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Private schools opening even if state schools remain closed?

(66 Posts)
altmum Fri 15-May-20 14:56:29

Apologies if already discussed elsewhere but I was hoping someone could tell me if private schools are likely to follow state schools with regards to reopening. There appears to be negotiations between teaching unions and the government about whether it is safe to open in June. If unions and schools deem it unsafe, is there a possibility that private schools go ahead and open as per the current government plan but state schools stay closed? This would have significant implications for year 10/12 students and could widen attainment gaps.

OP’s posts: |
Sadie00007 Fri 15-May-20 15:43:19

My cousins children go to a private school, they have been in school throughout this, although their parents are doctors so are key workers...but I think other children have been in too.

chocolatviennois Fri 15-May-20 15:56:13

I think private schools will open in June for the specified year groups. Their class sizes are smaller so it will be easier for them to manage with only a few year groups in. I imagine parents paying fees will also be keen to send their kids back when they have the chance.

The gap is already widening due to private schools setting up online lessons promptly. Some state schools might have managed it but it isn't the norm and some state schools aren't doing any online lessons.

missyB1 Fri 15-May-20 15:59:41

Currently waiting to hear from ds private school. The only children they’ve had in so far have been keyworkers kids. I’m interested to see if they have Year 6 in as per Government recommendation, as their prep school finishes at year 8 not 6.
But yes they will have to open really if they want parents to carry on paying the fees!

Lithops Fri 15-May-20 16:00:13

I work in a private school and we've been advised not to do more than the state sector as it won't be good PR! I don't know what will actually happen though. We could probably have the whole school in more easily than a lot of state schools could manage one year group.

TwitterTwatterofTinyMinds Fri 15-May-20 16:01:24

The guidance states that ALL schools are expected to follow it, including Independent Schools so I fully expect them to risk assess it and get at least their primary aged children back this term. The issue they have is the ambition to have children back for a month before the end of term - round here the Independent Schools tend to break up in the second week of July, so there's not much time to get things risk assessed and phase the return...

Inspiralcarpetry Fri 15-May-20 16:01:42

I work in a private school and we are following the same pattern as state schools and the government advice.

Yearcat13 Fri 15-May-20 16:03:12

Unless staff are willing to go against union advice then no. If staff do go against union advice they will not ne supported by public, parents, etc, I hope.
Unions exist for a reason and their advice goes to all members regardless of school status.

KaleJuicer Fri 15-May-20 16:07:01

I was wondering if private school teachers are also unionised?

My DC are at a private school and have continued to go in as I am a "key worker". The school has taken a very wide view on the key worker definition and don't require both parents to be key workers. It also allows children in if the key worker parent is working from home or eg if they are on a day off after a night shift.

Legoandloldolls Fri 15-May-20 16:07:19

If private schools dont open to some extent they will go bust. Would you sign up a new starter from 16k not knowing if they will be in come next academic year?

Spillinteas Fri 15-May-20 16:12:06

Totally depends of the head and the governors. I want ours to open but I know a hell of a lot of parents don’t. It’s nearly a 50/50 split. My dd teacher would be back in a shot.

Worriedmum999 Fri 15-May-20 16:15:04

Our private school made enquiries as to whether different year groups could go back (I guess year 6 and 5) as I suspect they think that sending back the little ones is ridiculous like most people. They were told that they had to follow government advice confused

Lithops Fri 15-May-20 16:15:32

I was wondering if private school teachers are also unionised?

We are, but in reality there's often little they can do for us.

ineedaholidaynow Fri 15-May-20 16:16:49

@Legoandloldolls my DS goes to a private school. We are still paying fees. DS is in Y10 and is getting a full timetable with live classes, homework, tests, work being marked. I am very happy with the provision and would actually prefer this to continue this term rather than some part-time social distanced attempt at teaching in school.

ineedaholidaynow Fri 15-May-20 16:17:40

I can't believe the priority is nursery children, it just seems so ridiculous.

altmum Fri 15-May-20 16:21:56

If state secondary schools reopen in June they are unlikely to hold a full tinetable for years 10 and 12. They may just provide a few monitoring contacts to see how the students are coping. If private schools open, there is the possibility they could provide an additional 6 weeks of lessons which could be of vital importance for exam students.

OP’s posts: |
Taciturn Fri 15-May-20 16:25:54

I don't see how private schools can open for some year groups without charging different fees.

ineedaholidaynow Fri 15-May-20 16:28:08

@altmum it would not be for 6 weeks as most private schools break up at the beginning of July, which may make them less likely to open up, if they haven't been open for key worker children, as would be a lot of faff for just 4 weeks, especially if they are already providing good remote learning. I am still waiting to hear from DS's school but I would go for staying with what they are doing.

But yes there is a risk that there will be more disparity. But schools will still have to follow social distance guidance etc, so I don't believe a full timetable would be offered.

I think Secondary schools are still waiting for Government guidance. They have only been briefly mentioned in the guidance published so far.

altmum Fri 15-May-20 16:29:51

Lithops, thanks for confirming private teachers are also unionised. I presume they will have the same concerns about opening as state teachers? It appears we are heading to having vastly differing amount of lesson time between state and private.

OP’s posts: |
ineedaholidaynow Fri 15-May-20 16:31:10

My DS also had homework over the Easter holidays and I assume he will get some over the Summer too.

altmum Fri 15-May-20 16:31:33

Ineedaholidaynow - that's true, I didn't take into account the differing term times.

OP’s posts: |
missyB1 Fri 15-May-20 16:42:17

@ineedaholidaynow I agree. My ds has had a good home learning package from his prep school and is actually making good progress and seems very happy. In some ways I’d rather carry on with that than have a part time disjointed attempt at going back for 3 or 4 weeks.

RedAndGreenPlaid Fri 15-May-20 16:46:25

DS' school is opening only to key worker children, YR, Y1, Y6, same as all other schools in our area when they are advised it is safe to do so.
They have asked ISC whether they have to stick to mandated year groups (Y6 really do NOT need to be in at all, whereas Y5 have major exams in September), but haven't been advised yet.
I don't see that ds will return to his school at all (he's Y6).

Spillinteas Fri 15-May-20 16:48:23

I don't see how private schools can open for some year groups without charging different fees I agree. And that’s why I think our head might just say ‘No one is in till September’

We’ve had continuous work from lock down all through Easter but it’s pointless now as mine have just lost interest ( lower junior school) also the live lessons are a bit of a faff because some kids are shouting answers out which disrupts the connection.

We have very small classes so social distancing wouldn’t be an issue for us

damnthatanxiety Fri 15-May-20 16:49:02

Sadie00007 your cousins are key workers. Private schools are following the same rules as everyone else

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