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Teachers - is it preferable to teach in private schools?

(80 Posts)
Horseradishes Mon 09-Feb-15 18:04:56

I have some teacher friends who teach in private schools and love it, sing the praises of the schools etc. I know it's impossible to generalise, but do private school teachers get better pay/conditions etc? I'm talking about selective primary schools, so possibly the children are all motivated by keen parents.

I think private schools are less constrained by curriculum and have smaller classes, so I'd imagine could be less challenging to teach teach but I'm not sure. I get the impression state teachers are dissatisfied (strikes) but what about private?

Duchess1983 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:14:49

I spoke to a teacher friend and she said if a position came up at the local prep school there would probably be a lot of applicants for it ?

mrz Mon 09-Feb-15 18:15:22

I know many private school teachers who are paid the same but work longer hours although they have longer holidays. It's swings and roundabout and personal preference.

trinity0097 Mon 09-Feb-15 19:45:36

I am paid the same as I was at a state school, but am now doing a better job, so in a state school would be on quite a bit more. However I wouldn't go back to a state school now.

mrz Mon 09-Feb-15 19:47:06

When you say "better" do you mean more responsibility?

honeysucklejasmine Mon 09-Feb-15 19:50:25

I earned about 2k more a year but worked equivalent of an extra day a week in terms of hours. Longer holidays, and kids is kids but some parents think money = A*, which is irritating! Still, it was a great experience and i enjoyed it. Wouldn't do it again though, but for personal reasons.

Biscuitsneeded Mon 09-Feb-15 20:17:01

I have done both. I earn the same in private as I did in state sector, and I do have to work hard, but I have smaller classes and longer holidays. The children are, deep down, just like children in any other school, and certainly not all angels, but generally speaking I am happier in the private school. The parents might have high expectations but there isn't the bullying management that I have seen in state schools because of the ridiculous pressures from Ofsted and league tables etc.

That said, I am still pleased we don't can't afford to send our own children to private school. I think private probably is better for teachers, but I don't necessarily think it is for children...

FabulousFudge Tue 10-Feb-15 20:33:28

It is indeed swings and roundabouts and down to personal preference. You get longer holidays, but you teach the children for longer each day in term time. Pay is roughly the same.

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 10-Feb-15 22:19:19

I've worked in both systems and found the private school much easier. Pay was slightly less but much smaller classes, less stress from the initiatives, ofsted and all the rest. However, more pressure from parents and some of the students were very bright so expectations were very high, so you needed to be confident with your subject. It also had slightly longer holidays.
On the whole I think its easier to work in private schools but I've enjoyed all the schools I've worked in, each for different reasons (even the school that was the bottom in the league tables in the area).

redskybynight Wed 11-Feb-15 12:05:43

Sorry to derail the thread but BiscuitsNeeded just wondered why you thought private school wasn't necessarily better for children ...?

FabulousFudge Wed 11-Feb-15 19:50:20

I think independent school is better for children and there are most definitely bullying Heads in the independent sector!

rollonthesummer Wed 11-Feb-15 20:01:11

My friend (and ex-colleague) started at a local prep school in September after having taught in a state primary for years. She says the parents are always asking about homework/reading levels etc and are quite fussy, but the plus points definitely outweigh the negatives. She says that...

--her class is much smaller
--behaviour problems are more manageable (more cheeky backchat than chair-throwing)
--No book scrutinies/observations/climate walks/blame culture
--No learning objectives, success criteria, WALT, WILF, targets, data crunching and entry and bizarre marking policies so more time to plan and teach lovely lessons.

Her working day doesn't seem to be any longer either-she does a homework club, but there aren't endless meetings.

I think any private school jobs that come up will have a long queue of people applying...

mrz Wed 11-Feb-15 20:46:44

Sounds very similar to my state primary school

NimpyWWindowmash Wed 11-Feb-15 20:50:18

dH is a teacher, and would not go private as he'd feelhe was owned bytge parents, a lofmirecrap ti deal with, parents with bad attitude to teachers.

He prefers working in state school

NimpyWWindowmash Wed 11-Feb-15 20:50:46

Ah sorry, fat fingers stupid phone

rollonthesummer Wed 11-Feb-15 21:11:40

Which bits sound like your state primary, Mrz?

projecting Wed 11-Feb-15 21:17:24

God yes so much better, judging by what teachers post on here.

Tiny classes, good pay and conditions, longer holidays, supportive parents, well behaved kids, more freedom in the curriculum, good pastoral....

Why wouldn't you?

FabulousFudge Wed 11-Feb-15 22:20:41

Independent schools often struggle to recruit as many teachers don't want to work in them or don't consider them.

Biscuitsneeded Wed 11-Feb-15 22:37:08

Redsky, there are of course lots of advantages for children at independent schools. If they are middle achievers, who might sink or swim in a big state school, they are monitored and encouraged and helped so they get the very best possible grades. So from a grades perspective, yes there are advantages. And yes, lots of lovely music, and sporting opportunities, and debating, and good old fashioned manners and all that. The only drawback I can see is that with all the excellent pastoral care and tutoring and small classes, the students sometimes end up doing better in exams than they really should - I worry about some of them going off to university when I know they are going to find the work a big struggle once they have to stand on their own two feet. And the other thing I find a bit sad, when I compare their lives to those of my own children at their local primary, is that the private school children are a bit divorced from their own communities. There's something really lovely about all the children from our part of our city all walking to school together, playing out in the holidays, seeing their school friends at the local pool, at plays, local events and celebrations. I think it make their childhood pretty special and I wouldn't want to be driving my children several miles to attend a school in another town and for them to miss out being a part of things locally. They're small issues really. If I had the money I possibly would be a bit tempted to send my children private, so it's probably best we haven't and I don't have to confront all of this in any realistic way!

mrz Thu 12-Feb-15 05:53:47

Class size -I have 15 in my class this year
Behaviour - no chair throwing
Book scrutinies - rare occurrence
WALT WILF etc never been used

mrz Thu 12-Feb-15 05:55:07

BTW I find the low class size a disadvantage as a teacher much prefer low to mid twenties

IDismyname Thu 12-Feb-15 06:24:15

Holy Moley Biscuits. You've made some desperately sweeping comments regarding children being educated in the private/ state sector.
Good job this is under the Education Topics and not under a more mainstream one.

projecting Thu 12-Feb-15 06:34:59

Either way mrsz you're still subject to the latest government "initiatives" in a way that private school teachers are not. The biggest attraction for me is that I plan, teach and mark. That is the extend of the paperwork.

We can cherry pick the parts of new policy that we think work, and ignore the rest. For instance we're bringing in the new primary curriculum next year rather that this - watch and learn for a year, then introduce in a way that suits us.

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Thu 12-Feb-15 06:44:54

I think teaching in private sector is much better - I get paid far more than I would in a state school, work
In a stunning historical site, have small classes of bright, keen kids. What's not to like? I'm sceptical that any teacher would prefer large mid twenties classes - why you want a situation where you can give less time and attention to each child?!

mrz Thu 12-Feb-15 07:39:08

I plan teach and mark too ... The curriculum sets out the minimum entitlement for every child it does impose how I teach

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