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Furloughing of staff in Independent schools

(74 Posts)
jeanne16 Sat 04-Apr-20 06:58:51

The small independent school my DD attends appears to be furloughing a large number of staff. This not only includes all support staff, all SEN staff but also at least one teacher in every department. Given that there are only 3 or 4 teachers in each department, this amounts to around 40% of the staff in total, including all support staff.

They are offering only 10% reduction on next term’s fees.

I am completely outraged by this. Does anyone else know how many staff are being furloughed in their schools?

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:04:56

My DH's private school is furloughing anyone who 'can't fulfil their role#. I assume this is eg catering staff and most cleaners, probably some admin staff and maybe things like speech and drama/ peri music teachers. This is to cover the 20% reduction in fees, I assume.

I have not heard any mention of what is happening in the state sector with similar staff.

Furloughing teachers is a whole other ball game : how could you pick one teacher out!? And then, the school would not be entitled to expect any work out of that teacher at all at any point.

YellowSlipper Sat 04-Apr-20 07:08:24

No experience but that's disgusting.

jeanne16 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:10:17

I believe the other teachers left in each department will be expected to carry the extra workload. As a parent, I am not happy about this arrangement. Most of us thought teaching staff would be maintained.

OP’s posts: |
00100001 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:11:45

Well, if it's a small school, it probably furlough or close.... :/

They probably don't have enough surplus to get through this otherwise.

actiongirl1978 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:12:32

That's rough OP. Our school isn't furloughing anyone, school of about 900 senior school children. Running full online timetable, including PE sessions. 1k reduction in fees and no increases in Sept.

Are you prep or senior?

Beemail1 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:14:32

Yes have heard of this happening. Also schools choosing this as the moment to withdraw all teaching staff from TPS.
Hard times for independent schools but not good way to treat staff. Anyone else know what's going on in independent schools?
I suspect only those with good reserves will survive. Surely many families will be taking such a hit financially that they may need to review how they educate their children.

00100001 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:15:56

A 900 strong school will have plenty of money, firstly to make sure the teacher's have the equipment needed for remote e, and then to pay through this with the discount.

a 'small' independent won't have this luxury.

actiongirl1978 Sat 04-Apr-20 07:18:23

@00100001 yes you are right there, though our INDY did say that they don't have huge cash reserves and are relying om everyone to pay their fees.

The prep is similar re: fees, 20 percent discount and no increase, but is owned by a wealthy secondary which has a huge quota of doctor parents, so probably financially secure.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:23:28

The teachers who are expected to do extra because members of their dept are being furloughed must be livid too.

Private school teachers are still usually in unions and should contact them about this!

Re the PP talking about small school, my DH's school is large and part of a huge and wealthy group of schools.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 04-Apr-20 07:43:40

I guess it might depend on how they are doing teaching Piggy ?

If work is now being set on a year group basis by the head of department, and not being individually marked (eg using google forms for maths & science).
Or PE/Misc/Drama/Art for teachers not teaching GCSE?

Plus there might be some teachers who feel unable to carry out their normal work (eg if they have toddlers at home, who are normally in childcare). They might be better furloughed than attempting to work?

The OP also needs to realise that 40% staff furloughed might well not be 40% of staffing costs. Support staff tend to be less well paid, don't they? And if they have kept HoD they will be paid more than a 'normal' teacher.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:45:13

There are plenty of people attempting to work nationwide with young children and not being furloughed though teen.

It's a pretty shoddy way to treat teaching staff.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:46:59

I bet the furloughed staff form a very interesting group and the schools would need to watch out : if they are mainly women with children and/ or part time staff they could face legal challenges down the line.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 04-Apr-20 07:47:07

I was thinking some teachers might positively prefer to be furloughed? 80% pay, no work, no childcare costs, and time to spend with your own kids for a change?

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 04-Apr-20 07:48:39

Or even 100% if the school makes up the difference.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:49:08

Besides which, teaching is not the only work teachers do : all staff will be expecting to contribute to planning for the return to school, preparing resources and so on.

The work of setting work to different year groups should or could be shared across a department.

WoollyFoolly Sat 04-Apr-20 07:49:28

I work in an independent school (support staff) and am furloughed - we've furloughed almost all support staff and some teachers. Don't know what discount will be offered yet, but the head has said all cost savings will be passed on. I was going to make the same point as @TeenPlusTwenties though that support staff are generally much less well paid than the teaching staff so the wage savings won't correlate to the %age of staff off.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:49:54

I don't know anyone who wants to be furloughed!

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:50:29

In terms, I mean , of someone who could be on 100% pay. It's not in the spirit of furloughing.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:51:20

woolly are you able to say what kinds of teachers have been furloughed?

teaandalemontart Sat 04-Apr-20 07:52:27

My school has done this and staff (40%) have been furloughed. They are devastated and are not allowed to discuss it, or come into school.

Funnily enough it's all the higher level and more expensive ones. I haven't been as my job is more specialist but staff are extremely unhappy.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 04-Apr-20 07:52:54

Ah Piggy That's because you and your friends are so dedicated. grin

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:54:56

No, genuinely that's not why it is! It affects pension and NC contributions...

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:56:39

That'll be because if they came into school tea, they would be working. Aren't any of these staff union members?

My understanding is that furloughing of teachers was designed to protect long term supply teachers and other teachers, such as peri staff.

Piggywaspushed Sat 04-Apr-20 07:57:03

But thank you anyway teen. grin

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