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I've neither attended a private school or worked in one. Is it worth me applying?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by trinity0097, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    If you can offer the other than just a straight forward teacher things that an independent school looks for then they will not reject you outright. You are at a disadvantage not having personal knowledge of the ethos of independent school, but this is easily overcome, read through some of the posts on this forum.
  2. Ireton

    Ireton New commenter

    They will look at what you can offer, what extra curricular interest you camn bring to the school, whether you can just teach or teach and do plays, run clubs, take teams. You don't say whether you are trying for a prep school or senior school as the requirements may be different, especially if it is atop academic school. However, to go by my place, a top prep day school, we have a variety of staff from all sorts of backgrounds; some Oxbridge others some other college, some independent but half from the state system - what matters is that we have a passion for our subject, high expectations and commitment to be fully active in school life.
    Good luck
  3. I started at a lovely independent school in September. Didn't go to one myself, and have never taught in one before but that didn't put them off me! Have to say I am loving it, and have no intention of ever going back to the state sector (have come from a big comprehensive to a smaller all-girls). Good luck with your application.
  4. internationalschools

    internationalschools New commenter

    I'm in an independent senior school, and its the second one I have worked in. I'm working class through and through - I attended a comp, lived on a council estate and have a working class accent. It hasn't mattered at all, and I have never encountered any snobbery from either staff or students. My school wants high exam results, and if you can help the students get those, then that's the priority. They aren't too bothered about extra-curricular activities either, which I know is rare.
  5. hoglett

    hoglett New commenter

    Thanks everybody that's really encouraged me to go for it! Not that there is an 'it' yet - I keep looking but nothing out there at the minute! xx
  6. Organisations have specific needs and if you fulfill them, then you will get a good chance to show what you can do. Independent schools are special kinds of businesses and an understanding of that is critical. For example, if you have ideas of how the schools can generate money outside of domestic students, that is a plus.
    A young friend of the family with no experience of the independent sector failed to get a job in PE in the state sector after 49 applications. But he applied to an independent sector in his 50th appliaction and got the job! They couldn't care what accent you have - but you have to be able to provide exactly what they want - and yes that includes extended hours and extra curriculum. But above all dedication and enthusiasm to do the best for the kids as with all schools.
    The only downside is that the independent sector is very competitive - generally as competitive as the stronger state schools and job applicants often refuse to entertain the proposition that they didn't get the job because others are even stronger across the breadth of skills that schools want. So in the above example, there were dozens of well qualified applicants. I know of about twenty high performing independent schools that will simply not shortlist teachers who are not academically brilliant. So one would be up against top people with firsts from Oxbridge, UCL, Warwick, Bristol, Durham who can also offer sports, dancing or art or other curriculum 'adds on'. In one university offering PGCEs that I know of, there were virtually no students with firsts on the course, so the bulk of PGCE students would not be considered. But just as in the state sector, there is a huge variation and for lower ranked independent schools the breadth of things you can offer plus a 2.1 is a standard entry requirement for many jobs.
    So the rules are the same as with any job. Get to know what the potential employer really wants. Hone your skills. Speak to people working in the sector. Make sure your application form is well written - written and oral skills are highly valued - and go for it!


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