Reader letter: ‘Top Norfolk County Council salary would keep my entire school running three days a week for a year’

Sheila Lock, interim director of children's services at Norfolk County Council, earned £259,800 in 2

Sheila Lock, interim director of children's services at Norfolk County Council, earned £259,800 in 2014/15, making her the highest earner at the Council. The total budget of Mr Williams' school was £384,859. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk head teacher reacts in the letter below to some of the findings from the EDP's investigation into huge salaries being paid in Norfolk's public sector.

I read with interest your 'Spotlight on public sector pay' feature (EDP, May 2), in which it was noted that 'The highest earner at Norfolk County Council was Sheila Lock, who as interim executive director of children's services received £259,800 in 2014/15' and that this was an increase of £120,300 on her predecessor's salary the previous year.

My total school budget allocation for 2014/15 was £384,859, having to be used to pay for everything, including salaries, building maintenance, support for children with needs, licences, utilities, resources, insurances and many other things.

A total of £259,800 would have covered the costs of my school for three days a week over the whole year. I find this quite shocking.

During the same period, Glebeland again experienced a significant increase to its number of pupils on roll, which should have generated an extra £60,000 in pupil funding, but this was not forthcoming.

An extra teacher was needed, as were alterations to a classroom, but we were told that contingency funding was not available, even for a contribution of just £25,000 towards the costs.

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Instead, we were granted a 'licensed deficit' (ie overdraft), to be repaid within three years.

In comparison to the quoted salary, £25,000 is a miniscule amount.

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Meanwhile, we still have our licensed deficit and will be experiencing another 10pc increase to pupil numbers in September, with no extra funding until the following April.

Thank you for drawing the attention of your readers to the 'Exit packages and top earner wages' examples through your investigation.

With so many cutbacks to county council services in general, some of the examples given raise many questions.

•ALAN WILLIAMS, Head Teacher, Glebeland Community Primary School, Toft Monks, Beccles.

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