Teachers leaving in droves at a fee paying school.(16 Posts)
DS1 is at a local private school which has been great up until last year. Since then the leadership in the school changed and it may have caused lots of teachers to leave. Fortunately DS1 is doing his GCSE's now, but 7 of his teachers this year are leaving, 6 are brilliant. Last year he lost some good teachers too.
The school seems to be doing nothing to retain their quality staff. I have spoken to other parents, most have similar concerns.
DS1 had intended on staying there for sixth form, it is a lot of money but we were prepared to do this for two more years, due to the friendships he has formed.
My concern is that the school as a whole is losing about 30 teachers this year. DS1 is likely to have new, perhaps less experienced teachers at A Level.
Should he go elsewhere before it becomes worse next year, or should he stay as he may do well being amongst his friends?
That sounds like a situation where the default action should be to go elsewhere, unless very clear reassurance can be given that the next 2 years will not fail your son. I'd arrange to talk with the school directly - form or personal tutor or the head or deputy I guess. Sounds worrying, hope things work out.
30 leaving seems a lot are you sure it's that many?
Having said this I understand just like other professions e.g. nursing there's a general shortage of teachers this I suspect means that it's easier to get a promotion or a job in a particular area/school. I also know of an independent school (not DS's) that loosing quite a few staff this year but has also replaced them with other staff.
What do you think of the new leadership and the direction it's taking the school? IME it's inevitable that when there's a significant change in leadership (in any profession) some people will leave and this may not be a bad thing and the current general shortage of staff makes moving easier.
Why do you think any new staff recruited will be less experience teachers? A friend is a teacher in the independent sector, he's making a sideways move to another school ( he's moving areas) he's an excellent and experienced teacher.
If your DS is happy at the school and thriving I think there's a lot to be said for the idea of "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
Yes, my DS friends have a list of teachers leaving, they have been counting because the children are upset over this.
The school seems to be replacing experienced teachers with those that train on the job, which is my concern over the teaching.
The direction of the school/leadership, I do not know. You make a good point about staff leaving when there is leadership change, but I would like them to hang onto the very good teachers. It seems that it is precisely those ones that are going elsewhere.
It is not broke, yet
I'd certainly look for aback up option. Lots of private school students transfer to State sixth form colleges for example.
30 is a lot, I agree.
However, it is normal to have a high turnover of staff in the year or two after a leadership change. I work in a very stable and successful prep - but, when our headteacher changed a few years ago, we lost maybe 15% of our staff over the next two years. It was just natural due to the decision changes/style of leadership changes that come with a change at the top. And many new heads would even welcome it as I imagine it gives them more of a sense of security and control to have staff they have chosen themselves.
Oh no, you said "in the year or two after", the current headmaster is leaving at the end of this year, which means another possibly two years of this! Thank you for your sharing your experience, it is useful. DS will move.
Agreeing with others that staff changes are the norm after a change in leadership, but this also means your DC could get even better teachers? My DC have had some brilliant newly qualified teachers as well as terrible longer serving staff who don't move with the times.
If the school is a charity, I would suggest you look at their accounts on the charity commission website. Wish I did this when picking DC's school before they started there! A significant debt would definitely send me running to another school. Also you mentioned that the teachers replacing leaving staff are training on the job? Are all new teachers like this or is the school bringing in some more experienced staff? Talk to a member of the senior management & get as much information as possible out of them. Moving your DC could be a case of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Also rumours can cause awful problems for schools, thus creating a real problem. You need facts to base your concerns on & also you need to take the emotion out of the decision. That's the hard part
Fortunately things worked out well for us when my DC's bankrupt school merged
was taken & swallowed by a far superior school & their remaining education was fantastic.
Wishing you all the best with this.
Thanks HHH, need some positivity, DS was not happy after talking about the possibility of moving. Never thought about the charity aspect, thank you. I will take a look.
I would also urge you to look at the school accounts. Lots of private schools have been in financial difficulties and teachers often get the first sniff that things have gone wrong.
It may not occur to those gracing the private sector but the hired help are entitled to have a life of their own outside of the demands or tarquin and jocasta.....
Our prep head changed 2 years ago and there has been a huge turnover of teachers! Some are routine - medical, retirement, but most are due to the new head who is shaking things up. Children in years 6 & 5 have struggled the most due to them being in critical years. Hopefully we get to the stable state now. I think your shakeup has just started.
Do you know the reason for the teachers leaving?
Speaking from experience, it sounds like financial crisis and panic. Teacher are indeed the first to know when there's money problems and get out quick. Others might be let go as they can't afford all the teachers. Def check the accounts!
Is this a Surrey school? Sounds familiar to what I'm hearing about and currently deciding whether to send DS there
This does sound disturbing but seems to be happening more often of late.
It usually precedes or follows a change in management and can be caused by uncertainty in the direction a school is taking. Poor governorship may be a factor, are they talking to parents? Is the school part of a group of schools? If so some support may be forthcoming if finances are an issue but I have also seen groups just dump a failing member school!
I would speak to the head ASAP and follow up with a letter. In my experience they are more interested in their own career than the welfare of staff/school but I would certainly be considering an alternative school. Such a worry if your children are happy there!
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