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Advice please independent school application

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by WaltWhite, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Hi all

    I am a teacher with 10 years state school experience (inner city comp with excellent reputation). I have decided I need to change schools to be happier with myself and to not feel at the end of my career any "what if's". I have found over the years that no matter how much I try and take onboard advice and training that I struggle with low level disruption in particularly KS3 and KS4. With high ability groups and A Level classes I seem to do much better and my subject knowledge is a strength. I really care about the kids I teach as Im sure is the case with the people that post on this forum and I do struggle with the pressure from management and data , observations, and give my self a hard time about this. Although I do really try (possibly too much ) to achieve what they expect, I don't seem to be able to all the time! Its affecting my family life and I need to do something about it.
    I wondered if applying for a teacher post in an independent school would be better for me, I believe I could contribute to their success if given a chance. Could my application have any chance considering that I am now a middle leader and top of the upper pay scale? Im thinking that they may tend to go for younger newer staff (i.e. cheaper) for a teaching role with no responsibility. Im also interested in how I would put on my application that "I am looking for a new challenge" seeing as Theo wisely suggests I do not do this! Any thoughts greatly appreciated
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes! Very trite, and can be used when people are trying to explain away something . . . er . . . dodgy in their career path. After 5 years earning £100k as a Headteacher in a posh private school, I left to take up a new challenge as a supply teacher in the East End of London, and now that the court case is over, am looking to find a job, any job at all, as a teacher.

    You also need to turn around your thinking on this. It's not what you want, what they can do for you (provide you with a new challenge, or less paperwork, or more family time). It's what they want and how you can provide it.

    Obviously your starting point must be an E.S. I assume that you have found the Professional Advice Hub and all the articles there on applications? And once you've shown in the E.S. that you can meet their requirements, you will need in your letter or supporting statement to show how you meet what may be unspoken needs as well as spoken ones.

    So what is an Indy school looking for?

    • Outstanding examination results. Spell it out with data
    • Understanding of the ethos of their type of school, and commitment to it
    • Generous contribution to the co-curricular programme
    • Willingness to go the extra mile

    Small schools with budgetary constraints will be concerned. Medium to large schools will always, always, go for the best teacher, regardless of cost. Just show them that you are the best!

    Have you found the Indy schools advice articles? Tag me @TheoGriff if not .

    Best wishes

  3. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Thanks for your very helpful advice! I will get on with my application....
    Could you direct me to the Indy articles please @TheoGriff? Thanks.

    @TheoGriff I totally see what you mean and agree that it is all about what I can offer the school, rather than what I get out of the school.

    By the way would you say there is less focus/ pressure on data in the independent sector? I feel that it is now so great in the state system that there is the temptation for some to manipulate it and then heap more pressure on students / teachers with unrealistic targets.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, although more than there was. Major pressure can come from pushy parents. ;)

    My pleasure! I have included some articles that may not be relevant to you, for the benefit of anyone else passing by who reads this.

    8. Working in the Independent Sector

    An overview of the Independent sector

    Independent Sector FAQs

    How much will I earn in the independent sector?

    Moving from state to independent

    Teachers talk about what it's like working in one Indy School

    Doing NQT induction in an independent school

    Another question - have you found the application advice articles? May need to tag me again! ;)

    Best wishes

  5. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Could you direct me to those as well please @TheoGriff!

    As part of the reason for my application is that I am genuinely interested in seeking a new challenge, I don't suppose you have any suggestions how could I word this without it being trite!

    Thanks so much for all your help here
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  7. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Just remember many indies are non-selective and some are so non-selective they take anyone with a cheque book, and you often end up with a huge proportion of 'special needs'.
    Just because a school is independent doesn't mean it has high achieving, hard working students!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, it makes sense to look at their results to see what sort of level the students are likely to be.

    And always have a Plan B , so as soon as you realise that you have got the level wrong, you immediately move smoothly into something more appropriate.

    Best wishes

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