Acting School Heads to Receive TSC Special Allowance in 2024

In a significant move, 3,359 acting school heads in primary and secondary schools are set to receive a special allowance from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) starting in 2024. This allowance is a recognition of the extra responsibilities undertaken by these educators and aligns with the Employment Act 2007, which mandates equal remuneration for work of equal value.

Implementation Timeline

The special duty allowance is anticipated to be implemented after the July 2024 budget. The TSC has concluded negotiations with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and is actively exploring budgetary allocations to facilitate the payment of this special allowance.

Context and Need

The decision to introduce this allowance is driven by the high number of headteachers and principals retiring, leaving a leadership vacuum in many schools. By the end of December 2023, 4,306 primary school headteachers and 943 secondary school principals had retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age. This has left 3,359 schools without substantive leadership, as highlighted by data from the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER).

Benefits and Incentives

Apart from the financial incentive, acting school heads will also have an advantage in the ongoing teachers’ promotion exercise. The TSC has indicated that these educators will receive higher marks in the competition for substantive positions, addressing the current shortage of qualified teachers to fill leadership roles.

Challenges and Recruitment

The TSC has faced challenges in attracting qualified teachers for leadership positions, especially in the context of new schools being established without corresponding budgetary provisions for teacher promotions. Consequently, the commission relies on acting administrators to bridge the leadership gap.

Promotion Crisis and Low Uptake

Despite efforts to address the promotion crisis, the TSC has faced a low uptake of promotional positions, particularly in Special Needs Education. The commission has lowered the requirements to attract more applicants, but challenges persist, leading to a call for a comprehensive review of career progression guidelines.

Recommendations and Future Considerations

In response to the observed stagnation and demoralization among teachers, recommendations have been made to harmonize teacher management policies, including a review of career progression guidelines. The Education Ministry is urged to consider alternative mechanisms to ensure a fair and competitive promotion process.

In conclusion, the introduction of a special allowance for acting school heads is a positive step towards recognizing and compensating educators for their additional responsibilities. This initiative aims to address leadership gaps, improve teacher morale, and enhance the overall effectiveness of the education system.

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