A WEMBLEY school has defended its bonus scheme after it emerged the headteacher was rewarded with £130,000 in two years on top of his salary.
Copland School say the money paid to headteacher Sir Alan Davies was “worth every penny”, and the bonuses were within the rules governing staff pay.
Sir Alan received a bonus of £50,000 two years ago and £80,000 last year to reward extra work done on top of his job as the school's head. This took his annual salary to more than £160,000.
Hank Roberts, a senior member of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and former head of geography at Copland School, revealed the payments in an attack on the culture of bonus creeping into schools.
He said: “Never mind whether getting bonuses is the right thing to do, public servants should do the job they are paid for.
“The whole bonus culture is out of order. Why should you try harder just to get extra money?
“You should just be thinking how you can do the best for the pupils, not just trying to get an extra bonus.”
But Dr Indravadan Patel MBE, chair of governors at the school, in Cecil Avenue, launched an impassioned defence of his school's decision.
He said: “This is not money for nothing.
“We expect them to work hard for it, and they do, which is why we have such excellent results.
“The bonuses were – as all bonuses should be – paid in recognition of the excellent work done by Sir Alan, well above and beyond what would be expected from any normal headteacher.
“We believe that Sir Alan is worth every penny and we are proud to have him as our headteacher.”
Dr Patel argued Sir Alan has brought in £300,000 in sponsorship for the specialist science community college, helped to draw in finance for the future redevelopment of Copland School, and run a Saturday school.
He has also helped turn round a local primary school under special measures, another reason why he has been financially rewarded.
But Mr Roberts said work done for others schools should not be paid out of the coffers of Copland School, and said a lot of headteachers bring in sponsorship money but are not given bonuses.
He laid into the fact Sir Alan was given bonuses on the back of less than 40 per cent of pupils achieving five A* - C grades including English and Maths, a government-set benchmark, in 2006 and 2007.
He also challenged Ed Balls, the schools secretary, who has publicly supported the principle of bonus schemes for senior school staff, to set a policy surrounding bonus schemes in schools.
He said: “It is complete nonsense – is there an upper limit? How much is there set aside for this, and is it related to exam results?”
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