers' pay should be limited to £140,000 a year – less than that of the Prime Minister – the profession's pay review body ruled yesterday.

It put a strict limit of 25 per cent on pay for extra work, agreed by school governors, in a move that did little to satisfy teaching unions who said it was "inappropriate" to earn so much at a time when the public sector was facing a pay freeze.

Yesterday's report follows concern about the rising numbers of heads earning in excess of £150,000 a year thanks to perks and discretionary deals done with school governing bodies.

As a result, the Education Secretary Michael Gove called for their pay to be limited to no higher than that of the Prime Minister.

The new curb recommended by the pay review body effectively does that – saying discretionary deals should be limited to no more than 25 per cent of a head's salary, making the maximum possible payment £140,000. However, teachers' leaders claimed it would give carte blanche to governing bodies to award rises of up to 25 per cent.