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PD Payback

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by spanboy, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Was wondering what your thoughts/opinions were on this - my school has said that if we leave at the end of our contracts and have already done courses at their request and cost (e.g. IB training) then we have to pay the school back for these before leaving. I can see their point to a degree, but isn't this a natural 'business expense' for them as a profit-making entity?

  2. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter


    I think that the school should cover the PD... if you have completed your contract AND undertaken those courses at their request it seems very strange that they would ask you to compensate. Does anyone ever leave the school without having to pay money back?
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    It is a natural expense for any educational institution whether profit-making or not. In fact any school proposing to behave like this has little respect for either education or its staff. My first step would be to talk to your local I.B. rep. Confidentially, because this kind of fly-by-night outfit will be planning to present you with a fait accompli by deducting the training expenses from your final salary.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I doubt the IB would be interested.
    PD payback is sometimes enacted if teachers leave early, but not under the circumstances the OP mentions.
    Sometimes it’s a case of “we’ll give you this pd if you stay on extra, but if you don’t, you have to pay for it”. But in those cases, the terms need to be set clearly in advance. My last school did this when offering pd in January or later: anyone wanting it for free needed to be staying for the next year.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  5. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Based on my experience in four I.B. schools, two of which I guided through authorisation, the I.B. would be interested as the school's attitude will undoubtedly discourage some teachers from attending training. ¿Pero que se yo?
    tb9605 and Mr_Frosty like this.
  6. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    I agree with people saying the school should absorb the cost. They might have some gorunds for Pro-rata repayment if you leave before your contract expires but it seems like it's mandaotry trainign they have arranged for thier benefit as much as yours so the cost should remain with them.
  7. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all your replies - much appreciated and glad about the general feeling re: the situation.
  8. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Schools I have worked at have had a clause in contracts that state that pro rata costs of PD should be repaid to the school if teachers don't fulfil their contracts.

    Also, we wouldn't send people on PD in the final 6 months of contract.

    But the idea that a school asks for teachers to pay back PD costs is awful. For what it's worth, in the IB Standards and Practices it states that 'The school ensures that teachers and administrators receive IB-recognized professional development.' Now, I know that this doesn't explicitly say that the school pays for it, but that has always been my experience.
    spanboy likes this.
  9. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    If you're still in Spain, it would be well worth your while to consult one of the unions (CCOO, UGT or FEUSO). I think this might well be illegal...
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I too am on my 4th IB school, counting 20+ years of IB experience, leading 3 of my schools through authorizations. And a ridiculous range of IBEN roles. So we're both qualified....
    Perhaps you are right, MW, as you often are, in that the IB would be interested. More technically, though, the IB would have no authority in this situation. Yes, there are IB training requirements, but so long as the school is meeting those, the school has all sorts of latitude in figuring out how to arrange it all, including who gets the training and who pays for it. My schools have used a variety of methods, and while all of them happily bear the cost for the bulk of IB trainings, they certainly don't pay for every IB training every teacher takes, and they do have mechanisms (rarely invoked) for asking teachers to repay PD costs if the teacher doesn't meet certain expectations regarding the length of their stay at a school.
    To be fair and clear, I personally believe a school should pay for lots of PD for its teachers. I believe there are hardly any cases where a school would first pay and later be justified in charging the teacher (but there are a small number, such as when a teacher took a training with the expectation that they would return, and then after the training, the teacher quit).
    I also believe that when a school has an in-house workshop, and there are open seats after all returning teachers are accommodated, the school should offer to let non-returning teachers join at their own expense. To me, that's much nicer than simply saying "No PD for anyone not returning".

    And significantly, I believe that this all needs to be transparent. Whatever the school's plan is re payment, it should be made clear to the teacher. If a school is required to have teachers trained, like Making the PYP Happen, that should be the school's expense (though some small number of schools make teachers pay). If there is a possibility of the teacher having to reimburse the school, that should be made clear, including the exact circumstances that would trigger a repayment. No one should be surprised. (But, if you were told, and you paid scant attention because you didn't think it would come to that... That's not the same as not being told.)
  11. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I am going to go against the grain a little and suggest that, in some instances there should be some kind of repayment policy.

    It does depend very much on:
    • Whether the course is solely at the request of the school as part of a school need
    • How much the course is requested by the teacher as a personal development request more than a school development request
    • Whether the teacher has indicated a firm intention to stay at the school to implement the learning they have gained - and then leaves
    I have seen the proverbial being taken by a member/members of staff who go on very expensive CPD courses at their request, which they have used to gain employment elsewhere within a short period.
    gulfgolf likes this.
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    The correct response to a school that forced a course on you is to laugh in their face and tell them that you will see them in court. While some unbelievably stupid people get to run schools, it's unlikely that even they are stupid enough to go to court, especially after they have had a word with a lawyer.
  13. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    It may well be that the school will deduct the cost from the final salary of the OP - so it will be the OP who needs to decide if they want to see the school in court.
    576 likes this.
  14. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Yes - at the end of the day they could take it from my final payment of contract and - unless I shell out for legal costs etc - I don't have a leg to stand on. However, I would let the IB know (for what it's worth).
  15. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    ...no, not in Spain anymore
  16. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    At the tender age of 50 I seem to be going through an intellectual growth spurt / renaissance. I keep signing up for CPD that, apparently, doesn't fit into the general school plan (I disagree, obviously). Its good solid quality professional development (these people have books on Amazon for god sake), but the school is relunctant to pay. So muggins is paying. I object to paying, but not enough to not do it. And I hope in the long run it might lift me up and out of here to a place that values these things more.

    Anyway, my question is, does making the effort to do quality CPD help in the recruitment process? If so, how do you show it on you resume? That's not why I'm doing it, but obviously I'd like to show what I've done during a recruitment cycle some time in the future. Thoughts?
  17. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Absolutely. Add a section to your CV "Key Trainings" and list the most significant ones. (It can be too long if you attempt to put them all in and cover the full course of a 20+ year career.) Also speak of them in your cover letter, tying your learning to each school's initiatives/mission.
    stopwatch likes this.
  18. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Also check what the local rules are. You MIGHT be able to deduct the costs from tax...
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I wouldn't say having a book on Amazon is much of an indicator of quality. It's not that difficult to self publish.

    I don't know if I've been offered particularly poor CPD at my current school but pretty much everything I've heard has been the same recycled Ed psych stuff I heard in the UK years ago. Obviously disregarding subject and curriculum specific stuff. I'm sure there is some great CPD out there, and I've heard some fantastic TED Talks, but a lot of people seem to be making a lot of money from paraphrasing Carol Dweck
    Helen-Back and miketribe like this.
  20. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Should I also mention that this CPD is self financed?

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