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Major problems at independent school

Discussion in 'Independent' started by songsong, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. songsong

    songsong New commenter

    There has been a dramatic fall in roll at my school (-400 pupils in 5-10 years), now redundancies among ordinary teachers but also SMT. I am also aware of serious failings in management. I am looking for other jobs as a starting point and having lengthy discussions with the Head who is listening and doing her best but inexperienced and struggling with difficult circumstances - inheriting massive financial and other problems from outgoing Head. Other members of SMT have been at the school for decades therefore must share at least some of the responsibility for some of the problems and also don't seem able/willing to put them right. What else can/should I do? The problems I've recently discovered relate to planning for the next academic year on a whole school level (i.e. lack of it) and will affect how well the pupils are prepared for the new GCSEs and many other areas and significantly add to staff workload and stress as they try to do the best by their students in systems which are not up to the job. Have asked the Head to respond to my concerns in writing. Should the Governors also be told? It may be they are part of the problem in that they mean well but are simply not up to the job so may not be willing/able to do anything even if they knew the extent of the problems (almost certain they don't). Any advice welcome. It's a really difficult situation.
     
  2. songsong

    songsong New commenter

    For example, is there such a thing as a consultancy service for independent schools where you can get someone in on a temp contract to have a look at the problems and help to sort it out?
     
  3. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    It will help if you can clarify whether you are on the SMT, and if so what your role is.
     
  4. songsong

    songsong New commenter

    Middle management. Thanks
     
  5. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    Suggesting to your management that they are not managing properly is uncomfortable for all concerned, and, with redundancies happening, may not be the most advisable course for you personally. You have said your piece to the Head, so I would leave it at that and keep looking for another position.

    Yes, you could go to the governors with your concerns about mismanagement, but only if you think the future of the school is in doubt owing to the present leadership. Highly risky: it could stamp you as being disloyal. Moreover as you are not on SMT you don't really know what is being discussed at that level and it might turn out that matters are in hand more than you realise.

    You obviously care about the well-being of the school, so if you don't really want to leave, then come to the Head with some proposals for how you can help with the problems that you have identified.
     
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree. Unless your role is to solve these problems, going in with contact details for a consultant who can have a look at the problems and help to sort it out will not win you friends.
    You have said the head is doing her best and so things will probably improve, or the school will close. Either way it isn't a problem for you as you are looking elsewhere. However your school won't become an outstanding/excellent one overnight.
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Spot on. And may not solve the problem either . . .

    There are several Indy schools currently with problems, at least one has already announced that it is closing.

    Sad for everybody when this happens.

    Your best strategy is to find another job, where you can continue to do the job that you want to do, without these worries.


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    Best wishes

    .
     
  8. MsJ001

    MsJ001 New commenter

    Very good point, Theo.
     
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Quite possibly because its governing trust told the Information Commissioner in 2012 that it doesn't hold any information on what its chief executive is paid. You can imagine parents getting a little nervous when they heard that ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20669621
     
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Well the Governing Trust's latest accounts show page 31 that there was one employee in the year ending 2014 paid In the band £230,001 —£240,000. So they could have tried looking there to find out!

    Best wishes

    .
     
  11. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I don't think the 2014 accounts would have been available in 2012. ;)

    But I'm sure the guy with the £230,001 —£240,000 salary is indeed the group chief exec. Name of Jon Coles - he was previously the Department of Education's Director-General of standards, but was one of four top civil servants who left the department for pastures new (and better salaries) when Gove was appointed Secretary of State. Fuinny that ...
     
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    When I was quoting those a/c, I thought - should be 2012 ones, but I can't be fussed to go back and look at them . . . and it's obvious that I mean that they should have looked in Charity Commission details . . .:)

    Jon lives in Surrey and can often be seen on the train into Waterloo. Quite recognisable once you've seen a photo of him. (Don't bother posting one).

    Previous CE was Sir Ewan Harper. After leaving United Learning, of which he was CE for very many years, he set up the Education Fellowship Trust .

    Best wishes

    .
     
  13. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Oh my goodness! Purchasing wine for a workshop "to show that children, like grapes, can mature into ‘exceptional wines’ given the right nurturing" must rank among the most original excuses ever for a dubious expenses claim. Spending £630 on customised umbrellas is another good one ... clearly an experienced driver of the gravy train!
     
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  15. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Next time I'm asked to teach a music theory lesson I will clock-up a few hundred quid on 16 bottles of fine wine that can be struck to demonstrate the difference between major and minor scales. Obviously, a good proportion of the wine will have to be removed so that each bottle can be tuned to its appropriate note ...
     
    yodaami2 and sabrinakat like this.
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  17. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Why is this not theft? I shouldn't be surprised but......
     

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