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Private schools charging during Covid

(82 Posts)
southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 09:02:13

Does anyone know the justification for private schools attempting to charge full fees during Covid 19, for sub standard online learning platforms.

Why can teachers not be placed on Furlough and insurance be claimed ?

Do we need to start naming and shaming these institutions with no morals ! Did they ever have our children's interests at heart? How can the charity commission not hold them accountable and why are they allowed to be run purely like businesses ?

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ironicname Tue 31-Mar-20 09:04:00

They are businesses. When push comes to shove their profits are more important than their clients.
I found this out the hard way.

MayTheGodsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 31-Mar-20 09:08:25

They are charities when it suits them, & businesses when it suits them. Make of that what you will.

Apolloanddaphne Tue 31-Mar-20 09:09:44

They are businesses!

My niece is at a private school and she is still being set a lot of work, getting it marked and being given lessons online. Those teachers still have to be paid to do this work.

In the public sector teachers are still being paid to deliver teaching from home. It is substandard for all children at the moment.

ShieldPrintersNeeded Tue 31-Mar-20 09:11:05

Oh for heavens sake. Most parents want their kids to continue some form of education and wouldn't be very happy to have teacher's furloughed. Most schools have stood by their staff and continued to pay them. That's not exactly operating like a cut throat business now is it? Asking teachers to take 80% so the top 1% can save money on fees is shocking.

southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 09:13:00

This is the schools decision not ours to pay full pay so they should fund this the government have a scheme in place to be used, parents have lost their jobs . There is not a full complement of staff and no interactive streaming or lessons!

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InfiniteSheldon Tue 31-Mar-20 09:14:05

It's a business if you want it to stay open pay if you want it to close refuse

southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 09:14:21

Why would charging full price reflect online PowerPoint slides and no contact with teachers, how many teachers are required to administer this reduces and substandard service!

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roonilwazlibismynickname Tue 31-Mar-20 09:16:00

Are they still receiving an education? Do you want there to be a school to go back to when they reopen??

dancingbadger Tue 31-Mar-20 09:16:44

Most private schools I know are offering 20% reduction in fees next term which seems fair enough to me. I do know of one that isn't offering anything which seems a bit tight.

ShieldPrintersNeeded Tue 31-Mar-20 09:17:23

If you're in a private school then they had exactly one week of "lessons" so far to sort it all out. Are you sure you aren't getting streamed lessons after Easter? Most schools run on very tight margins and simply can't afford to not take in fees. If you still want a school to go back to in September then you stump the money. If you're happy to try your luck getting a state school place you're welcome to do that as well. The bursars aren't stupid. They know the pot will need to be bigger for struggling parents but it will be and should be means tested.

INeedNewShoes Tue 31-Mar-20 09:22:29

My nephew's lessons are being taught on Google classroom. I would expect your school to just be taking some time to prepare some lessons suitable for online delivery.

I'm paying for my daughter's nursery place because if everyone stops paying the setting won't survive and I very much want them to make it through this. There is going to be a huge shortage of childcare spaces after this.

INeedNewShoes Tue 31-Mar-20 09:23:46

Oh, and don't underestimate the preparation that goes into teaching remotely. For me anyway, it has tripled my lesson prep time (private tuition).

MissTheodore Tue 31-Mar-20 09:31:20

I’m a private school teacher. I’d be delighted to take 80% of my salary and have no work to do all of next term. Setting work online and responding to all the queries from the pupils and marking their work fills my days. I could sit on my arse all term if you had your way; any chance you could write to my headmistress and sort this out for me?

Of course, my year 10 and 12 pupils would get terribly behind in their GCSEs and A levels, and the Key Stage 3 kids would not be ready for September’s courses, but I really do fancy putting my feet up for a few months. Where do I sign up?

Apolloanddaphne Tue 31-Mar-20 09:33:14

Possibly it is just your school that is crap rather than all schools?

purpleboy Tue 31-Mar-20 10:02:01

I feel the same to a certain extent. My oldest is in yr 12, she has been receiving daily video calls from her teachers and group chats with teachers and students, her work is specifically set for her. I am happy to pay for this as I still feel she is getting the support sh3 needs from her teachers.
Youngest is in yr 2 she has been given online work from a free education site which anyone can access, she has no specific learning plans for her, just a do what you can from the site attitude. We have had little to no contact from her school apart from a video message from the head.
So I'm feeling pretty peeved in no reduction in fees for her.

Fuzzyspringroll Tue 31-Mar-20 10:11:53

It takes me ages to prep and sort out online teaching lessons. I'm easily within my working hours, although mostly above them. That's why I still get full pay.
We do daily small group sessions (I have four a day most days, since I usually have four year groups within my class) and then do 1-2-1 sessions one day a week. I have six English groups within my class, so six English group sessions. We teach remotely and I take the kids through their work. I have prepared resources so that parents only need to print them out and leave their kids with me to go through the activities. They are organised into books, which have the time and online code for each session clearly stated, so no simply copied some packs from somewhere.
We have online platforms where I have allocated tasks. We use Seesaw where they can upload their work and get feedback. I answer emails and phone calls and still have to attend staff meetings.
I'm abroad, so if my school used the government support I'd be on 60% of my income. I'm certainly doing way more than 60% of my work.

southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 10:14:38

I have had nothing for my year 11 child as I was told they should not revise as Gsce was cancelled, for my year 6 child I've had power point decks uploaded.

I've received full fee bill from all of the above , I've had no contact with teachers.

Who is accountable for monitoring these schools as it pertains to ethical trading they seem to be a law onto themselves, with varying stances .

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southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 10:28:20

I have two different schools my children attend seems odd that both will be crap schools! More likely that independent schools are all left to their own devices .

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avrilpoissons Tue 31-Mar-20 12:05:12

Because you have chosen not to take advantage of a state education and to buy the benefits you want for your children. Those extra benefits still need paying for when the school is temporarily closed, if you want them still to be there when this is all over then you need to pay or the businesses will be closing down and then you'll be expecting state schools to pick up the pieces.

Ginandplatonic Tue 31-Mar-20 12:14:38

My kids’ school has been fantastic in how it has responded. Their teachers are still teaching them via Google Classroom - a slightly modified timetable, but they have 4 hours of face to face (face to screen?) lessons then 2 hours working on set work. I’m fairly sure the teachers are working at least as hard as they were before and I’m happy to continue paying school fees so that my kids have some semblance of normality and structure in this unsettling time.

Maybe you should take it up with your children’s schools, rather than making sweeping complaints on here?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 31-Mar-20 12:24:18

If you're not happy with your children's school, give notice to withdraw them. I teach in an independent school and during term time we were, and will be next term, still planning and delivering lessons and marking work. Parents have also been given a fee reduction. I would imagine the parents of many year 10 and year 12 students are very happy that their child's teachers have not been placed on furlough midway through their GCSE or A Level course.

So don't come on here making sweeping generalisations about the whole private sector: do your research and find a school which suits your needs.

southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 12:33:32

@theonlylivingboyinnewcross. I was not making sweeping statements. I also appreciate the teaching staff and it's not their decisions it's that of management. Every year should be treated differently as you state. I do struggle with teachers like you that expect us to find your wages and not have an opinion. As you say the parents are funding the school not the state, except the parents cannot have a view point and the teachers in the independent sector believe they are exempt from criticism or comment .

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southlondonyummom Tue 31-Mar-20 12:34:08


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SunnySomer Tue 31-Mar-20 12:44:27

OP your experience is very different from mine. School has been exemplary in terms of keeping education going, setting up an online environment (MS Teams) and suitable processes to follow. Pastoral team has been superb, teachers are fully available for support as they would be at school.
I suspect this is down to the quality of the leadership and the quality of the team, but in our case I’d say fees are fully deserved.

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