Four school headteachers are earning more than £200,000 a year, shock figures show

However, the growing list of six-figure earners — which is up from 1,275 three years ago — is ­dominated by senior staff at academy schools, which get their cash directly from the Government.

Christopher McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “A sense of panic about finding capable heads is, sadly, forcing some academies to pay over the odds to attract good applicants.

“The money lost is then clawed back by paying less to classroom teachers. This is the topsy-turvy financial world in which schools now operate.”