Tidemill Academy Head retires

The News Shopper reports that the head of Tidemill Academy, Mark Elms is retiring. The Deptford school he runs pulled itself out of special measures to achieve excellent results during his tenure and has recently been converted in to an academy and taken over facilities within the Deptford Lounge.

Mr Elms was catapulted in to the media spotlight in 2010, when the GMB union called attention to his high salary.


Shame said...

Dare I say on that sort of salary he can afford an early retirement.

Anonymous said...

The new craze for drawing attention to peoples salaries isn't going to end well, I fear.

Next we'll be complaining about how shit out teachers and MPs are. Oh wait, we already do that.

I wonder if it's because they have so much scrutiny and so little discretion over their working terms?

They're better off in the private sector where intelligence and ability are largely rewarded in a much more professional manner.

THNick said...

Umm, how old is he? He doesn't look old enough to retire to me (maybe it's all that cycling).

Anon - I would certainly not describe the reward structures in the private sector as "professional".

mb said...

"They're better off in the private sector where intelligence and ability are largely rewarded in a much more professional manner"

Having worked in both I would say that's a bold statement.

Lou Baker said...

Good on him.

There's nothing wrong with paying someone a decent salary for doing a decent job.

What salary Nazis don't understand is that a salary is only excessive if an individual doesn't bring a greater amount of value to a job than they're paid.

If someone is doing a job worth £250k - pay them that. If you only pay £50k you'll clearly get an inferior candidate.

Anonymous said...

Well from my experience of life in the FTSE 100, I know that high salary is certainly no guarantee of high performer (and vice versa).

Tressilliana said...

He's 60 this year, I think. Never did look his age!

Anonymous said...

In news the horrifies me, I agree with Lou.

From what I've read he clearly did a great job. There would be a huge queue of people to do the job at a much lower salary than that, but you'd probably still have a failing school (whilst he'd have a relatively cushy job at the same salary elsewhere). I know which scenario is better.

NAT said...

Anon please address the oft made and oft ignored point about high salaries not guaranteeing high levels of performance.

Lou Baker said...


But genuinely good performers should have nothing to fear from performance related pay. Yes, I agree salary structures are pretty screwed up. But there is nothing wrong with people earning a lot of money - even in the public sector - providing they are worth what they're paid.

A head teacher has an awesome responsibility. They set the direction of the school. If they mess up, they can mess up dozens of kids for life. Dealing with messed up kids is expensive. They need social services, probably the police, all sorts of other agencies and - worse still - they're more likely to become messed up adults. The resulting expense is huge. Messed up people contribute little financially and drain massive resources from the rest of us.

So if paying a head £250k prevents a few dozen kids being messed up for life - that's a worthwhile investment. Even if the GMB union and other associated pinko morons argue otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but didn't he drive the school out of Councils hands into a private-sector sponsored academy after the council invested millions into its new site?

Anonymous said...

The council have set an agenda that pushes all it's responsibilities towards the private sector - any crying by the Council over Tidemill is crocodile tears - they just didn't want to lose a PR opportunity in saying what a great job they've done with education in Lewisham - whereas in fact they've driven it into the ground or privatised it.

Anonymous said...

The council often takes the credit for projects when they've contributed the least to its cost...

In a report to the Mayor last September it states the total cost of Tidemill school was £10,684,000.

Of which £4.5m was given to the council in 2004 through Targeted Capital Funding for the rebuilding of Tidemill.

An additional £2.55m came from central government plus a further £5.5m for co-location of facilities.

That's a grand total from central government of £12.55m for a school costing £10.68m

Zeppo said...

"But genuinely good performers should have nothing to fear from performance related pay."

Performance related pay is all well and good in theory, but in practice it's an incredibly blunt instrument and people will just focus their efforts on the performance objectives, regardless of whether its actually the best thing for the organisation and its stakeholders.

Hard enough to make it work in the private sector, where making money is the clear ultimate objective. In the public sector, where there is a lot more subjectivity involved in determining how well an organisation (or an individual) is performing, it's practically impossible to come up with performance measures that will result in behaviour consistent with the organisation achieving its ultimate goals.

Anonymous said...

1. that wasn't his salary for being a Headteacher - a large amount was from work done externally (he was still on over 100k but as pointed out this represented value for money to a point)
2. @ anon 8:54 you say "in saying what a great job they've done with education in Lewisham - whereas in fact they've driven it into the ground or privatised it." What? I'm not saying the Lewisham is the best council ever, but to dismiss the excellent achievements made by Lewisham schools with such a sweeping statement is ridiculous. Tidemill is the only Lewisham primary to acadamise since the coalition changed the rules. KS2 results for Lewisham are equal to the national average. Do some research.

NAT said...

No Zeppo, you've got to put it this way:

'Performance related pay will not achieve what has been claimed for it.

This fact is obvious to all but a few right wing nutjobs.....'


Anonymous said...

Teachers unions frequently bemoan the fact the efforts of their members go unrecognised when 'demanding' higher salaries.

That sounds like they see the benefit of performance related pay as an insentive..and a right.

Gocz said...

Is Lou baker real?

Lou Baker said...


Yup. I'm real.

A real, decent, hard-working, law-abiding Lib Dem voter.

Not a rightwing nutjob as commie NAT suggests.

The problem in Brockley / Telegraph Hill is that a large part of the population is extremely far to the left of politics.

So far to the left in fact that those of us in the centre look rightwing to them. After all, our MP is the lefty nut-job Pantomime Dame Joan Ruddock. We have Greeny Darren Darren voting in favour of facial hair at every opportunity. And we had Socialist Workers as Telegraph Hill councillors for a long time.

A Socialist Worker is, by the way, both a moron and an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

Why do I have an image of Lou leaning toward a cornered bloke in a pub while bellowing his political position at him. The poor bloke being sprayed with bits of half chewed pork scratching propelled by sour larger breath?

Lou, you are your own worst enemy. Sounding like a deranged nut job.....again

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mark Elms has done a wonderful job at Tidemill. His staff are hard working and happy and provide an excellent education for my children. I wish him every success after his 10 years hard work in the Deptford community. We as parents have every confidence the school will be left in strong hands and continue to flourish.

Anonymous said...

You say Retire - I say to Profit from

And to think that no more than 13 staff havel followed him out of the door this summer including the deputy Richard who's father in law is the Chair David Mason (lets hope he doesn't get the good will payments Elms got!! the school does need the money after all!!) assistant head head and SEN co-ordinator, and countless more teachers.
Looks like a complete re-branding, with more new staff than the Macdonalds at the olympic site ....ooops nearly forgot Mark Elms Business partner and buddy Steve Lancashire will take the helm as ???headexectoppartimer?? albeit on a one day per week another overpaid executive fee! Good old Reach2 insider dealings eh! and bargain basement Tidemill get Mark Elms and his Cronies to 'stay' in the all new Puppet Governing body too!! double trouble if you ask me! would not be surprised if Mark got his Girfriend(s) in too at some point - keep it in the family eh?
Croydon and Walthamstow here they come!!! empty those tills!!!


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