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State school headteacher earns £7, 700 more than Prime Minister

PUBLISHED: 11:44 15 July 2010 | UPDATED: 18:05 25 August 2010

A headteacher is earning nearly £8,000 more than the Prime Minister. Michael Murphy, head of Crown Woods school in Riefield Road, Eltham, earns a salary of £150,291 - £7,791 more than David Cameron.

A headteacher is earning nearly £8,000 more than the Prime Minister.

Michael Murphy, head of Crown Woods school in Riefield Road, Eltham, earns a salary of £150,291 - £7,791 more than David Cameron.

Greenwich council has three other employees earning over £150,000. These are its chief executive Mary Ney, who earns £189,999; deputy chief executive Chris Perry who earns £166,144; and director of children's services Gillian Palmer who earns £150,000. The council pays 24 of its staff over £100,000 but they are only required to publish details of those earning £150,000 or more.

Ted Purcell, a Public Services Officer from GMB - the union which carried out the study published on Monday said: "It is outrageous that a headteacher in a local community school should earn more money than the Prime Minister."

Mr Murphy hit the headlines in 2000 when he was reported to have taken the Crown Woods job, making him the first state-sector teacher to be offered a £90,000 salary.

But Crown Woods, considered a failing school when Mr Murphy arrived, saw 41 per cent of its pupils attain 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths - only beaten by private or church schools and Woolwich Polytechnic for Boys.

The neighbouring Tory council of Bexley pays 12 of its employees more than £100,000 and three of these are on over £150,000.

These are chief executive Will Tuckley who receives £184,154; director of children and young people's services Deborah Absalom who receives £165,181; and director of environment and regeneration services Peter Ellershaw who earns £165,168 a year.

It does not pay any of its teachers more than £150,000, though this excludes academies which were not required to publish their accounts.

All the wages listed for both councils only include salary and fees and does not take into account performance-related pay, bonuses or benefits in kind such as car allowance.

Headteachers' salaries in inner-city London range between £48,353 and £109,658, according to government figures.

Under proposals being considered by the Education Secretary Michael Gove, no school leader would be paid more than the Prime Minister, who currently earns £142,500 following a pay cut.

A spokesperson for Greenwich council refused to comment, stating that headteachers' salaries were decided by the individual schools and not the local authority.


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