Head Teacher Mark Elms cycling in to meet the waiting press pack on Frankham Boulevard
It looks like Mark Elms, head teacher at Tidemill Primary School, has come in for a bit of unwelcome notoriety in today's media. The BBC website announces ''Union 'outraged' at head teacher £200,000 pay package and the Guardian kicks off with ''Union 'outraged' at primary school head's £231,400 salary'' Behind the headlines, of course, there's a slightly different story - the inflated pay package includes backpay for work Mark has done working, not as a primary head teacher at a 400 pupil school, but for the extra work and responsibility of overseeing the ''turning around'' of a number of schools (hazy memory but I think it was 10) in Croydon. And the reason he got that extra responsibility was because of his work turning an underachieving Tidemill into what Ofsted now judge to be an ''outstanding'' school with some of the highest ''value-added'' teaching in the country.
While many might consider the wage rates as unworldly, it may be worthwhile listening to the parents testimonies at the school gates on the BBC link and then reflecting on the fact that if Tidemill had remained a quietly ineffective average-achieving school this story would not have appeared at all.
(Check the sidebar for other blogs, such as 853 and Brockley Central who have also covered this story.)
UPDATE 16:40: The BBC has now changed tack a little, well, a good bit more than a little now that an education reporter has looked into things - see ''Why head teacher Mark Elms earned £200,000