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support staff in boarding schools

Discussion in 'Independent' started by dunnocks, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Does anyone have any experience of working as support staff in boarding schools? I've worked nights in care homes, and was wondering about house mother jobs or similar. What qualifications are required? What number of nights commitment is expected from individual staff? What is the pay like? I'm imagining it is partly educational support, for home work, etc, and partly a more mothering role, isthis right? or am I completely out? where are jobs like this advertised? Thank you for any information
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Given you refer to standard primary teaching in day school as slavery, house parent roles would not be for you at all.

    You basically become the parent throughout term time; including nights, evenings and weekends. It isn't quite 24/7 but pretty much.

    Posts are advertised in the TES, look under the relevant sector (prep or senior).
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Established commenter

    Some show up in The Lady as well.
    Schools vary hugely. Some use teaching staff as boarding/pastoral staff; others have separate staffing. There are openings for qualified nurses but they tend all to be employed for their specialist skills.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I've done jobs that are 24/7, and like being on holiday compared to the uk teaching jobs I've done! I'm "full time support staff now" but it is literally like not having to work at all. It is so low pressure, and easy. I've been a house parent in children's homes in the past too,

    Thank you for your responses. I'll be looking into this further.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I've heard this from friends who have worked in caring roles-apparently they sometimes do very little. But at other times they do lots, so depends on the job!
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    It isn't the amount of activity that determines whether a job is "like a holiday" or not - in my holidays i climb mountains and run marathons! it is the amount of pressure! 12 hours busy out of 24 suits me very well. up to 14 hours busy is fine, with 10 hours free. I don't mind more occasionally. I'd certainly rather be busy than not

    But teaching has been so utterly cruelly relentless, with totally unacheivable deadlines, impossible and contradictory instructions, constant scrutiny and critisism, constantly contradictory, and blame and blame and blame and blame for things outside of your control, and no possibility of ever being good enough at anything, and constant hostility, and utterly relentless work, with no respite ever, and no possibility of ever not being in trouble for not finishing, and everything, from SIMS to photocopier to white boards constantly malfunctioning, and getting blamed for that too!

    I'm currently working as a TA, so 7.30-4.30 on the premises, mostly busy ( if I'm at a lose end I'll offer to do some marking or something, I hate having nothing to do) a little bit of work at home, say 3 hours a week, also single mother to teens, an occasional foster carer to two other teens, both severely hyperactive and autistic, a voluntry worker, and training to run a marathon - this is a holiday to me!

    i gave up teaching two and a half years ago, and every day is like a holiday since.

    Now that it would be possible to leave my children alone some nights, and of course as they get older and leave home! more nights, I am interested in other support roles at schools.
  7. Robert_Frost

    Robert_Frost New commenter

    Our Housestaff work every other weekend and have one day of during the week. Salaries tend to be in the mid-teens and the job is really to support the HM. It's a tough role - some burn out after a few terms, some have been here for years.
    dunnocks likes this.
  8. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Our houseparents don't get paid.
    Shifts are two mornings and two evenings a week, and a day in 2 weekends out of three.
  9. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Why don't they get paid?
  10. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Possibly they get free meals and accommodation?
  11. lauren664

    lauren664 New commenter

    I'm in a small boarding school where house parents and deputies are all teachers too. Houseparent's have approx. 50% teaching timetable and deputies full time teaching timetable. Pay isn't good. We get free accommodation, which is good for house parents (3-5 bed house!) as deputies we get small 1 bed flat in poor condition (mine is the basement of the boarding house!).

    You're role is a combination or pastoral, including discipline and academic, supporting and monitoring (paper trails to evidence everything! Blame culture exists across every element of education unfortunately) within the house. You are essentially a head of house same as being a head of year etc. in day school, but you are responsible for them over night and at weekends too.

    The job is very enjoyable (when you are not exhausted!). I have to do one evening&night a week, 1 day&night every weekend and you are expected to support every school event, which (when you have the energy) is very enjoyable as you see the students from a different perspective. I also have to deputise the houseparent when she is ill or is off site, which for us is usually taking someone to hospital (and obviously no-one gets ill during the day when we have a nurse on site, it is always evenings and weekends!), this is often the part of the job that becomes exhausting and results in neither of us getting a day off for 2-3 weeks!

    Gap students or language assistants do 1 evening in our house, they have to do this as a condition of getting free accommodation. Therefore the houseparent does 1 day&night at the weekend and 3 evenings during the week. The time she gets off is very reliant on how good the other house staff are, some gap students are great, some are not so much use.

    Other schools tend to have house tutors who are teachers that work 1 evening a week and get paid for the shift. Or deputies and houseparent's either are completely non teaching or work max 50% timetable then do more hours in the house.

    From what I can work out there are not many schools who don't have any non teaching staff in the house, most schools have purely pastoral staff so there are very different roles in very different schools.

    A good place to get more info or to look for courses etc. would be through BSA.

    I hope that helps :)
    dunnocks likes this.
  12. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    very interesting and informative, thank you

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