From education to employment

107 colleges spent more than £100k on Principal’s post

107 colleges in the UK spent over £100,000 on Principal’s posts according to the recent TES FE Focus salary review. 186 colleges spent over £90,000 per a year! According to a recent article in the Times, the best paid Prinicipal’s post belonged to Ian Ashman on £156,989! To add to the controversy, East Surrey College spent £213,923 on their Principal’s post, with £128,039 for an enhanced pension contribution!

There is no doubt that the Principal’s job has a lot of responsibility but are these fat cat salaries justified, especially with college lecturers” recent pay reviews and the pension crisis? It would be interesting to compare Principal’s salaries with that of CEO’s from large Training Providers to see the difference (which we suspect there will be at least a 50% difference). As both a College and a Training Provider are LSC funded, how can there be a difference of up to 50% for their top jobs?

The high level of Principals” salaries is also questionable considering that the NATFHE has long campaigned to raise the salaries of Further Education lecturers, as FE has long been seen to be the worst paid in the education system.

Running a large £34.5 Million college like Lambeth has many similarities to that of a large blue chip corporation- but where corporations are rewarded on profit, colleges have a more complex role: serving the local community, widening access to education, meeting the education needs of industry. With so many colleges talking about the prospect of cutting courses due to the “funding gap”, how many tutors could be paid for with the £100,000 salary of a Principal? Apart from the funding gap, it seems that there is a very distinct pay gap between that of Tutor or Assessor to that of a Further Education Principal.

At last years AoC conference, FE College Principal’s were worried that there was a two tier system in favour of schools setting up sixth form colleges, is the real difference in FE between that of a College and a Training Provider? The underlying question is: Does a learner benefit from a Principal being paid £100,000 per year?

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