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General Chat Thread, Private Schools in General; @Abaddon - I wasn't suggesting that private schools have no money, merely that we are not as rich as we ...
  1. #16
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    @Abaddon - I wasn't suggesting that private schools have no money, merely that we are not as rich as we are commonly perceived to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    I used to work in one place and left too. What is your point?
    I don't really have one I suppose apart from working in Education frustrated the hell out of me. I didn't know who to feel more sorry for the most, myself or the kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abaddon View Post
    Depends on the school really. Don't assume that private schools have no money (as suggested by several on this thread) - I have a very healthy budget for IT (every year), and a well staffed (and qualified) IT department. Most important is keeping everything working - as also suggested here, open days need to show that the school is every bit as good at these things than state schools (and often better at it). Prospective parents need to be convinced to part with cash after all.
    We weren't suggesting that they all had no money, but many preps are cash poor. The 5 preps in this town look in envy at our top level secondary school with its endowments going back to 1450 or something. Oh, to have that kind of money and that kind of equipment. The average prep does not have cash floating around and everything is bought after a great deal of thought.

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    We only charge 30,000+ per year per pupil. This covers the teaching costs, but not the maintenance of buildings and kit, development, improvements etc. I don't have to fight for cash, but it is hardly sloshing around. Other schools of similar standing have endowments an order of magnitude larger...

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    1. Private schools do not operate in a cluster/co-operation with other schools. Other schools are competition.
    2. Fees are all important. Without them there is no money to pay for anything. Parents have high expectations because they pay for everything. The current economic climate has affected fee income in most schools.
    3. private schools pay VAT on everything and can't reclaim it. If they registered for VAT, they'd have to add VAT to fees which would not endear them to parents.
    4. private schools are not awash with cash because of 2 & 3
    5. The kids are generally MUCH better behaved than their state counterparts. The staff are the same as they are in state schools!
    6. You will not be on national pay scales, but still join a union for the protection even if they don't negotiate your salary (make sure it's one that covers private schools like ATL)
    7. The children are usually in school for longer hours than in state schools. Some are in at weekends too. We have children on-site from 8am - 5.30pm Mon-Fri and also operate holiday facilites, so they're here year round.

    The Bursar is God. Without their say-so you can do nothing and spend nothing. Befriend the Bursar quickly!

    Otherwise it's all much the same when it comes to Teaching & Learning being the priority and Safeguarding, etc.

    To see the school's inspection report go to Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)
    With the amount of income generated from fees how can they not be vat registered?

    Ben

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    We only charge 30,000+ per year per pupil. This covers the teaching costs, but not the maintenance of buildings and kit, development, improvements etc.

    30,000 per pupil, per year...?

    How much are your teachers on?! [A class of 30 puts it at 900,000 a year, before increasing by the number of classes in the school and taking off other costs.]

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    CAM
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    Depends, if I am paying 30k I'd expect a smaller class size then 30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    30,000 per pupil, per year...?

    How much are your teachers on?! [A class of 30 puts it at 900,000 a year, before increasing by the number of classes in the school and taking off other costs.]
    I'd be amazed if a school charging 30k a year had the cheek to fit 30 in a class. In most independents I've seen 25 is a big class.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Depends, if I am paying 30k I'd expect a smaller class size then 30.
    True, but AFAIK teachers get about 30,000 a year. Meaning 1 student per class is paying for the teacher. There's more than enough for everything else.

    They either have to many teachers, or they're getting paid too much.


    Quote Originally Posted by jtotheb View Post
    I'd be amazed if a school charging 30k a year had the cheek to fit 30 in a class. In most independents I've seen 25 is a big class.
    Fine.

    30,000 x 25 = 750,000.

    Three quarters of a million, per class, per year.

    Something doesn't add up.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Teachers are on national pay scales. Support staff are not. 10k a term for the big independents (and AndrewC is at one of the oldest) is about normal, but pupils board.

    Fees at my school are one third of the above figure with class sizes of 17 being regarded as the limit.

    Independents are registered charities. We are non profit making, money earned is ploughed straight back into the school.

    Numbers of staff are generally much higher at independents. We have fewer teaching assistants, but more admin, housekeeping and grounds staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Teachers are on national pay scales. Support staff are not. 10k a term for the big independents (and AndrewC is at one of the oldest) is about normal, but pupils board.

    Fees at my school are one third of the above figure with class sizes of 17 being regarded as the limit.

    Independents are registered charities. We are non profit making, money earned is ploughed straight back into the school.

    Numbers of staff are generally much higher at independents. We have fewer teaching assistants, but more admin, housekeeping and grounds staff.
    They also tend to have specialist coaching staff for sports i.e a rugby coach, football coach, cricket coach etc

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    ... And specialist music, dance, art, drama, science, maths, language, etc teachers even in prep schools. This is the EES killer for us

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Teachers are on national pay scales. Support staff are not. 10k a term for the big independents (and AndrewC is at one of the oldest) is about normal, but pupils board.

    Fees at my school are one third of the above figure with class sizes of 17 being regarded as the limit.

    Independents are registered charities. We are non profit making, money earned is ploughed straight back into the school.

    Numbers of staff are generally much higher at independents. We have fewer teaching assistants, but more admin, housekeeping and grounds staff.
    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    They also tend to have specialist coaching staff for sports i.e a rugby coach, football coach, cricket coach etc
    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    ... And specialist music, dance, art, drama, science, maths, language, etc teachers even in prep schools. This is the EES killer for us
    I did not know this. Thank you for enlightening me. [/Surprisingly_not_sarcastic]

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    Money certainly isn't too short where I work, but theres not so much sloshing around that it's wasted either. Quite a nice balance IMO - Plenty of cash to improve things but no massive pots of money that have to be spent on 'something, anything' either which is what wound me up about the state school I worked at - money was always being wasted on unnecessary crap just because it had to be used

    Classes are usually 18-20 pupils here, so yeah smaller classes definately

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    To put all your minds at rest; yes our 100+ teachers are well paid, and housed in Winchester (fearfully expensive), the class sizes are small (under 20, maybe 10 or fewer for an A level class). We have 700 pupils, the vast majority board. Lots and lots of extra curricular stuff, and the teachers (almost) all work from early morning until 11PM at least one day a week in a boarding house. Most of the teachers are out at least two afternoons with sports teams or training, on top of the professional level coaching. Oh yes, and Saturday morning lessons to. Grooo...

    Amongst those teachers, there are two Russian teachers, a French and German teacher an with Oxford First, followed by a Sorbone degree. Many of the scientists (where I am now) have good science or engineering degrees (often Oxbridge). We also teach Latin, Chinese and Japanese to A level.

    That level of investment in the children brings results, we've stopped publishing in the national league tables as the kids do too many GCSEs early, and we do a lot of "Pre-U" instead of A levels. However, the school is considered to be in the top 5 academically every year. Oh, and they do more than one subject, which also goes towards explaining the discrepency, but I've also been reminded that some of the fees does indeed go into the building upkeep etc. What we can't do at the moment is increase the endowment to protect the school in the future.
    Last edited by Andrew_C; 3rd December 2011 at 09:35 AM.

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