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What is it like working as a HT in an indie school?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by digoryvenn, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I am just wondering really. In a few years time, I am considering applying for Headteacher posts in independent schools.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Never was SLT in one, but from my limited experience, much freer. Doing what the man in the street thinks an HT does-which isn't what a 'normal' school HT does.
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I've never known an HT in the independent sector be appointed from a state school. Not in a senior school, at any rate. I guess it could happen in a prep school.

    Capacity to get through many livery club and corporate formal dinners seems an important requirement for senior school HTs, not to mention frequent lunches in London clubs with governors and sponsors ...

  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Neither have I.

    Except for me, of course, from state to HMC. :)

    There was also a GDST Head in the Manchester area who came from the state sector.

    I have known it in a Junior School that was part of a larger 4-18 school. And at Deputy Head level too.

    The first thing to ask, is why?

    Why do you wish to lead an independent school? The answer Because it is god-awful in the state sector is NOT the right answer! I suspect however that this may be what is making you consider this move, because you don't actually know enough about it to make the decision.

    The second point is that there are very few Headteachers in the independent sector.

    There are Heads, Headmasters and Headmistresses, High Masters, High Mistresses, Wardens, etc., but very very few Headteachers. A whole new vocabulary to learn!

    You might like to read my articles:

    8. Working in the Independent Sector

    An overview of the Independent sector

    Independent Sector FAQs

    How much will I earn in the independent sector?

    Moving from state to independent

    Teachers talk about what it's like working in one Indy School

    Doing NQT induction in an independent school

    And also this thread:

    Why doesn't every teacher want to work in a private school?

    In this thread teachers on both sides give their views.

    Best wishes

  5. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    I've heard of it in privately-run independent schools groups; being less focused on the traditional idea of an independent school, and reaching out to parents who may be first-generation independent school users, they may welcome someone with maintained-sector experience and initiatives.
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Possible, I guess, although most indie parents I've met (which is a lot) tend to stress that they are paying a fortune to get as far away as possible from anything to do with the state sector (Theo excepted, I'm sure :))
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Thank you. :)

    Best wishes

  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Thanks Theo and everyone else for your replies.

    Although my first post as a teacher was in an independent boys prep school, you are right, I don't know enough to make a decision.
    I will start by thinking about why I want to lead an independent school and read all your articles Theo.

    By the way, Theo, why did you want to lead an independent school? I suspect you won't say as the reasons have to be mine not yours!!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I didn't particularly!

    I was just browsing the Secondary School leadership ads in TES one day, dropped that big old paper we used to have, it fell open at the Independent Senior page, I saw the ad and thought: I could do that!

    And I could. :)

    Best wishes

  10. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    That is a great story!
    Hope you had a lovely Easter.

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