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Have an interview as HR Manager in school coming up - what is the best resource for finding out about current issues within education/private school sector?

(8 Posts)
EducationQuestion Fri 28-Feb-14 13:42:18

Gosh, that was a long title! I think it's all in the title actually - I have an interview as HR Manager coming up - my background is in a different area and I would like to be more familiar with current issues teachers may be facing (in and out of private sector), and therefore HR issues coming from that.

Could anyone please advise of a good website/resource? Or, even tell me what they see as the issues currently?

Many thanks.

PenelopePitstops Fri 28-Feb-14 20:37:04


manyhands Fri 28-Feb-14 20:45:54

NUT website or the NASWT website which will tell you all about the changes and potential changes to pay and conditions. I'd second TES too, it might be worth buying a copy because not all the content is available online. Changing to academy status, changes in the Ofsted framework and a harsher inspection regime are big issues as is the fact that teachers now have to negioate their pay which each new school whereas previously we would be on a pay scale and would stay at the same level with yearly increments up to the upper pay scale which we would be assessed to move up to. PPA time, rarely cover and the list of tasks teacher should not regularly do under workplace agreements (such as bulk photocopying) oh and pensions.
Sorry rather rambled on!

GW297 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:45:10

Those are more state school issues perhaps. Independent issues are perhaps the impact of the recession on numbers etc.

EducationQuestion Fri 28-Feb-14 23:56:05

Thank you all so much - that is really helpful.

Can I ask, is it still the case that private schools can employ unqualified teachers & does that actually happen?

So private schools do not have PPA?

I know some teachers transfer from private to state, or visa versa, is that unusual or are most recruiters having to attract candidates who may be considering both?

Last question: I know there are shortages in Maths, Science etc, but for other subjects is it difficult to find teachers or jobs?

Many thanks again.

manyhands Sat 01-Mar-14 07:36:38

Private schools can still recruit unqualified teachers, if you look on the TES website in the community section there is a video about what it is like to teach in a private school. I don't know how many teachers transfer from private to state but generally competition for teaching jobs is fierce so recruiters won't struggle to attract applicants however there were less applicants to teacher training this year and morale is low with teachers wishing to leave the profession so that may change in years to come. You are right about the shortage subjects and I've also read about there being less people wanting promotion to headship and many heads set to retite but that may have changed with the NPQH, a qualification which prepares you for headship. The changes to SEN funding will impact on schools too as parents can be paid directly for their child's educational needs (google this, I'm no expert) so reducing the schools sEN budget and the number of support they can afford. As I'm a state school teacher these may well be issues more for state schools. Good luck.

GW297 Sat 01-Mar-14 08:40:04

Neither of the 2 independent schools I've worked in have appointed unqualified teachers but they can. Most Heads I would think have NPQH but I have worked for one who didn't (and was awful!)

Staff are not entitled to PPA in the same way they are in the state sector but I would think the majority of them give some sort of non contact time to their teachers. In one school it was a whole morning or afternoon each week and in the other it was in half an hour ish blocks when the class were being taught be specialist teachers for some subjects. I went to look round a tiny prep school once that couldn't offer PPA because of finances.

I think recruitment of teachers/Heads can be more of an issue than people might think. I don't think as many teachers consider working in the independent sector and not everyone wants to teach in an independent school. In my experience fewer teachers apply for teaching posts than at good state schools in good areas (where I have also worked.) The pay tends to be the same as state or a little higher. A Head post recently was advertised 3 times before an appointment was made.

I have switched between state and Independent several times quite happily, as has one of my friends. However most people I know have only ever worked in state or only ever worked in independent (often staying in the same school for their whole career.)

Recruitment/retention, advertising/marketing, USPs (what makes your school different from its competitors - academic success? Sporting excellence? An enhanced curriculum? Outstanding pastoral care? Traditional, family values? Etc.) Also keeping fees competitive and offering value for money are in my opinion issues for independent schools in this tough financial climate.

EducationQuestion Sat 01-Mar-14 12:26:43

Thank you manyhands and GW279 - really helpful.

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