The Department for Education (DfE) paid out £1.7 million in bonuses last year – with top civil servants pocketing up to £17,500 for good performance.

Figures released last month by the government also reveal Ofsted civil servants received bonuses of nearly £900,000.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said teachers would find some of the bonuses “quite significant” – especially when compared with the 2 per cent cap on their performance-related pay.

Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, wants schools to be able to offer teachers bonuses but Trobe said the proposal was “academic”, as schools could not afford them because of squeezed budgets.

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which is at present considering bonuses, is due to publish its recommendations for teacher pay shortly.

The government figures revealed the largest DfE bonus was £17,500. The recipient was not named.

However, departing permanent secretary Chris Wormald is likely to be one of the lucky recipients after the Cabinet Office asked the department to include its most senior civil servant this year.

The release revealed that having to include Wormald pushed the number of senior civil servants that received a bonus past the 25 per cent restriction.

The government imposed the cap in 2010 as part of a savings drive to ensure “only those making an exceptional contribution” are rewarded.

In total, 25.7 per cent of DfE senior civil servants got a bonus, with a median of £11,000. That compared with 23.4 per cent of non-senior civil servants with a median bonus of £1,900.

In Ofsted, more than two thirds of the non-senior civil service workforce got a bonus, with a median of £700.

A quarter of the watchdog’s senior civil servants received bonuses: the largest was £16,500 and the median was £13,500.

No bonuses were recorded for Ofqual staff.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We have introduced greater transparency in pay and reduced the number of staff eligible for these awards. Nonetheless, like any good organisation we believe those staff who have undertaken exceptional work or driven substantial savings for the taxpayer should be rewarded.”



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3 Comments

  1. Funny how public servants most who know absolutely nothing about learning and education can make most if not all the decisions about the future of education for our children .. What s disgrace and low level have we fallen to .. Pity the children

  2. Joseph Dunn

    This is one reason that the British education system is in such a state.No wonder teachers in the country are incredibly frustrated when these people are given rewards and yet never face a class of children nor teach a lesson in any subject.The whole situation is upside down and the prognosis is very dire to say the least.Other countries would be very reluctant to do this as they have much more respect for their teachers.Once again,it is no wonder the UK is facing a teacher crisis and it is certain that it will get much worse.The blame for this must lie at the feet of the British government.When are they going to take proper notice and restore the status of teachers back to where it once was?

  3. teaching12

    A qualified teacher’s starting salary in England is 21,588 and academies can get away with paying even less. So a full quarter of civil servants are getting median bonuses that amount to 62% of teachers’ entire annual salary.