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Move to private?

(16 Posts)
longsigh Sun 28-Jan-18 19:58:08

That's it really- should I move from state primary to private- bigger commute ( 5 mins at the mo!) less money... but pros - smaller classes and more freedom?
Has anyone done this?

OP’s posts: |
TheIrregularChoice Sun 28-Jan-18 21:45:54

I’ve worked in a private primary school since 2011 and there’s no way I’d go back to state now. Obviously there are drawbacks, like the shortfall in salary, but I think the shorter terms and smaller classes pretty much make up for that (smaller class equals half as many books to mark on a daily basis, plus fewer parents to see on parents’ evening!), not to mention the hefty staff discount I’m getting for my children’s education! Dealing with parental expectations can be difficult in private school; most of our parents are expecting grammar school places, whether their child is capable or not, and won’t accept advice on the matter. Accessing SEND support can be hard too, as I’m finding out this year! We also have the very awkward situation of the owner of the school being the headteacher. Unfortunately he’s not qualified for the job (not even a qualified teacher!) but expects his word to be law. He has implemented things that are completely insane, simply because he doesn’t know what teaching is like. However, the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks. If you can afford the drop in earnings, you should go for it. If it doesn’t work out for you, you can always move back into state.

EggsonHeads Sun 28-Jan-18 21:49:01

Do you have children that would go to the private school? Most offer very generous staff discounts.

longsigh Sun 28-Jan-18 21:55:21

No kids of primary age. The school seems to be very on it with SEN- good Senco and support. Thank I should just go for it...I do like the idea of more holidays as im a lazy teacher!!

OP’s posts: |
millimat Sun 28-Jan-18 22:35:52

I would if the right job. No question about it - smaller class sizes are one of the most appealing things. Obviously it depends on the reputation of the school though.

welshmist Sun 28-Jan-18 22:44:11

Check out the governors, the ones at our school are as mad as a box of frogs. The upsets they have caused are unbelievable.

newnameneeded29 Mon 29-Jan-18 12:02:43

Shortfall in salary??? My full time equivalent is £8k more than state.

TheIrregularChoice Mon 29-Jan-18 18:06:53

I’m on less than M1, despite this being my tenth year in teaching, and always having hit my appraisal targets.

Unicorndiscoball Mon 29-Jan-18 21:41:48

Earning less than M1 after 10 years teaching? Gosh. I’ve worked in private schools for 10 years (moved twice) and am on about the same as in a state school.

GHGN Mon 29-Jan-18 23:08:05

It depends on the school. Some will pay you more, some will pay you less. I get paid more compares to state school and I also was able to negotiate a higher salary compares to other staff who have been there the same number of years I have been teaching. If all benefits are included then it is much more. It is all down to the school's pay structure, how much they are willing to pay you, how unique you are and how good your negotiation skill is.

TheIrregularChoice Tue 30-Jan-18 06:01:02

“It is all down to the school's pay structure, how much they are willing to pay you, how unique you are and how good your negotiation skill is.”

And how much money the school makes. A tiny school with low fees (like my workplace) can’t pay as much as an oversubscribed three form entry charging £20k per year.

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 30-Jan-18 08:25:47

Don't assume that longer holidays means less working time! My standard day was 8:15-17:00 (16:99-17:00 being a club or prep duty). We calculated the hours for a staff wellbeing audit and found that the contested hours were more than in state. However, there was more flexibility- more ppa, more flexibility to take time to go and watch a nativity/sports day etc.

But for me the working day was a lot longer, but there was less work to do if that makes sense.

welshmist Tue 30-Jan-18 13:33:34

You are so right, prep duties, evening duties, outside events, taking them skating to balls is part of your remit. The hours can be very unsocial.

spankhurst Tue 30-Jan-18 13:39:13

Are you sure it's less money? I jumped up £8k when I taught at a private school.
OP, it depends on many factors. Is it a boarding school? You will work LONG hours if it is.
I have a big commute and would swop private for state (for the same money!) for a short journey to work.

newnameneeded29 Tue 30-Jan-18 18:45:40

I love mine. Jumped up £8k from state, have about 5 weeks more holiday, a small class and I'm part time as 3 actual days not spread over the week.

goldenlilliesdaffodillies Wed 31-Jan-18 20:22:33

I have worked in various schools- both independent and state over 20 years. I would research the school thoroughly as the grass isn't always greener.

In my experience, some private schools can act like they own you- they can chew you up and spit you out. I have seen this happen many times. Yes you will get much smaller classes, with a TA and specialist teachers which is great for PPA time. However, don't underestimate how pushy some of the parents can be. They are paying and expect you to deliver- be prepared for reams of demanding e-mails! SMT tend to side with the parents as they don't want to lose their custom/reputation. They are first and foremost a business.

If you teach in the Prep School you may have to be teaching/running after school activities until 7pm. At my last school, you had to be ready to receive children in your classroom at 8am. SEN provision/support can be lacking too. You might need to teach on Saturdays as well. Much longer holidays are a bonus, but after long jam packed days you need them.

Look very closely at the management of a private school and who owns it. If the classes are very small, then you may be out of a job very quickly. One school I taught in literally closed down over night- all the staff lost their jobs and children had to find schools very quickly.
Not all private schools offer staff discounts and pay can be worse.

I am not anti Independent schools by any means- my children attend 2 brilliant private schools and are very happy. There are some fantastic schools out there. However I much prefer teaching in the state sector. Class sizes are much larger and holidays shorter, but I feel more supported and am paid much better! Resources for my subject are also far superior to the private school I have just left.

It really depends on the individual school- try and talk to someone who works there. If they have recently advertised numerous jobs- avoid like the plague!

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