Leeds school begins search for new £130,000-a-year principal

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One of the biggest schools in Leeds has launched a search for a new principal – and the person who lands the job will be rewarded with a salary of up to £130,000.

Garforth Academy’s current principal, Paul West, is stepping down at the end of this term after less than three years in the post.

In a letter to parents and pupils, Mr West said he and his wife were emigrating after being invited to join “an international group of schools”.

The advert for his successor placed in the Times Educational Supplement reveals the position of principal at Garforth comes with a salary of between £113,642 and £130,225. That top-end figure is not too far away from the £142,500 David Cameron earns as Prime Minister. Garforth’s sponsor, the School Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA) charity, today said the amount on offer was effectively the going rate.

An SPTA spokeswoman told the YEP: “The advertised salary strongly highlights the criteria that we are seeking an outstanding principal to continue to successfully lead Garforth Academy forwards.

“The advertised salary is within the salary range offered to principals of leading academies in England.

“There are many examples of principals and heads of independent schools that are offered much higher salaries than the principal role we are advertising.”

Mr West took charge at Garforth Academy at Easter in 2011. In the letter announcing his departure, he writes: “The decision to leave has been a difficult one to reach. Garforth Academy is an incredible school with highly committed teachers and staff, strongly supportive parents and delightful, talented, hard-working students.”

Formerly known as Garforth Community College, the school took on academy status in November 2010.

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