That howling you can hear is the furore created by the news that Tidemill Primary School headteacher Mark Elms is paid ‘over £200k a year’. Brockley Kate does a nice dissection of that figure (briefly: his actual annual salary is £82k; the rest of his 2009/10 pay was made up of overtime, payment due from a previous year, and pay for work on a government programme tackling underachievement in disadvantaged areas). Numbers starting to look a bit less ‘outrageous‘ now?
Tidemill is in Deptford – for all the burgeoning gentrification, it’s still an area with large areas of deprivation. Yet in 2008 Ofsted judged it to be an ‘outstanding’ school, it’s 16th nationally for ‘value added’ and gets overwhelming support from parents – both in its own survey and in this morning’s vox pop from the BBC. We should be proud of people like this, willing to work hard in the unloved corners of our cities, for a fraction of the pay they could get working for Goldman Sachs – as our own Jonn Elledge pointed out a month ago.