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Boarding School Staff

(12 Posts)
Aldwick Thu 11-Apr-13 22:03:57

Just wondering if any of you lovely people teach in a boarding school and could give me the low down as to what it's REALLY like?!

We are a young family looking to move out to somewhere more rural and thinking that a boarding school might be the way forward.

I no longer teach but did a brief stint of maternity cover in a prep school years ago where there were lots of families and a great sense of community. I don't know if that was the exception rather than the rule but it was pretty

Obviously a lot was expected of you in term time but it wasn't unusual to see a member of staff on duty of a weekend with his toddler on his hip etc.

Staff also seemed to earn fairly standard salaries but with the added perks of heavily subsidised housing, bills and very generous bursaries for their children.

Again I only have experience of this one school and this time round it would be DH looking for the position so it would be secondary schools we were looking at.

If anyone can offer any advice even if it's just to shout 'Don't do it!!!!' at me then I'd be really grateful.

Hope you're all enjoying your well deserved Easter holidays!

manicinsomniac Fri 12-Apr-13 17:29:50

I work in a boarding school and am one of the boarding tutors, although I don't live on site.

Absolutely the best decision I could have made (sometimes I think the only one). If I need to work till 9pm my children can be with me. If I need to work all night they can crash in the boarding house. If I need to work in the holidays they have acres of beautiful school grounds to play in. When they are ill they can go in sick bay and I can still work. They are getting a first class education for almost no money. The school is friendly and my colleagues feel like my extended family.

Do it!

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Apr-13 17:32:02

I don't anymore but I spent 4 happy years as a housemistress.

I'd happily go back and do it again!

Aldwick Fri 12-Apr-13 18:54:14

Thanks guys - definitely the kind of encouragement we need. I hope both your schools are pretty representative of the ones we've been looking at.

Aldwick Mon 15-Apr-13 19:28:40

If either of you are still around could I be really cheeky and ask what sort of bursaries staff children seem to get?

We're a long way off secondary but while we're starting to research schools it's worth knowing if it would be feasible for the children to potentially end up at the same school or if I need to factor in an area with decent state secondaries as well.

Where we are now we get an extremely generous fee discount but I suspect it's the exception rather than the norm.

manicinsomniac Wed 17-Apr-13 17:53:01

It's 85% where I work but I think that is at the generous end. I don't think it's unusual but it's by no means expected.

Aldwick Wed 17-Apr-13 18:22:07

Thanks manic - that's what we get now but I know it's not what all staff get because there isn't a standard staff discount so it's very much how valuable you are to them at the time you apply for a bursary I'm sure!
I'm so excited at the prospect of moving in the next couple of years but there is so much to tie up - a school we like (and potentially the right school for our children down the line), the right position, right location with decent state schools if it turns out they're required and affordable housing if we weren't able to live on site.
We have a very good deal where we are right now and although in my heart I know it's time to move on and better to move when the children are small so we can hopefully then see out their education somewhere, I'm still finding the idea somewhat daunting and wondering if we're going to shoot ourselves in the foot financially.
Too much to think about!!!!
Thank you for your input though - it's really helpful.

gwenniebee Sat 27-Apr-13 15:07:51

Just to put another slant on it.... (sorry!) I used to work in a boarding school and would never go back now I have children of my own. The hours were phenomenol (ie 7.30am - 8pm four days a week, 7.30am - 10.00pm one day a week and 7.30am - at least 5pm on a Saturday, Sunday chapel occasionally too, and Sunday duties 10am - 7pm twice a term.) Even if your children are in school with you, it's not exactly quality time with them. I would seriously examine the hours the school would expect you to work.

Oh, my school offered sod all in the way of staff bursuries, too!

Aldwick Sat 27-Apr-13 19:31:42

All experiences welcome - thank you! Lots to think about.

MummaBubba123 Sun 28-Apr-13 20:35:25

Ditto to the hours where I used to work, too! Craaaazy.
But then I complained (very nicely and directly to the Head - with whom I had a good relationship).
I explained that the hours were not what I'd been led to believe - and I'd asked at interview. They'd been VERY cagey about them (not mentioning specific times). When I returned after having my first child, the Head changed (literally - new Head. lol).
I was seen as 'the one who doesn't do boarding duties, etc.'.
Got made redundant.
But ... four years on, am almost grateful for it.
I do miss the cameraderie. But I am in a better set up for my family. I did some further training (rather a lot of it). I am now a dyslexia assessor and, thank gd, busy tutor.

MummaBubba123 Sun 28-Apr-13 20:35:49


teacher123 Wed 01-May-13 21:36:57

I've just escaped from a boarding school. Was a resident member of staff for 2 years, then moved off site for 3 years. Will do a list for you:
Amazing food, all included when you were there, tea, coffee, lunch, dinner, breakfast, whatever!
Lovely kids
Beautiful working environment

INSANE pressure of working hours. You were ALWAYS at work, do not underestimate what that feels like. We had meetings in the evenings, evening and weekend duties and i regularly did 3 week stints without a day off.
Teaching on a Saturday morning.
Parental expectations of availability
Staffroom Inward looking and so so so cloistered and cliquey. There were many members of staff who never left site. All socialising done together, hideous.

I LOVED my old school, and was devastated to leave. But I have a baby and was in no way prepared to work the hours I worked before. I now work 3 days a week in a prep school. Is manically busy whilst I'm there but i get to leave at the end of the day.

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