One of the UK's highest paid headteachers is at the centre of a controversial situation after it was revealed that her lesbian lover has been made deputy at the same school.
Jackie Valin currently receives a £226,000-a year package, and her long-term partner, Wanda Golinska, will now earn around £100,000 in her role as associate head.
Headteacher Miss Valin, 57, has been credited with achieving excellent results at the culturally diverse Southfields Community College in Wandsworth, south London. She has maintained her current position for 12 years.
The couple live together in a £500,000 four-bedroom house in the suburb of nearby New Malden.
It is understood that when Miss Golinska was appointed last year Miss Valin declared their relationship to the school's board of governors. However, the fact that the couple will have such a large combined salary has caused outrage.
Nadine Houghton, spokesman for Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council, said: 'It's an absolute disgrace.
'These two women are earning incredible amounts of money when teaching assistants are only earning £11,000 to £13,000.
'When the funds for rebuilding schools have just been slashed, and children are being taught in schools that are practically crumbling, it's disgraceful that these two women are taking home so much money.'
Some of the parents are less bothered, with one parent at the school saying: 'They are both good teachers but Jackie is not really in charge of the day-to-day running of the school as she's off doing other projects.
'So Wanda is in effect actually running the school, which I suppose is quite cosy.
'Perhaps there was a bit of nepotism there but Jackie is really well respected.
'They are earning a lot of money but this is a really good school and I think most of the parents would think they probably deserve it.'
Miss Valin believes limiting pay can affect recruitment. 'Governors need the freedom to go into the marketplace and attract the best person,' she said. 'Recruiting is extremely difficult, as has been proved time and again.'
A spokesman for the school said that Miss Valin had always been open about her relationship, and the appointment of associate headteacher was made by the board of governors.
Source: Daily Mail