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How hard is it to start a new school

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by David Getling, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    When one looks at some of the nasty little schools out there, I'm sure the question must have crossed may peoples mind as to how they ever managed to get accredited - or stay accredited, for that matter.

    So, does any one know. How hard is it to get authorization for IB diploma or A-levels. How do new schools avoid the chicken and egg situation when they are trying to attract new students, who obviously want to know that the school can offer them a recognized qualification.

    Also, I'm wondering if a school has ever been run on a cooperative basis. What I mean by this without a Principal, so that in effect the school was run by a board of teachers, with any necessary administrative staff answerable to this board.
     
  2. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    When one looks at some of the nasty little schools out there, I'm sure the question must have crossed may peoples mind as to how they ever managed to get accredited - or stay accredited, for that matter.

    So, does any one know. How hard is it to get authorization for IB diploma or A-levels. How do new schools avoid the chicken and egg situation when they are trying to attract new students, who obviously want to know that the school can offer them a recognized qualification.

    Also, I'm wondering if a school has ever been run on a cooperative basis. What I mean by this without a Principal, so that in effect the school was run by a board of teachers, with any necessary administrative staff answerable to this board.
     
  3. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    All too easy, I'm afraid. You basically need to show you have the facilities and promise to abide by a code of ethics.
    IB is especially poor at checking on Diploma schools once authorised. They rely of 5 year self-reviews, so schools can pretty much say what they think without detailed scrutiny. CIE is a little more robust, but even then I have the feeling that they are not as stringent as they could be.
    It is possible to start a school without the need for authorisations of course, other than local (state) government regulations. Primary schools don't need any exam body affiliation to operate.
    Non exam affiliations & memberships is another field. There is one American organisation I came across that simply gives affiliation & membership upon payment and filling out a form. Although WES was well thought of by some, I never thought much of it. CIS is a little better, but they allow schools to go beyond the stipulated 2 years before an inspection and don't take action against schools falsely claiming to be members.
    Never heard of a coop school, not sure it sounds a good idea either. Why don't you try it out!
     
  4. mousethew

    mousethew New commenter

    I'm not in a position to start my own school nor would I want to. Coincidently though, I was recently wondering how a school would run without a head. I'm deputy under a very good head, but we're a small school with a good team and I wondered how it might be if the school were run by committee; in general, i suspect very well. However, every so often something crops up to throw a spanner in the smooth running of the school that needs swift action that is not always universally popular. Parents often have very different ideas to how a school should be run than teachers and quite often the head is as much a buffer between them and staff as anything else.
     
  5. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit New commenter

    One of the best schools in Cairo (and one of the best paying) started off in a small villa and even survived the owners running off with the fees (allegedly). It's developed into a great primary / prep school where all the students and staff are all highly appreciated. So it is possible

    I don't work there (so there might be a connection ;-) )
     

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