Copland School defends bonus policy

First published in News Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by

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?”

What do you think about bonuses for school staff? Leave you comments below.

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7:11pm Wed 8 Apr 09

JRochester says...

I'm so angry. It has always pained me that credit has always been swung towards Mr Alan Davies. Firstly, I write 'Mr' and not 'Sir', as he is normally deamed, as to date I am still having trouble as to why that respect is due. Secondly, I myself have had credit, which was initiated off my own back, swung towards him, the head teacher, just because I was a student of the school (even though what I was doing had nothing to do with the school). I remember once telling a reporter from The Guardian newspaper not to mention my school, when he asked which it was I went to, because I knew immediately the thought would be, 'oh that Sir Alan Davies is doing a fine job'. Well what I didn't mention to the journalist was why. Why should he have the credit? What about many events commemorating me on my work around Brent, which many other Head Teachers attended to see their pupils, that I looked across and saw an empty seat? What about Copland's student commemoration evenings. Now I'm pretty sure i don't remember him there. Maybe he was at the first one, or when some important person came, maybe. Wait, shouldn't every one be important? What about the newspaper articles that
students have been in (including me), that mentioned his name and the school, that didn't detail that he wouldn't know us if he saw us in the corridor? Funnily enough the only time I probably saw him walking the corridor was when he was showing some important person around the school. What about Ms Dunkley? Well what about her? She was one of the most feared and hated teachers and as Deputy Head she had alot of power to use as she wished. I mention her because i never hear her mentioned. A teacher once said to my class, although you might not like her she is the backbone of the school. She keeps it running and works hard at it. Eureka! I started noticing her im my memories of places where Mr Alan Davies was absent. Unlike him she knew the kids names. Her office was small but we all have seen it and know that she's in there working hard. Have you seen Mr Davies room, no, neither have 99% of the school. Mrs Dunkley would teach classes where necessary, keep order in the corridor, discipline you when the teachers couldn't handle you and you would always hear teachers talking about meetings with Mrs Dunkley. In fact she was everywhere, through the good times and being bad times. In fact I can recall times where you caould have a joke with her beit just a little one. I just really don't understand whether I've just been blind for 7 years and he really does deserve such praise. I remember such excellent teachers and some terrible teachers but he is neither one of them. I remember growing up in the height fo the gang culture within the school. That was only about ten years ago, well he hadn't done that much in his previous ten year reign. He once told us in an assembley that as Head Teacher, his job was to be thinking about the future just like he has been doing with the new school project. Well i'm quite sure that, that is all he is paid for and offered a bonus for. Lets work out how many people in the community make even a quarter or 25% of his bonus. Now my angers just pure laughter. Jordan Rochester
I'm so angry. It has always pained me that credit has always been swung towards Mr Alan Davies. Firstly, I write 'Mr' and not 'Sir', as he is normally deamed, as to date I am still having trouble as to why that respect is due. Secondly, I myself have had credit, which was initiated off my own back, swung towards him, the head teacher, just because I was a student of the school (even though what I was doing had nothing to do with the school). I remember once telling a reporter from The Guardian newspaper not to mention my school, when he asked which it was I went to, because I knew immediately the thought would be, 'oh that Sir Alan Davies is doing a fine job'. Well what I didn't mention to the journalist was why. Why should he have the credit? What about many events commemorating me on my work around Brent, which many other Head Teachers attended to see their pupils, that I looked across and saw an empty seat? What about Copland's student commemoration evenings. Now I'm pretty sure i don't remember him there. Maybe he was at the first one, or when some important person came, maybe. Wait, shouldn't every one be important? What about the newspaper articles that students have been in (including me), that mentioned his name and the school, that didn't detail that he wouldn't know us if he saw us in the corridor? Funnily enough the only time I probably saw him walking the corridor was when he was showing some important person around the school. What about Ms Dunkley? Well what about her? She was one of the most feared and hated teachers and as Deputy Head she had alot of power to use as she wished. I mention her because i never hear her mentioned. A teacher once said to my class, although you might not like her she is the backbone of the school. She keeps it running and works hard at it. Eureka! I started noticing her im my memories of places where Mr Alan Davies was absent. Unlike him she knew the kids names. Her office was small but we all have seen it and know that she's in there working hard. Have you seen Mr Davies room, no, neither have 99% of the school. Mrs Dunkley would teach classes where necessary, keep order in the corridor, discipline you when the teachers couldn't handle you and you would always hear teachers talking about meetings with Mrs Dunkley. In fact she was everywhere, through the good times and being bad times. In fact I can recall times where you caould have a joke with her beit just a little one. I just really don't understand whether I've just been blind for 7 years and he really does deserve such praise. I remember such excellent teachers and some terrible teachers but he is neither one of them. I remember growing up in the height fo the gang culture within the school. That was only about ten years ago, well he hadn't done that much in his previous ten year reign. He once told us in an assembley that as Head Teacher, his job was to be thinking about the future just like he has been doing with the new school project. Well i'm quite sure that, that is all he is paid for and offered a bonus for. Lets work out how many people in the community make even a quarter or 25% of his bonus. Now my angers just pure laughter. Jordan Rochester JRochester
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Mon 13 Apr 09

Richard_at_Harrow says...

So Jordan - would you be interested in setting up a fan club for Sir/Mr Alan Davies?
So Jordan - would you be interested in setting up a fan club for Sir/Mr Alan Davies? Richard_at_Harrow
  • Score: 0

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