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Independent schools: a few questions

(16 Posts)
bigchris Mon 29-Nov-10 21:31:44

Do they get any money from the government or are they completely self funded ?
Do they still have ofsted inspections?
Do they have pta's? Would they bother with fundraising events like Xmas fairs? Thanks!

woolymindy Mon 29-Nov-10 21:34:06

No they are self funded unless they are for special needs and then they sometimes get LEA funding for certain students
No, they are inspected by the equivalent inspector type people, who rate them
Yes they do have PTA's generally - and yes in my experience they do have a lot of fund raising going on

bigchris Mon 29-Nov-10 21:36:57

Thanks that's great!
So if the number of pupils declines because of the recession they have less money to spend on staff , resources etc

woolymindy Mon 29-Nov-10 21:38:43

yep but honestly most of them have quite a big reserve and they have charitable status so non profit and the first thing that gets cut is the burseries for the less well off

MollieO Mon 29-Nov-10 21:41:06

Ours is self funded. Hell would freeze over before our LEA gave any type of SEN funding to it. They are inspected by this body. They have a very active PTA and do lots of fund raising activities for the school.

A falling roll means reduction in expenditure on capital projects first before affecting staff.

MollieO Mon 29-Nov-10 21:41:46

Not all independent schools have charitable status, ours doesn't.

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 30-Nov-10 07:57:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyMyfanwy Tue 30-Nov-10 08:02:15

Some PTA's though are invite only to join - depends on the school. Ask about joining if it is important to you.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 09:28:47

Actually, a lot of independent schools are not having problems with falling rolls ATM.

Surprising given the economic climate but apparently this is so.

At my DCs schools the PTAs organise lots of events, both social events for parents and fundraising fair type things. They tend to be more active than the local state schools.

Most, but not all, private schools have charitable status, which means they do not pay tax on annual surpluses, so can plough it all into capital schemes or into reserves.

Most will put fees up before cutting teaching staff.

It is right what Mollie says about there being no funding for SEN in private schools.

I have never yet come across a PTA who are not continually asking for new volunteers so should be easy enough to get involved if you want.

Acanthus Tue 30-Nov-10 09:35:19

Numbers aren't falling, they rose last year

londonartemis Tue 30-Nov-10 10:53:43

IME there have been OFSTED inspections in my children's private schools (this is at primary level). The reports are published and put on the schools' websites.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 11:05:25

I think OFSTED inspection is required for early years provision.

It is needed in order to qualify for the nursery grant, I think.

At Dcs old school the nursery is OFSTED inspected for this reason.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 11:06:16

I think some private schools also voluntarily have OFSTED inspections.

It is optional for them.

MollieO Tue 30-Nov-10 11:40:35

Our nursery, reception and holiday club is Ofsted inspected.

Lizcat Tue 30-Nov-10 13:39:56

EYFS is inspected by Ofsted and ISI. Not all private schools have to be inspected, but the best are, our school has just been through one very rigourous inspectors in the school for two weeks checked last years books as well as this years.
As school goes from 3 to 18 numbers are rising as birth rate rises and it becomes increasingly difficult to get into top local primaries. (last 3 years numbers have risen).
Complex local authority funding for children who have been at local primary for deaf and then have cochlear implants and school is used to integrate them into hearing schools ( all LEA primaries refusedto be involved in scheme).
Yes there is a PTA it provides special little extras £40,000 of playground equipment over three years and laser cutting machine at £12,000.

harvalp Tue 30-Nov-10 14:49:53

Another interesting place to check how an independent school is doing is the Charity Commission web site. It obviously only applies to those schools registered as charities, but they are required to provide annual reports with accounts which are publicly available there.

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