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Pay in Education

John Simkin

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There is an interesting report in the TES this week about the pay people obtain in education. Here are a few examples. Any comments?

Ken Boston, Chief Executive, QCA, £242,511

Mark Haysom, Chief Executive, Learning & Skills Council, £180,000

Heather du Quesnay, Chief Executive, National College for School Leadership, £149,033

David Normington, Permanent Secretary, DfES, £145,000

David Bell, Chief Executive of Schools, £132,588

Charles Clarke, Education Secretary, £130,347

Graham Badman, Kent Director of Education, £129,999

Ralph Tabberer, Chief Executive, Teacher Training Agency, £121,304

Alistair Falk, Headteacher, West London Academy, £120,000

David Hart, General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers, £110,650

Carol Adams, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council, £107,000

David Miliband, Schools Standards Minister, £95,281

Stephen Twigg, Education Junior Minister, £86,173

Chris Keates, General Secretary, £86,004

Steve Sinnott, General Secretary, NUT, £78,960

Head of a secondary school (average), £62,547

Head of a primary school (average), £43,296

Head of department of a secondary school (up to), £39,435

Newly-qualified teacher, £18,558

School Caretaker (from), £10,500

Teaching assistant (from) £8,500

School Cook (from) £4,800

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One of the advantages of earning an high salary is that you can employ accountants and lawyers to make sure you pay as little tax as possible.

The Labour Party promised to remove these loopholes. In 1994 Brown named 25 “tax abuses” that he intended to bring to an end. In his last budget Gordon Brown announced a retrospective crackdown on inheritance tax schemes. This will hurt thousands of middle-income families when it is introduced next year.

This policy was devised by Ed Miliband, who is chairman of the council of economic advisers to Brown. He is of course the brother of David Miliband, the country’s Schools Standards Minister (£95,281). Surprisingly, one of the tax abuses that Brown listed in 1994 has yet to be brought to an end.

This involves getting a lawyer to set up a “deed of variation”. This is a scheme to share ownership of the family’s property. This enables you to inherit assets tax free and therefore to avoid inheritance tax at 40%.

It was revealed that Ed and David Miliband had recently inherited the family’s £1.3m townhouse in London. However, they will not be paying inheritance tax as the brothers had arranged for their mother to set up a “deed of variation”.

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Interesting info. Each of the three partners in our business draws less than the annual salary of an NQT. This is enough for me, as my drawings from the partnership are just a supplement to my teachers’ pension (also less than the salary of an NQT).

However, there are certain benefits in operating as a business, so there are “hidden” supplements to what the partners withdraw in cash. For example, a proportion of the expenses involved in heating and lighting the house from which I work can be offset against tax. Similarly, a proportion of telephone bills and expenses involved in running a car can be offset against tax – although I don’t use my car much these days as I work from home and don’t need to travel on business, apart from the occasional trip to the bank and post office. This is all above board, by the way, and calculated according to strict rules by our accountant and approved by the Inland Revenue

When I was a young teacher I could not understand why I could not claim tax concessions for certain things that I needed in order to do my job. Teaching colleagues in Germany seemed to fare a lot better, claiming for books, home offices, computers, conference fees and expenses and travel to and from work, etc. The Inland Revenue in the UK definitely discriminates against employees, offering them very few tax concessions compared to what is offered to self-employed people – or to those on high salaries who can afford to employ an accountant.

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