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The revolving door of heads and local teaching staff, the aftermath.

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by grdwdgrrrl, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    One major shock to system all those years ago when I started this international journey was how evident, open and blindingly obvious the business side of things/factors/influence (call it what you want) were and still are.

    Just like any type of business, your major expenses are your labour costs. Whether it is hiring NQTs, iPGCE grads, unqualified teachers, local hires, promoting or fast tracking a Head from a magic cupboard in HQ or hiring BFFs to tip the balance towards a Head's favour; you understand quick smart (in less than a month) these are all part and parcel of the industry.

    When things go pear shape, five principals in two years for example... One doesn't think of the staff, local or expat. I think of the local kids and the local parents who fork out the money to give their children the best education they can afford. They are to me, the biggest loser in these certain type of schools/businesses.

    Unfortunately the business model of these certain schools/Boards/owners places the innocent children and their parents as nothing but paying customers. When they set out and continue to have that hidden (but very real) vision $£€¥£$. Well, we all know how things turn out.
    bhughesjob likes this.
  2. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    And that's what you have to bear in mind all the time. These schools aren't government funded, nor are they (for the most part, anyway) not for profit. And for many parents, in a lot of countries, it's not about the education - it's about saying that you send your kids to X school which has high fees, so showing that you can pay for them. The business side of things should never stop you doing the basics, but it will influence what you are able to do and how you have to work. Where it is a problem is when the money is sucked out of the school (legally or illegally) and you can see that the £thousands being spend isn't going anywhere near the education of kids, then that's bordering on criminal.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    When I left state education to take up the headship of an independent school in the UK the first reality I had to face was that there was no magic money tree and no LEA to bail me out if I couldn't balance my books. Ten years later I took on a lovely international school that was dying from a combination of incompetence and corruption. The day I arrived, some of the school's ancillary workers were dismantling a boarding hostel roof to sell on the town market. They had to go. Over the previous year the school had lost a hundred students so some of the weaker teachers also had to go when their contacts came up for renewal. (It used to be called curriculum led staffing) Within a year we went from break-even to a $500, 000 dollar surplus. Though the board of governors resisted, we spent a lot of that on the children's schooling. There is (or ought to be) a direct link between good housekeeping and good education.
    yasf, tb9605 and kpjf like this.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The Multi National Companies that own schools have a policy to replace Heads/Principals regularly to prevent a power struggle. The MNC dont want a popular and independent minded Principal building a good relationship with parents over many years and thus able to undermine the overwhelming influence of the MNC over the running of the school.

    In fact I would say many of the Principals are whipping boys for the MNC, easily blamed for the inadequacies of the school and replaced when parents complained about spending 45000GBP tuition fees on basically a comprehensive school education.
    yasf and makhnovite like this.
  5. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    One of the things that has become blindingly obvious in the twenty some years that I have been doing this is the yoof factor. It used to be that people with experience got the jobs, in recent years it would appear that many Heads and Senior Leaders are a bit like people on a graduate trainee scheme in the city. They actually teach for the bare minimum of time followed by a Head of Dept or Faculty role,(preferably both,) then Head of Phase or Deputy Headship in a small school and BINGO by about 27 or 28 they will have an MA in Educational Management from a university in Mexico or Panama and be working towards the ubiquitous NPQH. They then see themselves as set for a Headship and sadly many school owners agree, these people have very little experience, especially when things go wrong and are normally the worst leaders because they have never led. Lesser Bangkok schools are awash with these types, leapfrogging around until a Headship becomes available at somewhere or other. Many get found out but because the owners/stockholders do not want to be seen as the poltroons that they undoubtedly are they simply send them off with a glowing reference after 2 years to ruin some other poor school. One chap I met many years ago in Malaysia was the worst senior manager out and I have watched the pages of ISR as he has bounced around the world from one Headship to another, he is probably worth an absolute mint now but I would wager that he still cannot work out how to plan a timetable.....

    Ah well, twas ever so.....( but, it actually wasn't )

    grdwdgrrrl and spanboy like this.
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Its the same in other professions Perce, just look at the idiot MPs who have created the current mess in the UK; Private School, Oxbridge, Daddy gets them and internship in the HoC , a couple of years at a right wing think tank and then a safe Tory seat, after 8 years or so you retire from politics and you go on the board of several companies and earn a fortune for attending three meetings a year.

    TV, Publishing, Theatre, Journalism, Law, Finance all the same. No one works their way up gaining experience and expertise on the way. More importantly it has destroyed upward social mobility, the working class are now almost totally excluded.
    yasf, lottee1000 and ToK-tastic like this.
  7. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Hmmm, I've a bit of a mixed opinion about local staff.

    In my last post, the boss who couldn't manage people without shouting hardly made life easy for them. Successful teacher/TA pairs were not retained but split up every year, thus eroding learned skills relevant to that age group, and TA's were often placed in age groups in which the work demands were personally challenging. To see TA's pull quite aggressively at younger children who wouldn't do what they wanted or have little regard for positive behaviour strategies are also both relevant here.

    However, whilst many may be qualified teachers their quality varies massively. I've seen awful outdated teaching practice from language teachers and TA's who never spend a minute longer in the classroom than they have to and change the planned teaching task to suit them. These staff are paid 500% higher than they would otherwise earn outside of an international school so I would expect commitment of the highest order. Fortunately, I've also had dedicated staff whose commitment is on a par with my own and make me feel guilty at the salary imbalance between me and them, and angry at the lack of scale rewards between them and inferior staff.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  8. anurag1

    anurag1 New commenter

    Very interested to know about the "Asian pay scale" school. Going to avoid it like the plague.
  9. bayern22

    bayern22 New commenter

    They claimed to have these scales, but when requested they failed to show it to us. How bizarre.

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