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Eye-watering salaries paid to academy trust bosses are “verging on criminality” and must be stopped, the new National President of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, warns today.

In his presidential speech to the NASUWT Annual Conference 2021, Phil Kemp will say “the snouts have to come out of the trough” and public money has to be protected from the worst excesses of a deregulated education system, which he will liken to the “Wild West”.

NASUWT National President Phil Kemp

Mr Kemp, 57, who lives and works in North Tyneside, will call for a national pay scale for all teachers and leaders to be re-introduced “as soon as possible and measures put in place to ensure all employers in education adhere to it.”

Addressing NASUWT members at their virtual conference this afternoon, he will say:  “Increasingly we hear of corrupt or nepotistic practices.

“The salaries being paid to individuals in some of these academy trusts is not just eye-watering, it’s verging on criminality in my view. So many salaries, paid for from the public purse, rising over the £200,000 mark, and some well-publicised, almost reaching half a million pounds.

“The national pay scale for all those in education for teachers and all school leaders needs to be re-introduced as soon as possible and measures put in place to ensure all employers in education adhere to it. 

“The snouts have to come out of the trough and the public purse protected from those who will take advantage of the increasing deregulation of our education system. Those taking these huge salaries should hang their heads in shame.”

Phil, who manages a successful programme of alternative provision for Key Stage 4 children who have been or are in danger of being excluded from mainstream education, will say the Covid-19 crisis has put teachers in a “complex and challenging situation.”

But, he will add: “The resilience of our great profession has shone through. Teachers have quickly adapted to a digital age of delivering remote learning, online learning, and blended learning whilst keeping schools open to varying degrees.
“The profession has been tested to the full with the NASUWT firmly by its side, never flinching from taking the measured and professional approach our members expect.

“COVID-19 has greatly challenged the NASUWT and our great Union has emerged as the only real and credible option to support the teaching profession into a potentially uncertain future.”

Mr Kemp will say that Covid-19 and the way teachers have adapted to it pose opportunities and threats for the profession moving forward.

He will tell members: “Covid-19 has brought the profession to yet another crossroads and I think there are potentially lots of gains for teachers moving forward, but some of the new practices and new ideas could be used against teachers and pose a danger. We have marched through the last 12 months without stopping.

“The profession has rallied round and gone way beyond what would normally be expected – quite rightly in this unprecedented national crisis – teachers have done their very best and done it brilliantly.” 

He will add: “Covid-19 has shaken things up beyond anything the profession could have imagined and there will be no going back to normal, but a new normal. The front-line practitioners and school leaders need a voice that will be heard to help shape that future appropriately.” 

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