Sunderland school boosts low-paid workers’ pay packets under ‘Living Wage’ scheme

Phil Ingram - headteacher of Brinkburn school
Phil Ingram - headteacher of Brinkburn school
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LUNCHTIME supervisors at a Sunderland school are among the first to benefit from a scheme to boost pay packets.

Southmoor Academy is thought to be one of the first organisations on Wearside to join the Living Wage project.

Living Wage is a foundation which campaigns for employers to pay a wage calculated by the basic cost of living, £7.45 an hour in the UK and £8.55 in London, which is higher than the legal minimum wage of £6.19 an hour.

During Living Wage Week, which runs until tomorrow, the Ryhope Road academy announced it would be signing up to the scheme.

The move will affect 10 members of staff at the school, all lunchtime supervisors previously earning £7 an hour.

Dr Phil Ingram, principal at Southmoor Academy, said he was delighted when the governors agreed with his proposal to become a Living Wage employer and the change has taken immediate effect.

He said: “It seems like the right thing to do, especially in these difficult times.

“We have many staff who inherited the old council rates when we became an academy and we want to be a moral employer.

“We also want to attract good people, so when I heard about the Living Wage Campaign, I felt that it was exactly the right thing to do.”

Pam Davison, business manager at the academy, said: “The staff who will benefit are delighted we have made this move. In these times every little bit helps. We are hoping that others will follow suit.”

One member of staff who will have a wage increase, said: “I love working at the academy. The kids are great and to have a rise is good news.”

Living Wage has been backed by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who said: “There are almost five million people in Britain who aren’t earning enough, a living wage.

“It’s not how it should be in Britain.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools