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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Is it different in an independent school? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I don't know if anyone works for an independent school here, but it's got to be worth a try. I'm ...
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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Question Is it different in an independent school?

    I don't know if anyone works for an independent school here, but it's got to be worth a try.

    I'm feeling a bit restless and wondered what the big differences are between state and independent schools, from our perspective. Is the attitude different? What about budgets, pay and benefits, etc? Do you find technically that you do things differently at all? How about your link to the outside world, since you probably don't use a grid for learning?

    Anything welcome, I just can't make my mind up. Cheers.

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    rrichmond's Avatar
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    I love working at my school (private). I honestly think it has more to do with the people you work with rather than whether its public or private. Having said that I would acknowledge that staff are often easier to work with at a private school, mainly as its not such a hard slog and the staff are paid more appropriately.

    This is just my opinion, and I would understand if others have a different point of view, as it really comes back to the staff you work with!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Also biggest difference is in state school government/la regulations are deciding factor in private school it is the ethos of the school that is the over riding factor.

    Russ

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    PM Mattx he works in a private school.

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    i've only ever worked in an independent sector, to me it seems the funding is more rationalised. By this i mean theres a constant if small trickle and the direction of the school is determined by the school rather than the lea. You will find that any projects have to work as the funding is coming from close to home and that you also have to accept any awful specifications that come your way quietly as again they often come from close to home.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    I don't know if anyone works for an independent school here, but it's got to be worth a try.

    I'm feeling a bit restless and wondered what the big differences are between state and independent schools, from our perspective. Is the attitude different? What about budgets, pay and benefits, etc? Do you find technically that you do things differently at all? How about your link to the outside world, since you probably don't use a grid for learning?

    Anything welcome, I just can't make my mind up. Cheers.
    Difference is massive - I'm lucky and get to see both sides. I work in a private school + I am a LEA Gov of a local primary school. As the school in which I work in is not tied to any learning grid etc our options are far more flexable and in my opinion better. On seeing the other side of the coin with the state school, they are tied in to a learning grid and RM so their options are VERY limited and I know through talking to the staff they find this frustrating.
    I could highlight many many more aspects but would be typing all morning as the gap between a well run private and state school is huge - [ when it comes to IT ]

  7. Thanks to mattx from:

    powdarrmonkey (27th March 2008)

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    Ryan's Avatar
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    Yep, agreed - i'd say the biggest benefits are freedom and flexibility. We're not dictated to by anyone, and while you can feel a bit out on your own sometimes, you're afforded a degree of freedom that you might not get elsewhere.

    There is the issue of where the dosh comes from, but that's a very specific issue, depending on where you are.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I moved from a state primary to a private prep school and so have seen both sides:

    The good:
    I'm paid more
    The kids are far better behaved
    The holidays are longer - more time without the kids and the teachers
    We don't have to adhere to the latest government whim, BUT we do have to keep up with whatever the state sector does; preferably exceeding it.
    No BSF!

    The Same:
    Budgets - we are restricted by fee income, and I feel that there is a tighter hold on spending here than in the state sector. There are no blank cheques in the private sector

    The downside:
    The school day is longer
    No e-learning credits apart from the babies in our nursery
    We are not VAT exempt
    No support from County
    Similar schools in the area are competitors, so we don't share and benefit from the cluster
    Some of the older teachers treat the 'domestic' staff like a servant class and are very rude. I didn't get half this grief in the state school.

  10. Thanks to elsiegee40 from:

    powdarrmonkey (27th March 2008)

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    john's Avatar
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    Its has its ups and downs just like state does. I'm currently trying to escape back to state and finding it hard as a few are like oh your used to unlimited budgets in Indi but im not.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I moved from a state primary to a private prep school and so have seen both sides:
    Like wot he said, except downside item 4 (no county!) is an upside, and item 6 (all our staff are lovely!).

    Ideally, what we could do with is a hybrid of the two systems - i.e. give the masses of state ICT funding straight to individual schools and let them get on and spend it.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    At a Public School (boarding) I work with some of the brightest minds in the country, bar none. Some of them can even tie there own shoe laces, but very few have any idea how cushy they have it!

    Working day can be VERY long, and MUCH worse for the teachers, especially those on "house" duty in the evenings. The House Masters deserve every penny that they get!

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    enjay's Avatar
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    I also work in for an independent school, and think elsiegee40 has it about right, although I would agree with David that the lack of County support/meddling doesn't upset me.

    The belief that we have unlimited budgets is simply not true - our budgets are as tight as those in the State sector, possibly more so as we don't get given additional funding for the latest Big Thing, e.g. laptops for all staff, whiteboards in every room, 10meg synchronous Internet connections, VLEs, etc. Everything which we buy comes from our regular budgets.

    This has the effect here that we are behind some other schools in terms of technology adoption and use of new technology, but that could be down to the IT familiarity, competence and confidence of our staff as much as anything.

    We buy what we want/need/can afford and don't buy what we don't want/need, so while we don't have a laptop and whiteboard in every room, nor do we have a multi-thousand pound video conference system gathering dust.

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    powdarrmonkey (27th March 2008)

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    enjay's Avatar
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    @Andrew_C - the long working day question is surely more down to you being a boarding school than an independent? My working day is 8:30-4:30 incl 1 hour lunch, which sounds like a fairly standard working day to me (in fact, at only 35 hours, is shorter than any I worked before education)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Nick and others are right that County meddling can be a pain, but it was handy sometimes to get the County gatherings and trainings.

    I think the point about the longer school day is that the children go home earlier in the state sector. So if we have maintenance that requires no users - we may have to stay later to do it. At boarding schools, this must be more like a business situation when you can probably never guarantee that nobody is about.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I think the point about the longer school day is that the children go home earlier in the state sector.
    Really? Our infants leave at 3pm, the juniors and all the secondary school at 3:30pm - that's a fairly standard finish time, isn't it?

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