Birmingham City Council is gearing up to advertise for a permanent director of children’s services offering a salary of “around £145,000”, LGC has learned.
While the remuneration level is in line with other executive director posts at the authority, the figure is below what some directors of children’s services earn at a time when the department is still subject to an improvement notice over safeguarding concerns.
The proposed salary offer has divided senior recruitment figures.
One told LGC the offer “seemed a bit low” when many suitable candidates would already be earning similar salaries.
He said the pay on offer would make it critical for Birmingham to sell the job itself as part of the attraction.
However another senior sector figure said he believed the prospective remuneration package was evidence of a new reality in senior officer pay, and a sign that the councils were taking seriously the salary pronouncements of communities secretary Eric Pickles and local government minister Grant Shapps.
“I’m pretty clear that we’ve seen some quite hefty salary increases in local government over the past three or four years,” he said.
“The new generation of senior managers coming through will be content to accept a lower level of salary than may have been the case a couple of years ago.
“I think that one year from now we’ll see £145,000 as the norm for a role like this.”
Eleanor Brazil is Birmingham’s current director of children’s services, following the departure of long-serving Tony Howell last year. Her contract, which began in October, is understood to stipulate a maximum 18 months in post.
Mr Howell was on a salary of £143,251 according to the city council’s 2009-10 accounts.