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NQT year in an independent school?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by FinalYearSTudent, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. I've got an interview this week in an independent school not too far from me that teaches children from the age of 3 months to eighteen. I'd be responsible for teaching across key stage one but with responsibility overall for Year 2. I really like the sound of the school but the problem is that I love big class sizes and getting to know all pupils. There will only be about 11/12 in the class from September as there is only 80ish in the whole school.

    Can anyone offer any advice? Is it a good idea to do an NQT year in a smaller school? Will it be difficult to get jobs in the state sector if I decided to leave after a year?
     
  2. manuscript2007

    manuscript2007 New commenter

    I think it depends on the individual circumstances. I worked in a private school for a while before doing PGCE,and during the course I had two contrasting placements. One of them was a small ish school but the other was a tough inner city comp with over 1300 kids and was hard work, but I survived it.

    Being able to talk about this contrast in school experience came in handy at interview for my new job in sept. The head said (quite rightly) that 'Private school is nothing like our school - how will you cope?' My response was that the tougher school I'd been in had allowed me to experience different kids, different behaviour etc and I had been able to adapt accordingly. I got the job, so the private school stuff can't have put them off that much!

    I'm generalising hugely probably but I do think the private sector will always welcome a teacher with open arms if they've got tough comps on their CV as they know you can cope.

    I also think that it doesn't work the other way round - state schools will often make the assumption that you can't cope with large classes or loud kids etc etc

    If you like the look of the job and the school then go for it, especially if you've had a good mix of placements. Small classes can be great - you'll certainly learn who they all are more quickly!

    Just make sure you ask in your interview about NQT induction and how they are able to support you through it. The school you do your NQT year in must follow National Curriculum so make sure they do.

    Sorry if I rambled - hope it helps! :)





     
  3. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    yes, i've had the same advice: switching from independent to state sectors later is not straightforward if you do NQT in an independent school.

    But it is not impossible: some people do make this transition.
     
  4. Are you just jumping at the first job you see? Just wait for a state school one to come along. You can always go into private later. A lot of ind. school jobs mean you aren't teaching subjects like p.e, art e.t.c. where they often bring a specialist in. You also work with different classes so don't build up the same relationship with the children as you would if you taught the same class all day.
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    1) each independent school is different.

    2) Make sure that it is registered to do NQT induction with ISCTIP. (They'll know what that means if they do it!)

    3) In my school (large independent 4-18) we often have NQTs, love having them, our support has been classed by Inspectors as "outstanding". And in September one of our staff, came 2 years previously as a NQT, left us to become Deputy Head of Department in a state school.

    So moving is possible.

    4) Here's an article by Sara Bubb on induction in an independent school

    An independent school could give you a larger salary - and discipline might be less of an issue, says Sara Bubb

    Published: 02 February 2006 The Independent

    New teachers can - but don't have to - do their induction year in the independent sector, and if the rules are followed it counts in the same way as in the state sector. Mind you, offering induction is not compulsory for independent schools, so check whether the school is eligible and offers it. The school must teach the national curriculum and have what's called an 'Appropriate Body' to oversee the process. In independent schools, this will be either a local authority or the Independent Schools Council Teacher Induction Panel.

    Liz Bailey teaches Spanish at Surbiton High School, a large independent school in southwest London. She enjoyed her teaching experiences in state schools when she did her PGCE at the University of London's Institute of Education, but feels she's made a great decision. She loves the status modern foreign languages have in her school and gets on well with the girls she teaches. She gets paid on the United Church Schools Trust pay scale, which is slightly more than she'd get in the maintained sector.

    People had warned her that induction in an independent school might not be very well organised but she's found the opposite. She's one of five people undergoing induction at Surbiton High and they get a great deal. Liz was appointed from 1 July so she could get to know the school, staff and systems before September, and didn't have to take a summer job to survive until first pay cheque. In fact, the school paid for her to go on a three week university course in Spain over the summer.

    As well as the usual newly qualified teacher (NQT) entitlement, such as the 10 per cent reduced timetable, she has a professional mentor and monitoring and support from a deputy head who used to be a teacher educator at Roehampton and Kings. The training she gets is tailored to her needs: for instance, there isn't much on behaviour management because it's not a big issue in the classes she teaches.

    Headteacher, Dr Jennifer Longhurst says, "New teachers benefit from working in a community where respect and service to others is the ethos and with highly motivated students who are keen to learn."
    She believes in supporting new teachers and helping their professional development: "Being an NQT in a school like Surbiton High School can be the best start for a teaching career."

    The main thing is to get a school that does NQT induction, and feels like the right school for you.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. artspecialist

    artspecialist New commenter


    I work in the private sector and I love it! The class sizes are not the only thing that is of benefit. I have free periods which are taught by specialised teachers, the children (on the whole) are great and well motivated, the parents (although having high expectations, are supportive and there are just so many more benefits! Having worked in the state sector (during placements, etc) I must say that my experience of working in the private sector is wonderful.

    Good luck :)
     
  7. It can be done. One of the girls on my course did, and is completing her induction at an independent school. The transition to state schools might be a bit harder though.

    Personally, I think it's rather cheeky to have accepted money from the government to train to teach, and then to go straight into the independent sector. But that is my personal opinion.

    I wouldn't dream of working in a private school right now. There are benefits, but I just think you lose the diversity there is in state schools, which I see as an integral part of teaching.

    Best of luck whatever you choose. :-D
     
  8. My advice dont do it!
    I did exactly the same and totally regretted it. I had to fight hard to get my 10% reduction and only got it ISCTIP inspector intervened. I didn't go on any training courses and feel totally left behind. I dont think this is a failing of the independent system - just my school. It currently has falling numbers and a poor reputation due to a SLT who appear to be waiting for their retirement and hate change. Behaviour is very poor as we have a Head who is frightened of instilling behaviour for fear of upsetting the little darlings who will inturn complain to 'mummy and daddy'.
    My advice do your NQT in the state sector and perhaps look at the independent option later. Perhaps the school who have offered you a job are better organised than mine. Also ignore the poster who disliked you taking the training money and then deserting to the private route - you pay your taxes and you have a choice in life.
    Hope this helps.
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Josie - you were in a poor school, not just a school that was poor at NQT induction.

    I hope you are now somewhere better.
     
  10. Theogriff - no I'm still hanging in there......it's been quite difficult getting interviews. I was told my a head in a state school, whilst in a interview, that I wouldn't get a job in state due to the fact I had 'jumped ship' SoI now await possible redundancy in my school and check TES for suitable positions. I'm even considering a teahing assistant posistion in state to get 'back' in.
     
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Don't tar all the indy schools with the same brush - try them too.

    You read what Sara said about Surbiton - there are lots more good indy schools out there.

    Best wishes.
     
  12. Without saying too much Theogriff, my school in part of the UCST group. I will consider other independents, I shouldn't allow this to put me off teaching. I will look closely at the jobs section tomorrow!
     
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    What! How extraordinary!


    I assume you have read my threads on how to write an application? This should help you move on.
     
  14. Thanks, josielowe. It was just a personal opinion (and was stated as such) and not an attack on the OP.

    I do think it's taking the michael to take the bursary with the sole intention of never working in a state school. This doesn't appear to be the OPs position, but it was of the girl I mentioned from my course. I think that that is rather cheeky. Yes you pay taxes, but so do teachers in state schools - this girl still took a 'free ride' to train.

    Personal opinion though - don't snap at me for just being honest.

    Not all independent schools are terrible for induction. But I don't know how you would go about finding out which ones are and which ones aren't.
     
  15. I did my NQT in an Independent school and I got much more support from them than any of my friends in the state sector. I am still in touch with my mentor and she still gives me advice.

    Having said that I did find it difficult to get a job in a state school afterwards. Some heads and SLT do see it as I problem. However I now have a great job in the state sector and don't regret the start to my career.
     
  16. I am just finishing my GTP. I never thought that I would be interested in teaching in a private school but I am now considering it as I need a job and it is a really hard market at the moment. I don't think that not taking a post in a private school will help anyone, it is not as if state schools are lacking in staff / applicants at the moment (in primary that is, I do not know about secondary).
     
  17. It is difficult to find out what the intention of a PGCE student is at the beginning of their course. In one case I know, the student simply took the first job that came up.
    But lots of people pay taxes. Including teachers and parents of pupils in independent schools. So I don't think we can get too high and mighty about it.
    It is commonplace to concentrate on the advantages of the independent sector but it's swings and roundabounts. The independent sector has a tough parental body who expect an awful lot. The schools simply fold if there are no takers - there is no county council protection or transfer to other schools. Although the parents pay taxes the schools have to do their own estates, marketing etc. And when things go wrong the unions are less effective.
    If one is going for stability, then the top end of the state sector is the place to go. The Sutton Trust have found that 90 or so of the most selective state schools are comprehensives! Albeit, in lovely residential areas but with highly suppportive and generally well off parents.
     
  18. If you like it the school, go for it! You are lucky at the moment to get any teaching job going anywhere!

    I'm an NQT and will be starting my first post in an Independent School in January...so excited! I didn't intend to get a job in a private school but just applied to all schools which I liked the look of.

    And I don't see how it is cheeky to do a teacher training course and then go into the Independent sector. Perhaps if the government didn't allow so many people onto the training courses there wouldn't be over 100 people fighting for each teaching job.

     
  19. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Yes, do your NQT year in an independent. I got a huge amount of support from my school, who were also very professional about doing the paperwork and filling in the standards. They were also very generous in paying to send me on various training courses. Though, as Theo says, it depends on the school - mine is large HMC.
     

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