Headlines: September 16th, 2009

A union leader has claimed that some head teachers have been “seduced” into seeing education just as a way to make money. Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers told a fringe meeting at the TUC Congress in Liverpool that a bonus culture was creeping into state schools.

Dr Bousted told the meeting she had no objections to heads being paid fairly for a demanding and increasingly insecure job. Schools, she said, could now pay head teachers more than the national pay scale figure of 102,734 pounds outside London and added that there was evidence of senior staff being paid bonuses.

“The vast majority of school leaders in England and Wales still see education as a public service, but a few have been seduced into seeing it as a chance to make money,” she said and added: “We strongly support schools working together to share good practice, and we strongly support school leaders working together but we do not support the growth in executive heads, consultant heads, super heads, and super duper heads.”

Dr Boustead feared that allowing a bonus culture in schools would introduce a new range of well-paid top jobs that had little to do with children’s education. In situations where there was an executive head and a head in a school there was the question of who was being paid for what? Every pound spent on bonuses, she said, was a pound less for books and equipment for pupils, and less for classroom based staff.