The number of headteachers earning six-figure salaries has soared in the past year, according to official figures released today.
Heads of the Government’s flagship academies were more likely to be in the highest pay bracket while their teachers earned less than those working for local authority schools, a breakdown revealed.
The findings have angered teachers’ leaders who say they confirm that government moves to allow schools to fix their own pay levels will lead to the majority being paid less.
In all, 600 heads were earning between £100,000 and £110,000 and a further 200 received a salary of more than £110,000 - double the average salary for a headteacher. Last year 700 heads were in the £100,000-plus bracket.
Heads of the Government’s flagship academies were more likely to be earning six-figure sums, according to a breakdown of the figures by statisticians at the Department for Education - 400 as opposed to 300 who were working in local authority maintained schools.
On average academy heads’ salaries in both primary and secondary schools were also higher than in local authority schools - with leaders in secondary school academies earning on average £61,900 - compared to £60,900 in local authority schools. In primary schools, the figures were £53,900 in academies and £51,900 elsewhere.
However, teachers in both secondary and primary school academies were earning less than their counterparts in local authority maintained schools - £35,200 as opposed to £36, 100 in secondary schools and £31,100 and £32, 200 respectively in primary schools.
The figures appear to indicate that giving academies the power to set their own pay levels has benefited school leaders at the expense of classroom teachers - prompting unions to fear it will be a similar story when all schools are given the freedom to set their own pay levels from September.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “It is quite obvious that despite what the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) says about his plans for the deregulation of pay, it is clearly not about paying a few teachers more but about paying the majority of teachers less.”
Today’s document pointed out that comparisons between the two sectors could be misleading because they failed to take into account the geographical location of the schools - teachers in London and the surrounding areas are entitled to higher salaries than elsewhere.
On headteachers’ pay levels, a spokesman for the DfE said: “It’s essential we have the best people in place to lead our schools if we are to raise standards. That’s why decisions on pay are down to schools so that they can recruit and retain the highest calibre of school leaders.”
Meanwhile, the figures showed both the number of full-time teachers and teaching assistants have grown in the past year from 438,000 to 442,000 and 219,800 to 232,300 respectively. However, Labour pointed out the number of full-time teachers had declined since the General Election in 2010.
They also revealed thousands of pupils were receiving lessons from teachers not trained in the areas they were covering. Almost one in four (23.1 per cent) of maths teachers and a fifth (20-1 per cent) of English teachers do not have a qualification in the subject they are teaching. However, the figures show a slight improvement on the previous year.