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Does fee subsidy for teachers annoy you? (private schools)

(80 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 02-Apr-17 14:49:48

I teach in a private school. Single mum of 3 kids. Chose to go into teaching to get free wraparound care and needed a family friendly job. Admittedly the massive fee reduction was a huge draw too. (Plus it seemed a more responsible career choice than my other option of struggling and probably failing actress/dancer!)

I was talking about schools with an acquaintance this morning and she said something about not wanting her child to go to a private school because all the families are rich and she doesn't want her child in that environment. I said most are but not all and pointed out that I'm a long way from rich. She then said (she's quite forthright!) that my situation was even worse because I get other people to pay for my privilege as well as their own!

I was a bit taken aback but now also a bit worried. I get on well enough with most of the parents at school but don't make friendships outside of those who are also colleagues because it's a bit of a professional conflict. But now I'm wondering if they're all secretly smiling at me through gritted teeth thinking that, not only are they paying my wages, but that they're paying my kids' fees too! I've never really thought about it like that. I think it's more that the school still makes a bit of money (school isn't full) and gets to have us in school for a lot more hours than might otherwise be possible.

So if you are (or if you were) a parent paying school fees - do you resent staff discounts and would you prefer it if they weren't there?

2014newme Sun 02-Apr-17 14:52:43

My friends mum taught in a private school and friend was always seen as a bit if a second class citizen by the other kids.

Cocklodger Sun 02-Apr-17 14:53:40

No worse than any other staff discount. Like if you work at a pub, restaraunt, shop etc.
I don't see a problem.

Trills Sun 02-Apr-17 14:55:10

No more than retail workers getting a staff discount annoys me.

I imagine that having teachers have their kids in the same school and so have matching holiday dates etc is a good incentive that a school can offer to attract quality staff.

witsender Sun 02-Apr-17 14:57:57

Nope, it is hugely logical. I went to a very posh school and teachers' kids were seen no differently by all bar the most gauche of the parents.

Discount is no different to a staff discount in any line of work. Your friend just has a chip on her shoulder

RockyBird Sun 02-Apr-17 14:58:10

At my kids' school there is a large amount of staff children. It does fuck me off knowing they're getting up to 80% off fees while we pay the full whack and have to swallow above inflation rate increases each year.

Then again it's my choice to send them there.

Sammysquiz Sun 02-Apr-17 14:58:36

Not in the slightest! My DD is at an independent school and has two teacher's kids in her class. Never thought twice about it!

Eastpoint Sun 02-Apr-17 14:58:40

Have no problem with it at all, teachers work long hours and deserve all the benefits they are offered.

FunkinEll Sun 02-Apr-17 15:02:30

I'd have no problem with it. My don't attend private school but do go to a VA and as such, teachers kids get high priority on the admissions criteria. I can't say it's something that bothers me at all.

I guess my only issue,if I were a teacher, would be about what would happen if I wanted to leave my job. Would my kids have to change school then too or do the fees remain low regardless?

Aftershock15 Sun 02-Apr-17 15:03:18

It's part of their salary package / perk. As a parent I don't know what the packages are for staff, but if this is something that retains/recruits excellent staff then I'm fine with it.

motheroftwoboys Sun 02-Apr-17 15:09:33

It is a salary benefit offered to all staff at most Independent schools, not just teachers. We have students at the very good school where I am employed whose parents work here in all sort of capacities. The students still have to pass the entrance exams/interviews though - it is not a given that the child of a member of staff will be offered a place. Funkin - if the staff leave this school then the students are charged full whack after that.

DancingLedge Sun 02-Apr-17 15:10:30

Had DC in private schools, which they were only able to attend because of scholarships+bursaries.

I think most parents saw the biggish staff discounts as a sensible way of attracting and retaining talented teachers. Also these teachers have a bigger investment in making it an excellent school.

I was not aware of anyone looking down on teachers or their offspring.
Socially, amongst the kids, teachers kids certainly weren't looked down on, and were often among the popular.

Rose tinted? Nope; I was also very aware of being beyond some parents social pale for having other DC at state schools.

Heard lots of unguarded gossip when volunteering in School second hand shops (only way I could afford the uniforms).
Never heard any condescension towards teaching staff and their offspring.

I'd put this out of your head, it's just not true.

Hadjab Sun 02-Apr-17 15:13:18

My son's best friend at school was the son of one of the teachers. I have no issue what so ever with this - I pay what I pay regardless whether there are teachers' children enrolled or not.

jamie2 Sun 02-Apr-17 15:13:52

wouldn't bother me at all. At my dc's highly selective private school some parents get reduced fees through means testing. Don't know who they are and don't care.

millifiori Sun 02-Apr-17 15:13:55

Doesn't bother me at all. Never occurred to me. Teachers work phenomenally hard and if they like a school well enough to want their child to go there too then they deserve the perk of lower feees.

But at our school the reduction is tiny. Certainly nowhere near 80%. If it were that high I'd get a job there myself!

manicinsomniac Sun 02-Apr-17 15:14:28

Thanks for the responses; that's reassuring.

There are certainly other types of job paying or subsiding the fees of their employee's children too (military, some overseas companies). And there are quite a lot of staff children at our school. So mine don't feel 'second class' in some way.

I do understand your feelings though, Rockybird , it is a very good perk. But also a well known one so, in theory, most people could access it if they thought it was worth it.

Fuckinell - yes, if I move my children would also have to move. But movement within the independent sector isn't unusual and there are new children every year, if not every term. I wouldn't go for a new job in a crucial year. But other than that, I don't think it would be too awful for them. The other issue is of course when the child has to leave. My eldest has moved on now. But, because the school goes to 13, the state schools were of course full. So I had to rely on her getting a scholarship to access a bursary to another independent. As it happens, she would probably have gone this route anyway because she chose a specialist school. But it is a risk. Some colleagues move school when their children get to the top of the age range.

fairgroundsnack Sun 02-Apr-17 15:14:38

I don't mind at all - I think it's a good way for the school to recruit and retain excellent teachers.

smilingsarahb Sun 02-Apr-17 15:15:01

I'd just see it as a perk that meant the school could attract and retain good staff with a vested interest in the place.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 02-Apr-17 15:17:23

So does your friend get no benefits/perks in her job? Following her way of thinking the basics like sick pay, maternity pay, pension come from her companies clients pockets.

It is part of your employment package, and ridiculously naive and immature of her to imply you are taking money directly from parents.

WatersofLife Sun 02-Apr-17 15:17:57

Your friend's an idiot. I can assure you we're not thinking about your DC and how we are subsidising their fees at all.

Pigface1 Sun 02-Apr-17 15:19:37

Staff discount isn't it??

Had never occurred to me that there was anything wrong/unusual about it!!

Kennington Sun 02-Apr-17 15:23:18

I pay for school and it doesn't bother me. Assuming you are a good teacher I wouldn't begrudge the discount at all.
In fact I like this set up as I feel the parent teachers will have a vested interest in ensuring it remains a good school.
I disagree that parents in general aren't wealthy at these types of school though. I haven't met anyone struggling at all!

DrAbbyYates Sun 02-Apr-17 15:23:43

It does fuck me off knowing they're getting up to 80% off fees while we pay the full whack and have to swallow above inflation rate increases each year.

That's an extraordinary discount and very, very unusual. Is it on a multiplier for siblings / length of service? I'm a teacher in the state sector and DH and I have at times considered applying for roles in independent schools. I have never personally encountered a discount of more than 40%.

MrsMarigold Sun 02-Apr-17 15:23:59

Staff discounts keep good staff as it's an incentive for them to stay. Also teachers, even in private schools, earn relatively little so it makes the job attractive to people who could push off and pursue more lucrative jobs in other sectors. No problem there.

Although I gather at some private schools now you have to teach there for a minimum of seven years before you can get subsidised school fees for your own kids. I guess it prevents high staff turnover and is a massive incentive to stay.

My SIL is a teacher at a private school abroad and the school has an interesting system - staff members' children can go to other private schools within the same group and receive a subsidy but cannot attend the same school their parent teaches at, it seems to work quite well.

gillybeanz Sun 02-Apr-17 15:24:20

It's no different than any other discount or incentive at any other kind of workplace.
My dd has 30k paid for her fees by gov/ taxpayer from a scheme that has been available for many years.
There are always schemes, discounts, etc for all types of things.
My ds1 has a number of special discounts he can apply for friends and family taking out mortgages, as that's his job.

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