While headteachers in Scotland tend to earn more than the average in countries like Finland, New Zealand and France, they lag behind those in England, according to new figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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In 2020-21, the average salary earned by Scottish secondary heads was $82,718 (around £73,000), 48 per cent lower than the $122,697 (approx £108,000) their counterparts in England made. Primary headteachers in Scotland earn less on average than those in England (£102,000 vs £114,000).
The OECD’s research shows that while headteachers’ salaries in Scotland are relatively high compared to other countries, they are still significantly lower than those in England. This is likely a source of frustration for many headteachers in Scotland, who feel they are not paid fairly for their work.
According to the figures, the gap between Scottish and English headteachers’ salaries has been widening in recent years, with English heads now earning around £15,000 more on average. This will likely add to the pressure on Scottish headteachers, who already face a challenging job market and increased workloads.
With headteachers’ salaries in England set to rise again in the coming years, the gap between Scottish and English headteachers will likely continue to grow. This could have serious implications for the recruitment and retention of headteachers in Scotland and the quality of education being provided.
The Scottish government has said it is “disappointed” by the figures and has pledged to work with the OECD to address the issue. However, with headteachers’ salaries in England continuing to rise, it is unclear how successful this will be.
What do you think of the Scottish government’s response to the OECD’s findings? Do you feel more needs to be done to close the gap between Scottish and English headteachers’ salaries? Let us know in the comments below.
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