Deptford primary school teacher slated over (inaccurate) '£200k' pay packet

Mark Elms, head teacher of Tidemill Primary School in Deptford, is currently getting a pasting in the national media for earning '£200k a year' ('more than the prime minister!' etc).

Let's get the facts straight first: Mr Elms was paid over £200,000 in 2009/10, including a £51,000 previous-year payment. That takes us to £149,000 which actually relates to 2009/10.
The prime minister is paid £142,500.

Mr Elms' basic salary was £82,714. He was paid around £10k overtime (in the private and third sectors, senior staff aren't usually entitled to receive overtime; I don't know whether this is the case across the public sector too).

Mr Elms was also paid approx. £50k a year for two years' work on a programme introduced by the Labour government to tackle underachievement in disadvantaged areas. From media reports, it's not clear whether this was in addition to his duties as head teacher, or part of them.
According to the school's website: 'Our 2008 results placed us top in Lewisham and 16th in the country for 'value-added' - the measure of the progress children have made since they entered the school. We have been ranked in the top 5 per cent most-improving schools for the last 4 years.'

So, the hysteria over the headline '£200k' figure doesn't appear to be warranted. The wider issue of senior staff pay remains. Schools' governing bodies are free to set senior staff pay levels. Lewisham Council said it had given 'formal advice' to Tidemill's governors; its role in the decision does not extend any further.

However, this does highlight the fact that 'academy' schools - which have opted out of local authority control - are free to act in a more commercially-minded way. Tidemill is considering applying for academy status, according to the GMB union.

Ted Purcell, the GMB union's public services officer, said: 'There is a complete lack of accountability when schools are opted out of local authority control. This demonstrates that opposition to academy status is well-founded, as these new schools will be a law unto themselves.'

Edit: BBC education reporter Hannah Richardson weighs into the debate with some actual facts and background. The two £50k payments were for work on the 'London Challenge and City Challenge project'. This seems to involve helping struggling schools, even going so far as to take a management role if necessary - so yes, he could quite possibly have been doing two jobs at once. The maximum head teacher pay rate for large inner London state schools is £109,000 - well above Mr Elms' £83k basic pay.

148 comments:

Anonymous said...

The BBC article also notes: "He was also paid £10,000 in overtime for 2009-10, and a further £9,317 for overtime in 2008/09."

Once this additional £9,317 is taken into account, his payment for 2009/10 is just under £140,000, which is less than the Prime Minister.

Some pretty sloppy work from the Beeb and other media outlets - thanks for the great writeup.

- M.

drakefell debaser said...

I am glad that Mr Elms rode a bicycle to work this morning, I think the reporters stood outside the school were expected him to turn up in a Porsche.

Any idea how much Mr Purcell earns?

drakefell debaser said...

Expecting him, even....

richhawk57 said...

Glad someone else has spotted this.

Today the front page of the Telegraph newspaper included this story. They also stated that the average salary of a 'primary teacher' was £55,000!!!

That has got to be wrong I thought, so I went to this website:
http://www.mysalary.co.uk/average-salary/Primary_School_Teacher_2187

And then when I looked again at the telegraph website here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7886642/Primary-school-headmaster-earns-more-than-276000.html

I noticed it said 'Primary Head teacher' there instead.

Makes me wonder if they do these things on purpose as nobody (except me) ever reads the corrections the next day do they?

love detective said...

"Mr Elms was also paid approx. £50k a year for two years' work on a programme introduced by the Labour government to tackle underachievement in disadvantaged areas. From media reports, it's not clear whether this was in addition to his duties as head teacher, or part of them"

I would say either way it smells pretty bad - if this was in addition to his duties as head, is it fair that he continued to receive the full salary for his role as head (plus being able to actually extract overtime from it as well) while effectively doing what sounds like another full time job (paying over hundred grand).

If it was part of his duties as head then why did he get paid the equivalent of another full time senior job for doing what was already in his job spec

would be interesting to see how many hours he put in each week to get an idea as to how much crossover there was between the two paid jobs, sounds like to me he was being paid two salaries for effectively (and by all accounts he was very effective at his job) doing one job - plus raking in overtime for it as well. He's not related to barbara judge by any chance

this whole thing about whether he gets paid just above or just below the PM pretty much misses the point of the story - this whole PM comparison thing is pointless anyway

love detective said...

typo above, where i said:-

(paying over hundred grand)

should have been:-

(paying over 50 grand).

Brockley Kate said...

LD, I agree with you that this is basically a case of the mainstream media failing to put in enough legwork to establish some pertinent detail about the nature of the various payments this guy has received.
The public sector is a very complicated place these days, and most journalists can't be arsed to ask enough questions to even vaguely understand it.

Brockley Kate said...

It is worth adding that 'academy' schools are set to create an education market similar to the social housing market that developed through the creation of housing associations and large-scale stock transfers in the 1980s.

Reg said...

So what... Lewisham's Head of Regeneration IS paid over £200k!

love detective said...

i'm a bit confused as to why academy schools are being brought into this story, as far as i'm aware at present (but not for much longer) primary schools aren't allowed to apply for academy status - surely the point of this story is that even within local authority 'control' there is no actual control over the large amounts of money people with the appropriate social & cultural capital can extract from the system?

Brockley Nick said...

@Reg - does he deliver value?

@LD - quite

Anonymous said...

Reg - you better call the Telegraph then..

Brockley Nick said...

I don't get why the GMB is playing such a leading role in this affair?

love detective said...

because they conducted an analysis of lewisham council's accounts which led to the story

love detective said...

page 49 here

http://tiny.cc/rslmh

Brockley Kate said...

@LD - I'm guessing that the GMB are campaigning against academy schools and will therefore drag the point into any, even vaguely-related story that they can. If the journo had been a bit more clued-up they would probably have noticed that the comment wasn't relevant and not included it in the copy ...

Brockley Nick said...

@LD - yes, I get that, I just wonder why they think it's a good idea at this time to highlight concerns over pay in the public sector? It just reinforces the perception that there the public sector is bloated and everyone's on the make at the tax payers' expense, which doesn't seem to be in their interest.

Granted, they've used it to attack Academy schools, but as has been pointed out, it's a completely irrelevant attack.

It seems like a strategic error, though no doubt Gove and Osbourne will be delighted.

Mb said...

Absolutly, the public/private thing can be used to prove any point you like. It's a very blunt tool to spit dummies out over salaries without understanding the actual job. Tim o'toole, our former MD was brilliant and at the time was one of the highest paid public sector employees. Lu has a budget larger than some countries and transports millions, you're unlikely to find someone to do that for the pm's pay.

Anonymous said...

This story started in Lewisham's council chamber not the media.

Go look at the video of the last council meeting.

Tidemill is a Community school and I guess the governors are local people given the freedom to make decisions about their school.

The GMB Union raised this in the media, one its bosses was outside the school mouthing off this morning.

The GMB wants control taken away from the Governors and handed back to the LEA.

The same LEA that controlled the school when it was crap, the same LEA the union probably threatened strike action against regarding pay and conditions for its members.

Any comment from the NUT yet?

Anonymous said...

A decent journalist should have scrutinised it. The BBC is not The Metro.

Not sure what the nut is supposed to say, increase the salary for heads in other schools in order to compete in the "Market"?

Hugh said...

How much do you earn, Nick?

Brockley Nick said...

Not as much as a celebrated corporate lawyer like you, I'm sure. What's that got to do with anything.

love detective said...

"LD - yes, I get that, I just wonder why they think it's a good idea at this time to highlight concerns over pay in the public sector?"

union bureaucrats have never really been known for their tactical or strategic nous (unless it relates to the perpetuation of the conditions that ensures their own career isn't harmed)

but putting that aside, I don't think public scrutiny of highly paid public officials should be suppressed just because it could offer an opportunity for the govt to benefit from it and to attack the terms & conditions of those way further down the pay chain - that would be political cowardice and an area, ironically, that union officials are usually more comfortable operating in

regardless of the motivations and tactical considerations, this information is in the public interest, regardless of the backdrop it's set against

to me it's not a public/private issue - it's a social/cultural/economic inequality issue, people are on the make at this kind of level in both the public & private sectors and generally are happy to shaft those further down in the public & private sectors while doing so and while maintaining "we're all in this together"

excess in either the public or private sector should have a light shone on it as a matter of principle

just to clarify though, this chap seems to be highly respected by his peers and parents a like, and no doubt is justified having one salary in the upper quintile of the pay scale - but two? - how many workers on or around the median salary would be allowed (or get the opportunity) to take on another role in addition to their main job and get paid a full time salary for it while effectively just doing one actual job (this is an assumption on my part granted but unless he was putting in around 80-90 hours a week across the two jobs i think it's a reasonable assumption to make) - i'm sure in the years ahead most public sector workers will get the opportunity to do two jobs at once, but unfortunately under somewhat different circumstances to Mr Elms

Anonymous said...

Proof the GMB Union started the ball rolling, from their own website YESTERDAY 12 July...

"It is outrageous that a Head Teacher in a local community school should earn more money than the Prime Minister says GMB."

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/latest_news/head_teacher_pay.aspx

Anonymous said...

Why is important who "started" it? The accuracy off the reporting is the point.

love detective said...

"A decent journalist should have scrutinised it"

On a fairly anal point and to be fair to the lazy journalists - the accounts presented by lewisham council (which are presented on an accruals not a cash basis) show a total salary for the 2009/10 year of 231k excluding pension and 277k including pension provision.

As the notes to the accounts themselves say regarding what the accruals basis means:-

This means that the accounts have been prepared by matching income and expenditure against the timing of when goods, works or
services were provided or received respectively.


Therefore a reasonable person reading those accounts would be justified in thinking that the 231k/277k numbers actually did relate to services provided in that one financial year. If the stories in the press are true about the various amounts relating to previous financial years then it implies lewisham council's accounts are incorrectly presented, and may indeed be why at present they contain no independent auditor's statment

Anonymous said...

No wonder the coucil tax is so high!

Anonymous said...

The GMB Union are not aware that Lewisham is striving to provide a 'World Class'* education for its residents.

*From the proposal for a new school in Hither Green going before the Mayor tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is the truth that dare not speak its name: teachers, nurses and others have been on a bit of a gravy train these past years of plenty during the great Blair/Brown project.

I remember times when when these professions were underpaid and put upon. Symbols of heroic self sacrifice to the ideals of public service.

Seems like they've turned into a bunch of Champagne Charlies.

Anonymous said...

The money for schools comes from Central Government and is merely distributed by the council.

The Governors decide the renumeration package.

Has no bearing on the amount of council tax.

Anyone notice at the last council meeting the defence of Lewisham's Chief Exec being a personal 'profit centre'?

Brockley Kate said...

You do get previous year accruals arising quite a bit in other sets of accounts, eg. housing associations. Also pension fund deficit provisions can cause a lot of confusion when not broken down by reporters.

love detective said...

" teachers, nurses and others have been on a bit of a gravy train these past years"

what utter nonsense - do you have any evidence to support your claim about say nurses and this supposed gravy train they have been enjoying?

Anonymous said...

Champange charlies? Yeah, nurses and doctors who keep us alive and venal teachers who educate future generations should be paid subsistence wages. If they don't do it for love they're in it for the wrong reasons.

That's a joke in case Lou is reading.

love detective said...

"You do get previous year accruals arising quite a bit in other sets of accounts"

perhaps, if the 2008/2009 accounts were incorrect (i.e. because they did not include a charge for the salary element that belonged to that year), then indeed it would need to be charged in the 2009/2010 accounts in terms of overall hit to profit and loss account.

However, as the salary disclosure of Mr Elms himself is in the notes to the accounts which specifically sets out salary bandings relating to both the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 years, the overall amount should have been split across these two disclosure tables to give an accurate representation of salary across those two years (or at least a note contained pointing out the overall salary amount paid in the 2009/2010 year did not all relate to services provided in that year)

I don't blame journalists for getting this 'wrong' - the information in lewisham's accounts is both misleading and wrong (assuming the stories in the press about prior year payments are actually true)

Anonymous said...

Champange charlies? Yeah, nurses and doctors who keep us alive and venal teachers who educate future generations should be paid subsistence wages. If they don't do it for love they're in it for the wrong reasons.

That's a joke in case Lou is reading.

Brockley Kate said...

You're such a good accountant, LD ;)

Anonymous said...

In April the Head of Tidemill signed a letter to the Guardian that included....

It is clear now that only the present (labour) government is committed to guaranteeing ringfenced and increased investment in all our schools.

The alternative proposals are not about steady investment in the whole system but the threat of across-the-board cuts coupled with boutique experiments borrowed as a result of naive educational tourism.


The letter rejected the 'free' schools idea of the Tories.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/apr/14/shared-vision-for-education

Anonymous said...

@Anon: "Why is important who "started" it? The accuracy off the reporting is the point."

The GMB produced a press release stating they were 'outraged' and mentioned Tidemill was interested in being an Acadamey.

Why should the media censor the union's opinions?

Teacher said...

I don't care who started it...

logistical said...

Wayne Rooney versus this headmaster: discuss in terms of pay, performance, and value!

Brockley Kate said...

Pleased to see that Journalism.co.uk approves of my work! :)
http://twitter.com/lauraoliver

Lou Baker said...

Actually Lou says good on him.

Teachers who do a good job should be properly rewarded.

But the crap and lazy ones should be removed.

Get education right and you save loads of money in other areas. So I'd never begrudge decent teachers a decent salary.

But don't believe the figure quoted in the Mail - useless pile of hate-filled crap that it us.

Mb said...

No, the media shouldn't censor the gmb opinion. They should scrutinise the claims otherwise you may as well simply reprint press releases from whoever has an agenda. Journalists should be professional cynics, whether or not their heart is in it.

Monkeyboy said...

I find myself agreeing with Lou. I shall be retiring from public life immediately and do not expect to be disturbed.

Anonymous said...

'Please Sir! Where 's your Porche?

Sky rocketing bonuses lead to staff room Bonanza!

Mr Chips cashes in on city style bonus culture.

'Cash for yobs scandal hits Lewisham schools as super head pockets big bucks in crime academies'

Pimary school teachers coin it in caring for Lewishams terror tots.

Those who can, do. Those who can't.....teach and get Loads of Money in Lewisham for looking after infants!

Ahhhh. Making up Tabloid headlines is so much fun.

Now Then said...

I'm afraid that we havn't given Hugh the opening to tell us that its all peanuts to him. Going by past performance this may lead to tears before bedtime. So... Fire away Hugh.

Anonymous said...

Kate - your numbers still don't add up to the 230k in the accounts though.
230k less the 60k from prior years leaves 170k pay for this year. This seems to be 80k basic plus 50k for his London Challenge work plus 10k overtime, only comes to 140k. There's 30k still missing.

Also, the pension note says that Lewisham pays 14.1% of teachers' salaries to the teachers pension scheme. But Mr Elms' pension contribution is about 19% - is he in a different scheme to the teachers?

M said...

Apparently Hugh is a lawyer and earns loads of money. I don't know if he's mentioned that at all...?

Now Then said...

Loads of money eh?..gosh.I do hope for his sake his car comes equipped with central locking in case of civic turmoil with disaffected swimming pool staff and such.

Anonymous said...

Should the Council's 'formal' and 'confidential' letter to the school be made public?

Anonymous said...

Not often you see the GMB and Daily Telegraph singing from the same hymn sheet.

sean said...

i cant believe the GNB union is causing this man so much trouble.....
he hasn't stole the money and unless i have got it wrong he has worked miracles at this school (in my area)....
the gmb and the press should be ashamed of themselves....
its a shame that in the uk we never give praise to the people who earn it.

Brockley Nick said...

@Sean - agreed.

Anonymous said...

Sean, I presume the GMB and their members are upset that some people are being laid off or given no pay rises, while a single person earns compensation of 270k in a year. It is a fair political point and I don't see why union outrage should not be directed at public sector fat cats just because they cycle to work.

Tressilliana said...

Mark Elms used to be head at Gordonbrock. It was Lewisham's idea to send him into Tidemill to turn it around at a point when Ofsted were contemplating shutting it down. He works very, very hard and he is very effective in many ways but he also (when I knew him) took no prisoners. I wonder if he's had any run ins with the GMB.

Anonymous said...

Shocking!!!! Wonder if all his staff claim overtime for their planning, etc. He should be ashamed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and should all of u who think this is acceptable, what about the all the other thousands of teachers who work bloody hard in similiar areas like Deptford??????

coffeepot said...

Anon@ 18.42

I am a teacher working bloody hard in SE8 (tho not at Tidemill) and I have no beef with Mr Elms' pay, as it goes ...

An effective, innovative and cohesive school relies on excellent leadership. Mr Elms style make take no prisoners (think this is a correct assumption) but it results in an excellent, in fact outstanding, education for children who go there.

Anonymous said...

Coffeepot - if someone is very good at their job they should get substanially more than their salary? Hmm in the private sector if you are not very good at your job you wouldn't have it for too long. Yes, award bonus for outstanding work - but this level of salary for running a priary school is beyond a joke and the money could be used elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish, plenty of folk in the private sector survive even though they're not great at their job. Is there any evidence that tis chap isn't? Looks a bit thin on the ground.

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't get a ridiculous bonus for simply doing your job in the private sector. I mean recruitment consultants don't get a wedge for recruiting, estate agents don't get one for selling a house.....oh, hang on...

Silly isn't it? No one has actually found any evidence other than this guy is good at his job. Furthermore he works in a school that has been released from the burden of government regulation, ten governors have Bern given to go to the market and set the deal. One could argue that it's not public sector enough. I wonder how gove will reconcile greater autonomy while insisting that he sets the salary?

coffeepot said...

anon @19.39

But the payment in question included his city challenge employment in what sounds like a consultative capacity, as I understand it, which is above and beyond his role as HT. Although I accept the queries around this as outlined by Love Detective above.

Brockley Kate said...

Jaysus. He does NOT earn £200k a year, £230k a year, £270k a year, or any further advances on that figure.

Get a grip and learn to count, people.

Brockley Kate said...

PS. Anyone who is unable to add up to 200,000 should perhaps ask Mr Elms for some extracurricular tuition. I hear he's good at his job ...

Transpontine said...

The comparison with the Prime Minister's pay is a red herring. The Prime Minister's salary is supplemented by two free houses, free transport and I bet he doesn't very often pay for a meal either.

Anonymous said...

I see on BBC TV London they were making it clear the GMB Union was the source of misleading info.

Are there any GMB sponsored members on the council?

Kate the GMB say it was £237,000.

Brockley Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brockley Kate said...

(double post)


Transpontine - very true. Plus the pension, of course. (Though I believe Cameron has said he will forego it).

Just think - if this story can be reported so inaccurately, I wonder how much of the rest of the news is wrong?!

PS. Anon - please use some kind of identifying name. Also, the GMB may say it's £237k, but is that paid or earned? How much previous year accrual is included in the £237k figure? To what does that accrual relate? Do the GMB say that? I'd love to know.

Anonymous said...

Here's a breakdown of his pay as supplied by the governors of the school, who say they are extremely happy with Mr. Elms.


Earnings 2009/10

Basic salary - £82,714.37

Appointment and retention payment - £26,413.00

Out-of-hours work (2009/10) - £10,000.00

Arrears for regrading (2008/09) - £9,317.00

Employers’ Pension Contributions (09/10) - £16,700.70

Sub Total: £145,145.07

Additional payments

Work on the government’s City Challenge programme (2009/10) - £51,997.50

Backpayment for work on the government’s City Challenge programme (2008/09) - £50,957.50

Pension contributions on these City Challenge payments - nil

Total payment: £248,100.07

Anonymous said...

Kate this is from the GMB Union website, they provided no breakdown of the figures in interviews.

GMB OUTRAGE AT LONDON HEAD TEACHER PAY OF £231,400 TO GIVE REMUNERATION PACKAGE OF £276,523

It is outrageous that a Head Teacher in a local community school should earn more money than the Prime Minister says GMB.

A GMB analysis of the 2009/10 accounts for Lewisham Borough Council reveals that the Headteacher of Tidmill School, Lewisham, a M Elms had a salary £231,400 in 2009/10 and that the total remuneration package including employers pension contributions was £276,523. The school has expressed an interest in academy status.

Anonymous said...

Despite claims of a remuneration of £276,000 the BBC stated they could find no confirmation that was true.

In an interview this afternoon Ted Purcell was affectively accussed of playing dirty tricks.

The union put out a story it knew papers like the Mail & Telegraph would eat for breakfast.

Brockley Kate said...

It would be great if the GMB could bring itself to be accurate. However it would be even nicer if journalists could DO THEIR JOBS by checking the GMB claims rather than simply repeating the GMB's assertions as fact ...

PS. Still anon, I note ...

Anonymous said...

This is as helpful in understanding teachers pay as the discussion of a single housing benefit claimant who gets thousands a week in setting benefit levels. Well done gmb.

Anonymous said...

This teacher seems to be a miracle worker - some heartwarming eulogies from parents on the PM programme on R4 this evening - one who said in 8 weeks her son's life had completely turned around (for the better).

Good for him, sounds like he is worth it. Unlike the union guy on PM who among various inarticulate pronouncements said the credit belonged equally to all the staff at the school, and that they were all excellent. Which clearly shows he doesn't understand the concept of excelling. He came across as a mean-spirited fool.

Primary Teacher said...

I am a bit confused on this one. I certainly feel that he deserves a good salary as he is obviously well respected and does a good job based on the results and comments of the parents but it really annoys me that he has got £10,000 in over time payment! I work extremely hard, do lots of work at home after school and also at the weekend but i, and all the other teachers, are not entitled to overtime. Now this in my opinion is not fair! I am not sure how this can be justified.

love detective said...

@ kate - "It would be great if the GMB could bring itself to be accurate."

The GMB accurately reported the figures that Lewisham Council reported in their accounts.

@ anon - "Despite claims of a remuneration of £276,000 the BBC stated they could find no confirmation that was true."

the BBC (or anyone else on this thread) obviously didn't look very hard - the figure of 276k (which includes 45k of pension contributions) can be seen on page 49 of Lewisham Council's accounts which I linked to further up this thread

@ anaon - "Kate this is from the GMB Union website, they provided no breakdown of the figures in interviews.

GMB OUTRAGE AT LONDON HEAD TEACHER PAY OF £231,400 TO GIVE REMUNERATION PACKAGE OF £276,523"

The GMB did an analysis of Lewisham Council's accounts and accurately reported what was contained within those accounts in relation to Mr Elms salary for 2009/10 - If as it appears to to be the case that Lewisham Council has presented inaccurate or misleading accounts this is no fault of the GMB. The GMB reported what was contained within the accounts, they did not suppress any information as no additional information was contained within those accounts

All that aside, even deducting the 51k + 9k that supposedly relates to the 2008/09 year that still leaves an overall package of around 170k for the 2009/10 year (not the 140k odd that was mentioned on this thread previously). Plus in addition to this 170k there was another 45k of pension contributions taking the overall package for the 2009/10 year alone well above the 200k figure that was previously ridiculed as being nonsense



I'm not making much comment either way on that 170k/210k amount but it seems to be that most on this thread are unable at even arriving at the accurate amount, let alone

love detective said...

sorry i got bored and just stopped typing there

Brockley Kate said...

Not surprised tbh, it's all a bit mountain ---> molehill, innit. Let's get back to arguing about house prices and mews re-development.

Lou Baker said...

@kate

You're being particularly unfair to journalists. The story - and the salary - were reported accurately on all the broadcast news I heard. They all made it clear his basic salary was just over £80k and the rest was earned in other ways.

Yes, the Mail was misleading. But it is misleading of you to describe the Mail as journalism.

Anonymous said...

@Love Detective

The GMB expressed outrage at his pay as a Head Teacher of £231,000.

Strip out the £100,000+ for the City Challenge work leaves £130,000.

It's like saying a councillor earning £100,000 from their day job is being paid £100,000+ as a councillor.

Your figure of £170,000 appears to include 2 seperate jobs paid by two seperate organisations.

The suggestion he was paid £231,000 to be head of Tidemill is false.

Anonymous said...

I truly do not get this country, why is everyone moaning about this? It is a great salary, might be a bit over the general payment, but he is doing a good JOB and is well regarded, his job is to make sure that our kids are well educated.
I happily pay my taxes towards this, however, I am pretty unhappy paying my taxes to families on benefits living in million pounds properties... it looks like you have to be unemployed and pop 6 plus kids to be able to complain about where you live and have the opportunity to “chose” between 2K a month paid by us, with 6/7 bedrooms instead of going for something cheaper…. Me and my partner worked really hard, and do not dream to have 6 kids and have a marvellous mansion for them, for god’s sake! At least this Teacher is working!!!! I’ve seen families rejecting work, cause it is better for them to be on benefits, what a disgrace!
Not saying everyone is like that, but I did not have kids, I sacrificed many things cause I can not afford them, maybe if I start having kids like a rabbit I will be able to live in a nice place… and we are complaining about someone that actually works!!!! Please please please

Anonymous said...

You've fallen into the trap! The million pound house thing is an aberration and will be used by whoever as smokescreen to cut HB to those who need it. In the same way as gove was using the heads salary as a stick to beat public sector workers for their supposed high pay. You'll be quoting the Express headline about "ethnics" next to illustrate some dubious immigration argument.

Anonymous said...

You are right on that, and as I said in my previous comment, not everyone exploits the system, and they are many people who are in genuine trouble, starting with me... After working 8 years flat in this country (community passport), never claimed a benefit in my life, I found myself in 2008 made redundant, with a mortgage that I could not pay and the only benefit that was granted to me, was the honours £64 per week job seeker allowance, same as many other mid 30’s that NEVER worked, I had to leave my house and rent it, cause the government would not help me in any other way… it took me 6 long months to get back to work, and god knows I tried, excuse me if I make this a personal matter, but I find all this a bit unfair, smokescreen or not, there are some serious problems to be solved, but I am paying taxes towards people that live much better than me doing nothing and it is quite annoying.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to understand what it would be like to live on 64quid a week, but there is a tabloid trend that governments (including the last one in some cases) of sneering at those who claim benefit and love quoting these cases to illustrate how feckless and lazy claimants are. It's not helpful.

Glad you seem to be getting back on your feet, I wonder how many families have gone under or just given up? Being told your a failure can destroy some people.

love detective said...

"@Love Detective

The GMB expressed outrage at his pay as a Head Teacher of £231,000.

Strip out the £100,000+ for the City Challenge work leaves £130,000.

It's like saying a councillor earning £100,000 from their day job is being paid £100,000+ as a councillor.

Your figure of £170,000 appears to include 2 seperate jobs paid by two seperate organisations.

The suggestion he was paid £231,000 to be head of Tidemill is false."

Not sure how many times I need to say this for it to sink in. The GMB accurately reported what was contained in Lewisham Council's accounts, which again I refer you to page 49 of in the link further above, this states:-

Post Holder Information
Senior Employees-Salary over £150,000

Head Teacher Tidemill School -M Elms - 231k (excluding pension)/276k (including pension)


As i've said above, if Lewisham Council have inaccurately presented their accounts in relation to this then this is not the fault of the GMB.

Also if you'd paid attention to the discussion above you would have seen there is some doubt as to whether he was actually paid two salaries for doing two jobs, or whether he was paid two salaries for doing effectively one job. If you maintain he was being paid two salaries for two seperate jobs i'd be interested in seeing a breakdown of how many hours he put in each week for each job - one full time job would normally require full time focus, at least 45 hour or so a week, so are we saying he was doing 90 hours a week (plus what he managed to take in overtime) in relation to these two jobs? If so then fair enough. However if it is a case of effectively being paid twice to do one day job then surely you can see why this is a public interest issue

If it is the case that he puts in a normal working week (say 45-50 hours) which covered both jobs, then clearly to get an accurate FTE salary we would need to gross up both salaries to get the FTE amount, which would be even higher.

Anonymous said...

Kate - you are accusing other people of not being able to add up and yet your numbers do not add up either.
Based on the numbers provided by the governors (see Anon post above at 21:03) he earnt £188,000 in 2009/10 (inc pension contributions), plus some back pay of around £60,000 iro 2008/9. This still leaves a black hole compared to Lewisham's accounts of some £28,000 - this seems to be down to the difference in pension contributions in Lewisham's account v the governors' numbers.

Also his basic salary isn't £83,000 at all. Since the appointment and retention payment is not iro any other work or performance related, his basic salary for 2009/10 was in fact £109,127 (not including pension). So above the £109,000 maximum.

Hugh said...

To be fair £200,000 isn't much in London.

love detective said...

yawn

Anonymous said...

Hugh - it's a lot everywhere. It may, however, be a fair amount.

Anonymous said...

This chap sounds well paid but in return is turning around the education of many children in schools that were failing. So a bargain because everyone benefits.

But is this the most effective way to raise standards?

I read in my paper there are 17,000 substandard teachers of which only 18 of which have been struck off. We seem to have Very high tolerance level for poor teachers. Just as in the past we tolerated sink schools.

Now at least we have a way of closing failing schools. Maybe we should also have a way of encouraging poor teachers to find something else to do. Pay them off?

Anonymous said...

Just think how much more this guy contributes to society than, say, a corporate lawyer. Makes him look like a real bargain at £200k+...

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest.

THere's no way a primary in Deptford should have a head with another job on the go. It's hardly as if these children are max-ing out their potential, despite how much they have "improved".

Assess the children in a straightforward way, relative to what they can do, not what they used to be able to do a few years ago. You'll find it is a sink school and any conscientious head would be spending all of his/her time there.

Anonymous said...

There are far more examples of obscene troughing than an outstanding headmaster earning over £200k.

The Nationwide is supposedly run for the benefit of members. Yet while mortgages are like hens' teeth and savers suffer interest rates as low as 0.1%, the annual accounts just published show executive directors "earning" between £800,000 and £1.9 million a year.

A huge chunk of that is "performance pay", yet Nationwide profits fell 46% last year.

Imagine what these salaries would be if it was not a mutual society run for the benefits of members.

Anonymous said...

@Love Dectective

Also on page 49 there is a table entitled 'Employees whose Remuneration was £50,000 or more' in 2008/9 the highest remuneration shown is £105,000 to £109,999 for 1 person.

Then in 2009/10 one person magically appears with a remuneration of over £230,000.

Didn't the GMB Union wonder why in comparison the previous year the highest renumeration was around £105,000, did they not make enquiries of the council?

It's not as if a breakdown was not available, it had been made public at the council meeting last week.

The BBC displayed a graphic showing a breakdown of of Mr Elms renumartion before they spoke to Ted Purcell of the GMB.

When interviewed a number of times throughout the day Mr Purcell chose to ignore the breakdown of the figures provided by the council.

Mr Purcell has numerous members who work in schools but if we are to take at face value his interpretation of the figures provided then he demonstated a complete lack of understand how schools are funded.

Hugh said...

Pity corporate lawyers are so overpaid. For non-lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah, blah blah, get back in your box Hugh. (how come you can't afford a partner?)

Hugh said...

I can afford yours. But her price is low, admittedly.

:)

M said...

Money can't buy you charm - as Hugh proves with every post!

Hugh said...

Hmm. Charm you or have money. Toughie.

Anonymous said...

Hugh wrote:
I can afford yours. But her price is low, admittedly.

Gutted. I bet your dad is bigger than mine also.

M said...

Shame you can't manage both eh?

Hugh said...

No need. Only one is working and, as I say, she's cheap.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @2:54
What does this have to do with how funding works?
And if we are stripping out the backdated pay from this year's number (so Mr Elms only earnt c£210k), then we need to add it back to last year's, so he moves out of the £105-£110k bucket and into the £165-170k one.

love detective said...

Anon - that's a fair point I suppose, but I think you let Lewisham Council of far too lightly on this. It's clear that the accounts they have presented are inaccurate & misleading in this regard and have been the source of most of the confusion around this story.

Putting that aside though two points remain:-

1. Taking the total package (per Lewisham Council's accounts), including pension contribution, of 277k and knocking off the various amounts that relate to the previous year (60k plus some pension probably) still leaves a total package for 2009/10 year at around 200k - the headline figure bandied about in the media (and included in 'inverted commas' in the headline of this very article and referred to as 'inaccurate'). So all told, like it or not, he did earn roughly 200k in one year. Most of the media and the GMB may have arrived at this figure in an incorrect manner which I agree shows a certain ineptitude on their part, however the 200k number remains

2. I do think it's ironic that those who then defend that 200k package by saying it was for two jobs, don't stop to think for a moment that a headmaster in charge of a challenging school should perhaps devote his full attention to doing that actual job. No one has yet been able to answer any of my questions as to how Mr Elm's time was split between these two roles and the respective efforts that went into each salaried role. If he spent most of his time on the Primary school head role, then it's clear that he is effectively receiving two salaries for doing one job, so the defence that he was being paid 2 salaries for 2 jobs falls away. If he spent roughly half his working week on each role, then shouldn't questions be asked about commitment to his main role, and why he gets paid a substantial full time salary (100k+) for doing the job on a part time basis - in this case to get an accurate FTE amount of his pay we'd need to double the figures being bandied about to get that figure. If the GMB or media had a bit more sense they would have looked into this and done such an analysis, ala private eye

I would have more sympathy if he was actually being paid everything just for his role as head of the school, he's doing a challenging job in a difficult area and doing it well with many tangible signs of success, and in that scenario he would have been putting 100% of his available time & effort into that role. The way it is however is a substantial grey area into how much effort actually goes into which role and how much crossover there is between those roles.

Anyway, that's my lot on this topic - it's not going anywhere

M said...

Hugh, it's good of you to admit to both your lack of charm and to having to pay for sex.
I find your honesty most refreshing.

love detective said...

Anon - that's a fair point I suppose, but I think you let Lewisham Council of far too lightly on this. It's clear that the accounts they have presented are inaccurate & misleading in this regard and have been the source of most of the confusion around this story.

Putting that aside though two points remain:-

1. Taking the total package (per Lewisham Council's accounts), including pension contribution, of 277k and knocking off the various amounts that relate to the previous year (60k plus some pension probably) still leaves a total package for 2009/10 year at around 200k - the headline figure bandied about in the media (and included in 'inverted commas' in the headline of this very article and referred to as 'inaccurate'). So all told, like it or not, he did earn roughly 200k in one year. Most of the media and the GMB may have arrived at this figure in an incorrect manner which I agree shows a certain ineptitude on their part, however the 200k number remains

2. I do think it's ironic that those who then defend that 200k package by saying it was for two jobs, don't stop to think for a moment that a headmaster in charge of a challenging school should perhaps devote his full attention to doing that actual job. No one has yet been able to answer any of my questions as to how Mr Elm's time was split between these two roles and the respective efforts that went into each salaried role. If he spent most of his time on the Primary school head role, then it's clear that he is effectively receiving two salaries for doing one job, so the defence that he was being paid 2 salaries for 2 jobs falls away. If he spent roughly half his working week on each role, then shouldn't questions be asked about commitment to his main role, and why he gets paid a substantial full time salary (100k+) for doing the job on a part time basis - in this case to get an accurate FTE amount of his pay we'd need to double the figures being bandied about to get that figure. If the GMB or media had a bit more sense they would have looked into this and done such an analysis, ala private eye

I would have more sympathy if he was actually being paid everything just for his role as head of the school, he's doing a challenging job in a difficult area and doing it well with many tangible signs of success, and in that scenario he would have been putting 100% of his available time & effort into that role. The way it is however is a substantial grey area into how much effort actually goes into which role and how much crossover there is between those roles.

Anyway, that's my lot on this topic - it's not going anywhere

Hugh said...

M, what's it like being poor? Noble? Good for the soul? Orwellian, even? Tell you what, it's great being overpaid. I can heartily recommend it. You stop caring what the lower economic classes think of you. It's very liberating. Hey, I might even vote Labour one day, just for fun!

Anonymous said...

small man syndrome.

M said...

What makes you think I'm poor Hugh?

Anonymous said...

I love how when Hugh loses an argument all he can think of to say is to slag off his opponent for being 'poor'. He's like a child. A stupid one.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I see Hugh's postings to be full of self loathing and increasingly desperate. He's trying to show off about how much he earns to a group of anonymous people, while being anonymous himself. Thus it's a completely unfulfilling behaviour. The problem is that he can never prove his status - he may be living in a one bedroomed flat, broke and without love. Or he maybe a well off lawyer. I doubt it though. I know someone who works for a magic circle firm who's earning such an astronomical salary that he's going to retire before the age of 46. He never goes on about money because it's not a big deal to him,a nd he finds it slightly embarrasing. People with real money tend to just get on with it.

love detective said...

or as Dorothy Parker once commented:-

If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to

Anonymous said...

I've got considerably more money than Hugh.

Anonymous said...

"what's it like being poor? Noble? Good for the soul? Orwellian, even? Tell you what, it's great being overpaid. I can heartily recommend it. You stop caring what the lower economic classes think of you. It's very liberating. Hey, I might even vote Labour one day, just for fun!"

Dear me. That has to be one of the most embarrassingly crass and juvenile statements ever. Even for Hugh that's bad. If he is a lawyer he should lose his job just for that - it's like something a 12 year old would write.
I really hope he was drunk.

whiff-whaff champion said...

Drunk at a quarter to 12?

No, Hugh is deliberately testing your resolve. It is called trolling.

Hugh said...

I do enjoy watching the poor work themselves into a long thread of rage. Do continue!

Paddyom said...

A headmaster earning £200k in one year???? This is incredible regardless of whether it was overtime or not! The public sector used to pay slightly less than the private sector but made up for it in good holdiays and pensions. Nowadays the public sector increasingly seems to get more than private sector workers as standard, without the risk involved in working for private companies. It stinks of a rip-off of the taxpayer if you ask me.

Paddyom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hmm, so he was paid £109k for being headteacher, but didn't actually do it for the whole year. And the school was given £60k pa to make up for him not doing his job, of which they paid most of it to him.
Crook is the wrong word (since the governors made these decisions) but it's nice work if you can get it!

M said...

Oh. You still doing the 'poor people' thing are you Hugh?
It didn't make much sense the first time to be honest. If we give you some more time do you think you can come up with anything more intelligent or shall we just call it a day?

love detective said...

I wouldn't hold your breath, hugh makes headhunter look like Umberto Ecco in comparison

neanderthal d said...

Hugh works in the legal sector.

Hugh makes tea and photocopies for the nice folk at the Lawyers' Office he works at.

Hugh's photocopies are adequate, but the tea he brews is invariably fed to the plants. Hugh is enthusiastic, conscientious, turns up to work on time and is a valued member of the staff.

Hugh does have a little problem with daydreaming at times. He fancies becoming a real lawyer so that he can drive a real car to work, instead of the rickety old bike he uses for his daily commute. The poor soul cannot even afford the bus fare to work, so he has to cycle in all conditions including rain and ice.

Everyone at work likes and admires Hugh for his sunny demeanour and good humour despite the cruel hand that life has dealt him.

Hugh has just taken his English GCSE, and everyone at work is wishing the best for him when the results come out later this summer.

Hugh is 51.

much amused said...

Loving this.

Everyone else: 5
Hugh: 0

Occasionally it's OK to feed the troll, because it provides so much entertainment to the bystanders.

Bravo, neanderthal d, M et al.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:45
What does this have to do with how funding works?

How schools are funded has changed. Long gone are the days when the local authority controlled the purse strings.

Once you realise where the funding comes from, how it gets to the schools and what was paid to him for being the head of Tidemill, the sooner you will realise what idiots the GMB have been.

The most I can calculate he was paid last year to be head of Tidemill is below £139,000.

Anonymous said...

@Love Detective

Despite knowing how schools are funded the GMB Union and their spokesman did not and do not regard the council figures as misleading.

Regarding your points...

1. He was not paid £200K to be head of Tidemill.

If someone by day was a council Traffic Warden on £15K a year but at weekends was a lapdancer earning an additional £10K.

It would daft to then say that person earns £25K as a Traffic Warden.

2. Parents have praised the Head's work, governors have also pointed out he worked, evenings, weekends and holidays. They see or are aware of no problem.

The role of heads has changed they are now called 'Executive Headteachers'.

An execuctive head may work across 2 or 3 schools.

In this borough a federation was formed between the most successful secondary school and least successful. The head maintained standards at the successful school and significantly improved the standards at the other so that it is now oversubscribed.

What is ironic is that a union complaining about the renumeration of a Head may have a union member employed at a school on full pay but who only works one day a week.

neanderthal d said...

Hugh was unable to post here this evening because he was entertaining folk elsewhere.

Hugh laying down "I Wanna Be Like Hugh - (Velocipede Boy Mix)"

It would be fair to say his toasting abilities are better than his tea making - and as for his dancing.....

You will, of course, note that due to time constraints, Hugh was unable to change his clothes prior to this performance and is still wearing his cycling shoes, socks and shorts. Hugh also has this quaint idea that "real" lawyers wear tailcoats and he likes to wear one when he isn't at work. A very dapper look all round, i think we can all agree.

love detective said...

"He was not paid £200K to be head of Tidemill"

where did I claim/suggest that he was?

Hugh said...

Amusing the way this thread shows how Brox isn't all that right on when it comes to money. I merely observed that 200K isn't much in London. If you find that offensive, I would suggest either getting a proper job or asking for a raise. The third option would be to explain why 200K is objectionable, but you won't be able to so I leave that out. Hope this helps.

M said...

It's not remotely offensive Hugh - just idiotic. Like most of your comments.

Now get back to work son - those burgers won't flip themselves.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymouse 1:30ish

1. He was not paid 200k to be a headteacher. He was paid £150k to be a headteacher, which he didn't do half the time and therefore got paid another 50k for not doing it.
A comparison would be someone who got paid £25k to be a traffic warden but then spent the afternoons being a lap dancer whilst still being paid to be a traffic warden and then demanded the council pay them more money for the loss of performance pay because they missed out giving out tickets.

2. He does indeed seem to be very good at his job. But it's fair that unions who represent people earning a lot less can express their disappointment at the level of his pay package.

Hugh said...

M, what was idiotic about it?

M said...

Now come on Hugh - you know the answer to that one already don't you?

Think hard...

Hugh said...

I asked you.

Bluff called very easily, it seems!

M said...

*sigh*
Very well...

£200k a year is ample - in London or anywhere else, as you well know.

Feel free to scoff, claim you "simply couldn't manage" on such a paltry sum and call us all paupers.
Or, and here's a thought, perhaps try being honest?

Go on, I dare you.

Hugh said...

I didn't say it's not ample. I said it isn't very much in London. You don't do detail, do you?

M said...

Right. So you're sticking with the 'being an cock' thing are you?
Thought as much.

You know full well what I meant. 200k is plenty - is that better?

Actually sod it - you win. I've got better things to do.

Anonymous said...

Hugh knows £200k is a lot of money. More than he earns too no doubt - I don't believe half the crap he says.
He just posts these contentious opinions to get some attention, poor lamb.
Pity him.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:06

Where's your evidence he got paid for being a head teacher which he did not do?

Or are you like the GMB basing your thoughts on an assumption, without knowing the facts?

It has been repeatedly pointed out parents are extremely pleased with his work and comittment to the school, as are the governors.

There has been no suggestion he did not fulfill his role as head of the school or made demands regarding renumeration.

Here we have a school that was crap and in special measures that has been turned round and all people can do is moan about a talented head being paid to show other schools how they can be improved.

Oh, no this is Britain where the working class have to wear an inadequate education as a badge of honour so they can hold their head high as they stride across the threshold of the benefits office to a new dawn.

susiefree said...

i doubt that he is worth every penny, although he may well be very good at crossing the ts and dotting the end of sentences...he recently told a child in his school that he was only going to grow up to be in a gang...i doubt that he believes in the values of education. The governors are in his pocket...they are the ones that decided to give him 85% of city challenge money rather than feed it back into the school. I am afraid what we are witnessing is 'the cult of an individual' .

susiefree said...

forgot to say i am a parent and i have been very cross over the last year...he was never there and the staff are shattered, one staff has recently resigned because of this.

His bulling tactics and draconian measures surly should be questioned alongside his income. How can anyone do two jobs well?

drakefell debaser said...

Perhaps he was telling that kid the truth.

I very much doubt Mr Elms has no belief in the values of education. That is like accusing a fireman of not believing in the value of water.

love detective said...

"Perhaps he was telling that kid the truth"

Given the money he's on, i'd expect a little bit more reluctance to give up on the possibility of a bright future for the primary school children in his charge

Of course context is everything here and he may have been using it as a means to try and get the kid to do better, however given the perceived attractiveness of gangs and street violence/crime to impressionable young inner city children these days I think it would be a thing that's more likely to backfire rather than jolt the kid onto the 'right path'

Anyone know what the class sizes are like at the school? I'm sure the city challenge money could perhaps have been better spent on a couple of other 'normal' teachers to reduce class sizes and give the kids some more individual attention

Anonymous said...

"To be fair £200,000 isn't much in London."

Government stats for 2009 show a median full-time weekly wage of £627 in London, which equates to about £32k per annum. £200k is more than 6 times that amount. Therefore it is fatuous to say £200k "isn't much".

You're not the only person in Brockley who earns a lot of money, Hugh - just the only one vulgar enough to boast about it on here. I post on here regularly under a different name and I earn in excess of £400k per annum but that's the first and last time I'll say so (and anonymously at that) because I don't want to sound like that Harry Enfield character who couldn't help noticing that he was considerably richer than the people around him.

£200k isn't offensive, Hugh - YOU are.

Mezzer said...

More on this, including a Brockley Central credit, here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/15/metropolitan-lines-london-newsletter-housing-benefit-policy-effects

Anonymous said...

It is the doing two demanding jobs at once which really gets me.

I suspect, he has transformed the staff at Tidemill and they all work so hard and brilliantly that he doesn't need to be there. what are the chances of them seeing additional money for their outstanding performances?

I imagine he leaves his porsche on the drive and cycles in. Which is fine.

Anonymous said...

Check up on Ted Purcell of the GMB and the number of organisations he belongs to, that distract him from his union work for the lowly pay.

Martin Powell Davies is employed as a full time teacher. His campaigning to be a leader of the NUT must affect his demanding work as a teacher. Or are other teachers burdened with his work load while he is away conducting union buisness?

Our foul mouthed Mayor is on the Board of the New Local Government Network, Chair of Local Government Employees, was co-chair of a government task force, governor of a school, and other jobs while being Mayor.

The people of Lewisham didn't find that a problem as they voted in their droves to put him back in power.

Anonymous said...

That's right, multiple responsibilities are not automatically a. Problem. The mayor of one of the the most important cities in the world writes a rather well paid newspaper column. I don't have a particular issue with that.

By the way, can anyone cost what helping a child fulfill their potential would save? They may not be claiming benefit, committing crime and will pay taxes. Teaching ought to be well rewarded, instead we believe that it ought to be a vocation and only receive a deeply average wage? Teaching well is an investment that will benefit everyone, not just the sprogs.

Anonymous said...

Another headteacher with two jobs....

As well as being headteacher of Eliot Bank Primary School, Sydenham, Kathy Palmer is to become executive Headteacher of Gordonbrock Primary School.

Tressilliana said...

Full circle. Mark Elms first went to Tidemill while still head at Gordonbrock - first Executive Head of a primary school anywhere in the country.

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