1,000 school leaders 'earn more than £100,000 a year'


More than 1,000 school leaders are earning in excess of £100,000 a year, according to research.

The TaxPayers' Alliance said there were also at least 7,500 university employees who received more than £100,000, with eight receiving more than £500,000.

One of the best-paid school heads is the principal of Bethnal Green Academy in east London, from where four girls are thought to have gone to Syria to join Islamic State. Mark Keary earned £220,000 in 2013/14, according to the research.

But earning even more was the principal of Birmingham Metropolitan College, on £298,000. An Ofsted report earlier this year found it required improvement, while it also recently announced staff redundancies due to funding cuts.

Meanwhile the head of Robert Clack School in Dagenham, Essex, took home £279,000.

In all, amid pay freezes across the public sector and several teaching staff strikes in 2013/14 there were 110 school leaders who received remuneration greater than £150,000.

The research, compiled from Freedom of Information requests and analysis of annual statements of accounts, took into account employees' salaries along with expenses and allowances.

It found the university with the most employees earning more than £100,000 was the University of Oxford with 622.

The university was also home to the employee who earned the most, an unnamed member of academic staff who pocketed £690,000.

In all, there were also 91 universities where staff received remuneration greater than £300,000.

The alliance said that, despite reductions in funding per students and with tuition fees hitting £9,000, salaries in many higher education institutions are amongst the highest in the public sector, raising questions over student value for money.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will not begrudge an inspiring headteacher or world-class academic a good salary if they produce great results and motivate their students, but too often this is not what we find.

"Where institutions fail but financial rewards continue to flow to those at the top regardless, there is clearly a serious problem and taxpayers have every right to be concerned.

"The pay and perks enjoyed by those working at our schools and universities - and indeed across the entire public sector - must more accurately reflect how well they are doing their jobs."

The University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, said the research reflects concerns it has previously raised that vice-chancellor pay continues to rise above inflation while front-line staff have seen their real terms pay fall substantially in recent years

"UCU has said for many years that the salaries and benefits enjoyed by vice-chancellors are embarrassing and completely out of control, as this new report reaffirms," she said.

"As staff pay continues to fall in real terms and many academics are stuck in insecure contracts, inflation-busting salary increases at the top show that vice-chancellors are sadly out of touch.

"UCU has raised with ministers time and again the need for a national register of vice-chancellor pay and perks, and agreed standards for open and transparent governance in our universities so trust in the system can be restored. New proposals to exempt universities from freedom of information requirements would be disastrous for holding university leaders to account."