Female headteachers in Capital ‘earn £6,000 less’ than male counterparts

Female headteachers in the Capital earn less than male counterparts.
Female headteachers in the Capital earn less than male counterparts.
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FEMALE headteachers in the Capital earn on average £6000 less than their male counterparts every year, new figures reveal.

Latest data shows the average salary for a male headteacher in Edinburgh in 2017 is £62,951.06 compared to £56,345.22 for women.

However, union bosses have said the gap is not linked to gender bias and is likely a result of the fact more secondary headships – which typically command higher salaries – are held in the city by men.

Greg Dempster, general secretary at the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, said there were a number of different aspects which come into play when a head’s pay is set.

He said: “The salaries are arrived at using the national job sizing toolkit so every job is measured not anything to do with the person filling that job. It’s completely gender, ethnicity [and] age neutral.

“It’s not even as simple as school size because if a role is in an area of high deprivation the toolkit will arrive at higher salaries than if it’s in an affluent area. It’s school type, school size and school sector.”

Mr Dempster said he did not think the figures reflected a problem with bias, adding: “A higher percentage of headteachers are male in secondary schools so that will be skewing the figures.

“The vast proportion of primary heads are female so we can see why the average male salary would be higher because the average secondary school salary is considerably higher.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is an equal opportunities employer. All headteachers are paid based on the size of the school they are managing.”

The figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, show headteachers across all schools earn on average £58,209.77, with pay gradually increasing each year from £55,576.15 in 2013.

It comes just days after an international study showed Scotland’s teachers had seen salaries drop by six per cent in a decade compared to their counterparts in many other countries getting pay rises.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed teachers’ salaries in both Scotland and England fell in real terms between 2005-2015.

Last week the Evening News also revealed a school in the Capital had resorted to drafting in other subject teachers for maths lessons and calling on parents for help after it was unable to recruit enough staff.

Trinity Academy head Bryan Paterson wrote to parents saying he was unable to fill two maths teacher vacancies, despite advertising the posts twice.