County’s highest-paid head took home nearly �120,000

SUFFOLK: The county’s top-earning headteacher was today revealed as Farlingaye High School’s Sue Hargadon.

She took home a total pay package of �119,570.34p in the last year, according new figures from the county council.

The data, revealed after a Freedom of Information Act request by The Evening Star, showed seven heads pocketed more than �100,000 in the same period.

The total for the top ten earners in Suffolk secondary schools was �1,038,661, while the ten highest-paid primary school heads were paid �767,687.85p overall.

Ms Hargadon earned a �104,808 salary plus �14,761 in pension and potential performance bonuses. The highest-paid primary school boss is Jacqueline Cutchey, of Northfield St Nicholas Primary School and St Margaret’s Community Primary Schools in Lowestoft, who pocketed a total remuneration package worth �84,847.

In Ipswich, the best-paid primary boss is Karen Heath at Britannia Primary School and Nursery who earns a total package of �75,979.

Graham White, Suffolk secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said while he believes secondary school headteachers are paid appropriately, primary school heads are not paid very well.

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He said the most he would expect a headteacher in a Suffolk secondary school to earn is just over �100,000 – five-times the salary of a newly qualified teacher, who earns around �21,000 in Suffolk.

He said the role is similar to senior management positions in businesses and as such their salaries are not unexpected.

He said: “Headteachers’ jobs are very difficult. It is a major management responsibility and they are dealing with very large budgets, in some cases between two and three million pounds depending on the size of the school.

“I don’t think we can say headteachers are overpaid.

“Clearly Farlingaye is an outstanding school in Ofsted terms and she (Sue Hargadon) will have received performance bonuses to reflect the amount of hard work she has put into the school.”

But he said primary headteachers were not well paid, given the level of responsibility and teaching commitment they are obliged to fulfil.

“My perception is the average primary school headteacher’s salary is probably around �50,000.

“They do the same job as secondary heads, but have to teach as well.”

County councillor Graham Newman, portfolio holder for Children, Schools and Young People said: “Headteachers have a significant responsibility in terms of the wellbeing and education of young people as well as a major role in leading and motivating staff to deliver the very best.

“In addition, headteachers manage considerable budgets and some also have the role of Executive Headteacher, where they lead another school in addition to their own. The salary of headteachers reflects these roles and responsibilities.”

Earlier this year, the �200,000 pay package of a primary school headteacher in south London sparked outrage from trade unions. Education Secretary Michael Gove wants heads’ pay to be capped at the PM’s salary of �142,500.

n Do you think headteachers’ pay is fair? Should primary school headteachers be paid more? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to evening starletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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