Hi everyone, I took a break from primary teaching in state schools last summer after a 7-year career. I left because I wanted to take a year to study and pursue a creative interest. I loved teaching and working with children but the relentless governmental pressures, constant testing of children and workload were making me feel disillusioned. I now do some private tutoring, which has given me some income during this year. I have recently seen a job advertised at a local day school (prep) which I'm considering applying for. It's a well-known school in the area and it could offer a secure position with small classes of 15-20 pupils. There's also the option to join the Teachers' Pension Scheme. Posts in this school don't come up very often. I have a few questions though, as there are some worries I have and I would appreciate some advice. 1) I'm anxious about the parents and their expectations. The school has an open door policy which includes parents being able to email teachers, something I've never experienced. In my previous teaching jobs, I came across some very demanding parents who rang the school office often with minor concerns and the thought of those types of parents having 24-hour access by email is worrying. Do you find that parents overuse email or are they quite reasonable? 2) Are Parents' Evenings very different to the state sector? I am used to long evenings, sometimes running to 7.30pm but I've heard stories of teachers in independent schools staying until 9pm. As there are fewer children in a class, are the individual appointments longer than 10 minutes? 3) The school seems to employ a lot of subject specialists and you seem to teach core subjects to your form and the other subjects are covered by the specialists. The job advert mentions certain specialisms being an advantage so is it likely that they are looking for the prospective teacher to act as a specialist and teach across the whole school, as well as teach the core subjects to a form group? I'm unsure how things work and everything seems so different. The school doesn't offer pre-application visits so I am unable to find out before the interview. I would appreciate any insights. I expect there will be a huge amount of interest in this job and I am probably at a disadvantage as I have taken a year out but it seems like a good job in a nice school and I have been looking to work in the independent sector for a while.