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Focus Schools Trust - anyone have any experience?

(8 Posts)
negrilbaby Tue 23-Apr-13 20:55:13

Thanks for that Zippidee.
I'm thinking that it may not be the best career move.

zippidee Tue 23-Apr-13 14:04:04

I'm not sure how the union thing works with non-brethren teachers - union membership certainly would be forbidden for brethren members.

As far as the pupil-teacher relationship goes, you have to understand that you would be the only contact these kids have with the 'outside world'. The trustees of the school, who are elders of the local brethren church, have a lot of influence in what you can and cannot teach, and indeed what you can and cannot talk about to the pupils - they all would be very wary of you as an Outsider. Somewhere I have a copy of the focus schools policy statement which sets it all out - as I retain some of the Exclusive brethren mentality, I can read into it what they are actually saying, IYSWIM hmm. HTH

negrilbaby Sun 21-Apr-13 15:18:47

I just wanted to get a bit of an idea about what it might be like teaching in a school where the pupils are from a 'sect'. How do the pupils react to the teachers who are not part of this community?
I'm not sure what it would be like teaching children when you know they are not allowed to continue with a tertiary education.
I have seen the response to an article a few years ago in the TES where many of the teachers from the schools responded. Their responses were all completely positive - to the point it started to read a bit staged! I've never been in a school so far in my career where everybody is totally happy.
I have also read some comments which suggest no union membership is condoned (which is illegal, I think).

zippidee Tue 16-Apr-13 20:57:44

Focus Learning Trust are definitely Exclusive Brethren, who are a rather controversial sect atm. They are the more extreme branch of the Plymouth Brethren (although they sometimes call themselves Plymouth Brethren to distance themselves from the controversy of the Exclusive name, if that makes any sense hmm). they don't allow their members to go to university, hence the need to employ teachers from outside the group - Exclusive Brethren don't have jobs in medicine or science either, for this reason mummytime - that would be members of the actual Plymouth Brethren.

No experience of working for a school though - only of being a member! smile What did you want to know?

mummytime Sun 14-Apr-13 21:16:29

I don't think the Focus Trust are exclusive Brethern, just Plymouth Brethern. Their website seems a bit pants, and I did think the school near Hindhead was exclusive, but doesn't seem it from their photo (the older girls aren't wearing head scarves).

Plymouth Brethern are basically a very Protestant/Calvanist group which split from the C of E a couple of hundred years ago.

From their website, I would be careful about: divorce, co-habiting etc. if you are going for the science job I would phone to ask questions on their opinions on evolution. But I have known quite a few Brethern with Science, Medicine, Computing jobs.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Apr-13 20:56:33

They aren't allowed tv, radio, internet so you may struggle to get a response from someone who works in one of their schools!

negrilbaby Sat 13-Apr-13 20:07:48


negrilbaby Thu 11-Apr-13 15:54:38

Just seen a job advertised and was wondering if anyone has any experience of the schools. They are run by the Plymouth Brethren.

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