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Do many teachers move from indy to state?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by mollyhog, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    Just wondering if anyone has / would move from an independent school to state school. I moved to an independent school earlier this year and love everything about it. The working conditions are SO much better, however as much as I love the free lunches / less contact hours / more money / less behaviour issues etc. etc. I feel as though I should be helping the kids who are less privileged (not that there is anything wrong with private education - this is a purely personal thing). I am planning to spend 2 or 3 years in my current school as a sort of 'reprieve' and a chance to recharge my batteries (as well as an opportunity to focus on improving my teaching skills while I have the time and energy). My concern is that the move back to the state sector will be a huge shock to the system. I would love to hear from anyone who has successfully made the move.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You are more altruistic than me...I have no intention of returning to the state sector.

    I honestly think all children deserve good teachers and good teaching, however much money their parents earn or don't earn and I've never been one to work in really underprivileged areas anyway, it just isn't my skill set. Over privileged spoilt so and sos are my preferred hassles!

    There have been two people leave my current prep school for state.
    One negotiated a similar amount of non-contact time in a secondary school and they agreed as they were very keen to have her. She is happy there and doing really well. It's a great school which looks after its staff.
    The other left for a promotion to a primary school and, though I did try to warn him that it wasn't what he was expecting, he got the shock of his life and left teaching altogether shortly after. (Being harsh, but honest, he's not a great loss to the profession.)

    You know what you'll be going back to, so are going with your eyes open. Just remember teaching is a job and don't make choices that will adversely affect your life out of some kind of guilt complex.
    JL48 likes this.
  3. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    I understand exactly what you mean C2BF and I agree that all kids need a good education. Part of me is worried that I am very quickly forgetting how stressful it is to teach in the state sector. My family would hate me for returning to state because I've been a much nicer person since I left. Thanks for you reply - good to know that some people make the move successfully.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Take notice of them. Your family should always be more important to you than the children you teach.
    I'm more than happy to forget the stress of state school teaching, it very nearly killed me!
    JL48 likes this.
  5. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    I would move back for 1 particular job in one particular school. However, that job had recently become available and now gone so no chance now.
  6. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter

    I did it. Now I'm not a teacher any more. Here endeth the lesson!
    JL48 and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  7. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    That's quite an important thing to remember - one of the reasons for moving to independent was that I love teaching and I was worried that continuing in state was making me hate it.
    Thanks for that honest reply Fizzbobble. I hope you're now in a job you enjoy.
  8. rachelsays

    rachelsays New commenter

    Mollyhog, I felt much the same as you when I moved from state to independent. I felt terribly guilty about 'abandoning' the children who 'really' needed me to make a difference to their life outcomes.

    Three years on, what I've discovered are that children with wealthy parents are in no less need of good teachers, and certainly do not live in a bed of roses. Deprivation is not just about money. I have more students with mental health issues in my current school than I did in my previous one. It's a combination of issues: incredibly high expectations from very successful parents, the absence of parents due to working commitments and insecurities bred from very peripatetic lives where hardly enough time is spent in any one place to form real attachments. These problems are rife amongst students from higher economic backgrounds, and can cause enormous emotional and behavioural problems. They need the support of good teachers who are a constant in their life and care about them just as much as children from financially deprived backgrounds do. I still feel I'm making a massive difference in my current school; children are children, wherever you are, and all children deserve a good education, regardless of what type of home they're going back to.

    In addition, I now have my life back thanks to a much more manageable workload. I am valued, I receive regular external CPD, I have enough free periods to get all of my work done in school hours and I can teach how I like without needing to conform to what Ofsted apparently wants this week. I will never go back to state, unless something drastic happens to sort out workload, and I don't feel bad about it. I deserve a good quality of life. Teaching is very much my vocation and I am incredibly passionate about my job, but I can't do the job to the best of my ability when I'm exhausted and stressed, which I was constantly in the state sector. No one will reward you for martyring yourself, so if you're happy where you are, stay there. As Caterpillartobutterfly says, there is also much to be said for recognising in which environment suits you as a teacher and brings out the best in you. Some teachers are wonderful at teaching hard to reach children and supporting those of a lower academic ability in a tough inner city environment. Others are real intellectuals and love teaching to a very high academic standard in an environment where students really want to learn. You have to find your niche and don't beat yourself up for not being something out of a feel-good teaching documentary if that's not where your skills and happiness lie.
  9. pennyh.

    pennyh. Occasional commenter

    "I should be helping the kids who are less privileged"- ah the bane of a teacher conscience until you find SMT don't think that way. It is more easy come easy go in their conditions and treatment. You have one life -enjoy where you are and your family.
  10. mollyhog

    mollyhog Occasional commenter

    Thank you folks - some really heart-felt replies that make SO much sense to me. You have put things back in perspective for me (along with a post on workplace dilemmas that rang a few too many bells!)
    Looks like I'm here for the long haul then :)
    JL48 and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Relax and enjoy it!
    mollyhog likes this.
  12. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    A very interesting article. Interestingly , I spoke to a lot of teachers last weekend at a party (I am also one ) and the general consensus was that independent / international is the way forward and that it's the lack of Ofsted and more freedom that is the ultimate bonus !
    From a parents point of view , I find it very sad and worrying that my own two kids (who won't ever attend independent school , due to cost ) risk having stressed and overworked teachers who will ditch the state sector
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Unless you get a post in one which gives a generous discount for children of staff???
    sabrinakat, JL48 and Jenkibubble like this.
  14. sophrysyne

    sophrysyne New commenter

    Anecdotal since the 1980s - I know many who went from state to private, but none who went the other route.
  15. pjmteach

    pjmteach New commenter

    I did part time last Summer Term in a State Reception Class after many years in Private Education.
    Teachers are so tied up with planning, recording, collating evidence, target setting for the sake of it, pushing the more able kids to exceed and the less able to achieve anything and as a result what actually goes on in the classroom is last on the list.
    It is as if SMT/ Ofsted wants to suck the joy out of working with little ones. Guided group reading twice a week as opposed to daily individual sessios in my last Indy school! My time in Independent schools was a joyful experience on the whole with time to really get to know the individuals in my class. Such a shame. The Staff work so hard on all sorts of stuff but none of it really benefits the kids. All kids deserve a brilliant education but sadly the system in State schools is against your being able to deliver that and have a home life too. Just saying like.....
  16. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    A job's a job.

    If you really want to help the less privileged, go off to teach at a girls' school in the Middle East (or any cultural environment in which women continue to face oppression unimaginable to us), or a school in Africa where children walk miles on foot every day to be taught in a class of 60.

    Aside from a tiny, tiny minority, the average child in the UK is enormously privileged by international standards.
  17. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    In some ways I agree, but having recently worked in on supply in some secondary schools in the north of England, judging by the appalling lack of respect given to teachers (by everybody, starting at the government, right down to the pupils themselves), and the sometimes terrible behaviour/ crowd control causing staff absence through stress, I wouldn't be surprised if we have one of the worst education systems in the world.

    I'm willing to bet that the average school in the heart of Africa may have pretty much zero resources, and very big class sizes, but they probably have in abundance all that money can't buy over here.
    JL48, jarndyce and JohnJCazorla like this.
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have been teaching since 1982. and I have only heard of a few teachers who moved from the independent sector to work in state schools. I take my hat off to them, but it is not something that I would do. On the other hand, I have met many teachers who have left the UK and they are now teaching overseas. Having taught in the UK for many years, I left in 1998 and since then I have been teaching in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE, Qatar and now China. I would say that teaching in an international school beats teaching in the UK, any day of the week, state or independent.

    Just in case you have not found out yet, let me tell you that the UK is a very expensive country and teachers' salaries do not go far these days. As well as all the garbage of OFSTED and teacher-bashing in the media, lots of teachers in the UK struggle to pay their rent and Council Tax. They cannot afford to buy their own homes. Last week there was a story in the TES about teachers on the verge of being made homeless. A Science-teaching friend of mine, who teaches in a private school, recently told me that this year he has been given a 1.5% pay increase. What pay increase? With so many things costing more, it is really a pay cut!

    The teaching unions are always going on about teachers in the UK being overworked, stressed out and suffering from depression and mental illness. That ghastly story about the teacher pouring petrol over himself and burning to death is just the tip of the iceberg, if there is any truth at all in what the teaching unions are telling us.

    So what should you do? You should get a job in an international school as soon as possible! You can read more about this on my blog and you will find it at www.bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com My blog is called "Bulgaria with Noodles" because at the moment we are working in China, but our home is in Bulgaria. Here is a picture of our villa, about 60km north of Sofia. Not bad for twenty thousand pounds. The weather is better too and the Bulgarian equivalent of Council Tax is forty pounds a year. So is it better to teach in a state school or in an independent school in the UK? My answer would be, "Neither of them!"

    small 3.jpg
    JohnJCazorla and JL48 like this.
  19. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I got a 8% pay increase this year :) so, yes - it is possible to make a decent salary and be rewarded for it, in an independent UK school....
    JL48 and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    We could all negotiate for better wages, independent or state. The problem is with attitude and the belief that we are here to improve educational prospects. All pay policies have a fast-track option for the ones deemed worthy.

    New Year Quiz;
    1. Do bank employees see themselves as fulfilling the process detailed in "It's a wonderful life"?
    2. Do used car salesman see themselves as providing transport for those who couldn't otherwise afford it?
    3. Do coal miners see themselves as providing heat to homes?
    4. Do beauticians see themselves as enhancing the less photogenic?
    Do all the above see themselves as part of a money-grabbing process and look for a piece of the action?

    So if we regard our role as enriching the MAT executive (or independent HT) then we will suddenly get the mindset that will work us towards a reasonable pay for an impossible job.

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