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Moving from teaching to managing a pre school..?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lizzyr, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. lizzyr

    lizzyr New commenter

    I currently teach 2.5 days a week in a small school, teaching Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in a mixed class. I have gone part time since having my daughter (who is 2). I have 10 years teaching experience, and according to OFSTED my teaching, and leadership of EYFS is outstanding (what do they know though eh?). But, the workload at my school has always been excessive, we have very few staff, so middle management falls to the 2 teaching staff, I manage 6 subjects plus EYFS, have only part time TAs, no caretaker etc etc. I have had no real PPA time this year (yes yes I know this is illegal, but just the way it is with such a small staff) So even though I am now part time, I still work 8 am - 6pm on my teaching days, plus loads of planning, management stuff out of these times. It has really had a negative impact on my family life, and I hate the time it is taking away from me thinking about and looking after my son.
    ANYWAY...I have been presented with the possible opportunity of a job managing a small pre-school, 25 hours a week. It really appeals, as I am finding the lack of contact and control quite difficult where I am! I like the idea of being in each day in contact with the kids, but still doing part time hours. My daughter can attend the setting, which is a real bonus for me too. HOWEVER I am worried whether I will be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, as I have no idea whether the planning, assessment, and general management of the setting will be just as bad as where I am, but for much (much) less pay.
    Has anyone out there made a similar move? And can anyone shed some light about the realities of the workload? I just don't know what to do.
     
  2. lizzyr

    lizzyr New commenter

    I currently teach 2.5 days a week in a small school, teaching Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in a mixed class. I have gone part time since having my daughter (who is 2). I have 10 years teaching experience, and according to OFSTED my teaching, and leadership of EYFS is outstanding (what do they know though eh?). But, the workload at my school has always been excessive, we have very few staff, so middle management falls to the 2 teaching staff, I manage 6 subjects plus EYFS, have only part time TAs, no caretaker etc etc. I have had no real PPA time this year (yes yes I know this is illegal, but just the way it is with such a small staff) So even though I am now part time, I still work 8 am - 6pm on my teaching days, plus loads of planning, management stuff out of these times. It has really had a negative impact on my family life, and I hate the time it is taking away from me thinking about and looking after my son.
    ANYWAY...I have been presented with the possible opportunity of a job managing a small pre-school, 25 hours a week. It really appeals, as I am finding the lack of contact and control quite difficult where I am! I like the idea of being in each day in contact with the kids, but still doing part time hours. My daughter can attend the setting, which is a real bonus for me too. HOWEVER I am worried whether I will be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, as I have no idea whether the planning, assessment, and general management of the setting will be just as bad as where I am, but for much (much) less pay.
    Has anyone out there made a similar move? And can anyone shed some light about the realities of the workload? I just don't know what to do.
     
  3. The pay is lousy and the workload gets larger every year. We do the same as nurseries, paid less, no ppa time and constant concerns about money and sustainability. I have never been a teacher and don't have the qualifications but I do have nearly 25 years experience in a pre-school and have seen the work load increased to ridiculous levels. Pre-school is not a 'nice little job that fits round the family' but a full time job with part time pay. However it can be a lot of fun though if it is a pack away pre-school be prepared for hard physical work too.
     
  4. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I moved out of managing a small pre-school into teaching 3 years ago. I moved due to the increase in paperwork and decrease in direct contact with the children.
    It does depend on what sort of pre-school it is and if there is anyone (other than the manager) to deal with administration etc.
    I dealt with all administrative tasks, managed the budgets and payroll as well as ordering equipment and all other jobs which are usually covered by 3-4 other people in schools. Although it was on a much smaller scale than schools, it was all on top of the planning/assessment/staff management requirements. I wanted to be with the children, but found I hardly ever got the time as the years went on.
    However, it did work for me when my children were younger as my son came with me to the pre-school (I wasn't the manager then) and my daughter went to the school across the road.
    The pay isn't very good, as a manager, I was paid £4000 less than I was as a nursery nurse.
    If however, you aren't fussed about the pay and it works out better for you because of your daughter, it might be worth the while. I don't think the workload will decrease though.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  5. lizzyr

    lizzyr New commenter

    Thank you both for your insights. I am still keen as I feel I will get better job satisfaction with this working pattern and also have the ability to take my little one with me. It is a small setting, so most admin / management tasks will fall to me (as they do in my small school - no large staff to share tasks).
    Would welcome any other comments from those in the know! I
     
  6. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    My friend is manager of a preschool and gets about £7 an hour in the north. She has the same planning as mainstream school and assessments etc. Hers is a pack away preschool, which is very hard work. I used to be on the committee of a pack away preschool and even did occassional supply, the packing away was a nightmare. You are also compared unfairly to other non pack away nurseries for your resources and environment even though you cant possibly provide the same quality. Having said that as someone who has worked both in the preschool and a state nursery as a teacher, it is a lot less work and stress, as you dont have all those other school responsibilities, such as subject leadership, staff meetings, inset, school clubs etc.
     
  7. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I wouldn't agree about it being a lot less work. The manager has overall responsiblity for the running of the pre-school and this entails a lot of work.
    It all depends on how successful a manager wants the pre-school to be. A successful pre-school requires a lot of extra work, there will still be staff meetings, INSETs, of out of hours work.
    A manager also has to ensure the welfare requirements are put into place and from my experience Ofsted are much more stringent when inspecting these in pre-schools. Also, Ofsted will turn up unannounced, there is no notice whatsoever. There is definitely stress involved.
    Lizzyr, if you are responsible for adminstative tasks etc. you will find you have hardly any time to be with the children, but if you feel it will be better job satisfaction then go for it.....and being in control means that you can generally do things your own way.
    One of the only things I miss about running a pre-school is being able to buy what I wanted, whenever I wanted to.


     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree with hurny. I haven't worked in a pre school but for the last three years I have mentored the manager of a pre school (EYFD & BA) and her job is not that different (except for the pay and the holidays)
     
  9. Those administrative tasks take forever. All the funding forms, collecting the bits of paper from parents(a real challenge!), newsletters, registers, lists of children, wages, all the rubbish for ofsted, updating policies and thats before I think about the planning. I get £7.00 an hour too! Though like Hurny, I do like buying my own resources when funds allow.
     

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