Academicbee123
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What are the differences in applying to teach in a state or private school? Do you need different qualifications? Is the salary, working hours, workload and working conditions majorly different?
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04MR17
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(Original post by Academicbee123)
What are the differences in applying to teach in a state or private school? Do you need different qualifications? Is the salary, working hours, workload and working conditions majorly different?
Different qualifications? Not really. Technically yes, but realistically there aren't very many private schools who'll employ totally unqualified teachers if they can avoid it.

Salary might be different, and that may well result in one being more competitive than the other. As with everything, it depends on who's in the role.

Working hours, conditions and load all depend on the individual school and the job. If you're applying to be the head of house in a boarding school then the working hours will be a lot longer than in other schools for example.
Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Academicbee123)
What are the differences in applying to teach in a state or private school? Do you need different qualifications? Is the salary, working hours, workload and working conditions majorly different?
By teaching in a private school, you're perpetuating a system of inequality, so there's that.

Other than that, private schools can appoint whoever they like- you don't need QTS. This is the case for some state schools too, but most prefer teachers with QTS. Some private schools like post-grad qualifications but this isn't universal. If you can offer an extra curricular (e.g. sports coaching) this is desirable to many private schools even if it's nothing to do with your subject.

Most private schools stick to the teacher pay scale used in state schools, although they don't have to. In many private schools, however, this is pro-rata'd to the shorter term times- so your take home pay will be lower BUT you will have longer holidays. Equally, if you have to do Saturday school, it may be Pro-rata'd to take this into account. Some private schools have different rates of pay- usually this is made clear in the job advert, but if you are unsure do ask at interview. Some private schools are struggling financially at the moment, so may try to get away with low rates of pay. Some will pay you more if they want to attract you to their school.

Working hours and workload are broadly similar but with a different emphasis. At a private school, you'll likely have smaller class sizes, so maybe less marking, but you'll usually be expected to do certain extra-curricular activities e.g. run a club, attend various parents events. A lot of private schools, especially at secondary level, have school or school events on Saturday mornings, so you may not get a full weekend. Workload depends a lot on the school and there's probably more differences between individual private schools than there is between state and private.

One positive, is that you usually don't get asked to teach outside your specialism in private schools, but this is becoming increasingly common in state schools. Even at upper primary/prep level, you're likely to have some specialist teachers, which is nice if you don't enjoy art/sport/music/science etc.

One big negative is that private schools are far more likely to close than state schools - especially at the moment. If a school stops being financially viable to run, then that's it, and you could lose your employment quite suddenly. In state schools, if you're on a permanent contract, it is really unusual to be made redundant (although it can happen). Obviously this doesn't apply to all private schools- most of the big names are very financially secure, but if you're taking a job at a school you've never heard of before (especially a tiny prep) it's worth looking into their finances a bit.
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Muttley79
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#4
(Original post by Academicbee123)
What are the differences in applying to teach in a state or private school? Do you need different qualifications? Is the salary, working hours, workload and working conditions majorly different?
You don't need teaching qualifications in a Private school; you usually do in a state school.

I would not recommend teaching in a Private school as some don't allow you to be in a union and you can find problems you did not anticipate.

I disagree with the above poster; you can be made to teach outside your specialism in a Private school. A friend was made to teach Physics to GCSE without being a trained Science teacher [he's a Maths teacher] and he was uncomfortable to do lab work with no H&S training.

Parents can be VERY demanding in a Private school - we've paid so why won't little Jeremy get a grade 9/A* and pressure to up predictions. Blame game when they miss their 'Firm' no matter what evidence the school has on Jeremy not handing in work.

Financially some schools must be struggling even though many seem to be furloughing staff in droves - even teachers!

I prefer to teach in a good state school
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Academicbee123
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(Original post by Muttley79)
You don't need teaching qualifications in a Private school; you usually do in a state school.

I would not recommend teaching in a Private school as some don't allow you to be in a union and you can find problems you did not anticipate.

I disagree with the above poster; you can be made to teach outside your specialism in a Private school. A friend was made to teach Physics to GCSE without being a trained Science teacher [he's a Maths teacher] and he was uncomfortable to do lab work with no H&S training.

Parents can be VERY demanding in a Private school - we've paid so why won't little Jeremy get a grade 9/A* and pressure to up predictions. Blame game when they miss their 'Firm' no matter what evidence the school has on Jeremy not handing in work.

Financially some schools must be struggling even though many seem to be furloughing staff in droves - even teachers!

I prefer to teach in a good state school
Thanks for the advice! I’ve only ever been to state schools myself so I was just curious about working in a private school! State schools definitely seem more reliable in terms of job security and also less demanding from parents, which seems a better fit for me!
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Academicbee123
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
By teaching in a private school, you're perpetuating a system of inequality, so there's that.

Other than that, private schools can appoint whoever they like- you don't need QTS. This is the case for some state schools too, but most prefer teachers with QTS. Some private schools like post-grad qualifications but this isn't universal. If you can offer an extra curricular (e.g. sports coaching) this is desirable to many private schools even if it's nothing to do with your subject.

Most private schools stick to the teacher pay scale used in state schools, although they don't have to. In many private schools, however, this is pro-rata'd to the shorter term times- so your take home pay will be lower BUT you will have longer holidays. Equally, if you have to do Saturday school, it may be Pro-rata'd to take this into account. Some private schools have different rates of pay- usually this is made clear in the job advert, but if you are unsure do ask at interview. Some private schools are struggling financially at the moment, so may try to get away with low rates of pay. Some will pay you more if they want to attract you to their school.

Working hours and workload are broadly similar but with a different emphasis. At a private school, you'll likely have smaller class sizes, so maybe less marking, but you'll usually be expected to do certain extra-curricular activities e.g. run a club, attend various parents events. A lot of private schools, especially at secondary level, have school or school events on Saturday mornings, so you may not get a full weekend. Workload depends a lot on the school and there's probably more differences between individual private schools than there is between state and private.

One positive, is that you usually don't get asked to teach outside your specialism in private schools, but this is becoming increasingly common in state schools. Even at upper primary/prep level, you're likely to have some specialist teachers, which is nice if you don't enjoy art/sport/music/science etc.

One big negative is that private schools are far more likely to close than state schools - especially at the moment. If a school stops being financially viable to run, then that's it, and you could lose your employment quite suddenly. In state schools, if you're on a permanent contract, it is really unusual to be made redundant (although it can happen). Obviously this doesn't apply to all private schools- most of the big names are very financially secure, but if you're taking a job at a school you've never heard of before (especially a tiny prep) it's worth looking into their finances a bit.
Thank you, that is very useful! I definitely don’t want to ‘perpetuate a system of inequality’, seeing as I have never been to a private school myself! I was just curious about the differences and what would suit me best. State school teaching definitely seems more suited to me after reading more about it
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Muttley79
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Academicbee123)
Thank you, that is very useful! I definitely don’t want to ‘perpetuate a system of inequality’, seeing as I have never been to a private school myself! I was just curious about the differences and what would suit me best. State school teaching definitely seems more suited to me after reading more about it
Just make sure you apply to a school where you will be supported. Read latest Ofsted [if recent] and look at the website e.g. letters to parents. You can pick up a lot on interview - is there lot of litter? graffiti? How do students peak to teachers and vice-versa. What is the corridor like at lesson change? Talk to other teachers - ask subtle questions to tease out what the place is really like. Avoid a school looking for lots of staff!
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SarcAndSpark
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#8
(Original post by Academicbee123)
Thank you, that is very useful! I definitely don’t want to ‘perpetuate a system of inequality’, seeing as I have never been to a private school myself! I was just curious about the differences and what would suit me best. State school teaching definitely seems more suited to me after reading more about it
I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about private schools- I would never personally work in one, except maybe an international school if I ever wanted to teach abroad.

However, I know people who do, and I would honestly say it is probably quite difficult to compare all state vs all private. Your experience at a small prep vs a big, wealthy boarding school vs a highly academic day school would all be very different. I wouldn't necessarily write all private school jobs off unless you object to them on a moral level, but if you did apply for a private job, it's important to go in with both eyes open.

Now, more than ever, I would want to be sure that the school I was going to work in had solid finances!
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ReadingMum
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#9
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about private schools- I would never personally work in one, except maybe an international school if I ever wanted to teach abroad.

However, I know people who do, and I would honestly say it is probably quite difficult to compare all state vs all private. Your experience at a small prep vs a big, wealthy boarding school vs a highly academic day school would all be very different. I wouldn't necessarily write all private school jobs off unless you object to them on a moral level, but if you did apply for a private job, it's important to go in with both eyes open.

Now, more than ever, I would want to be sure that the school I was going to work in had solid finances!
The cynic in me would argue that this precludes a large number of state schools
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bwilliams
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
By teaching in a private school, you're perpetuating a system of inequality, so there's that.

Other than that, private schools can appoint whoever they like- you don't need QTS. This is the case for some state schools too, but most prefer teachers with QTS. Some private schools like post-grad qualifications but this isn't universal. If you can offer an extra curricular (e.g. sports coaching) this is desirable to many private schools even if it's nothing to do with your subject.

Most private schools stick to the teacher pay scale used in state schools, although they don't have to. In many private schools, however, this is pro-rata'd to the shorter term times- so your take home pay will be lower BUT you will have longer holidays. Equally, if you have to do Saturday school, it may be Pro-rata'd to take this into account. Some private schools have different rates of pay- usually this is made clear in the job advert, but if you are unsure do ask at interview. Some private schools are struggling financially at the moment, so may try to get away with low rates of pay. Some will pay you more if they want to attract you to their school.

Working hours and workload are broadly similar but with a different emphasis. At a private school, you'll likely have smaller class sizes, so maybe less marking, but you'll usually be expected to do certain extra-curricular activities e.g. run a club, attend various parents events. A lot of private schools, especially at secondary level, have school or school events on Saturday mornings, so you may not get a full weekend. Workload depends a lot on the school and there's probably more differences between individual private schools than there is between state and private.

One positive, is that you usually don't get asked to teach outside your specialism in private schools, but this is becoming increasingly common in state schools. Even at upper primary/prep level, you're likely to have some specialist teachers, which is nice if you don't enjoy art/sport/music/science etc.

One big negative is that private schools are far more likely to close than state schools - especially at the moment. If a school stops being financially viable to run, then that's it, and you could lose your employment quite suddenly. In state schools, if you're on a permanent contract, it is really unusual to be made redundant (although it can happen). Obviously this doesn't apply to all private schools- most of the big names are very financially secure, but if you're taking a job at a school you've never heard of before (especially a tiny prep) it's worth looking into their finances a bit.
Couldn't put it better myself. Totally agree with all the above.


Would just like to add that QTS is only required to teach in Local Authority maintained schools and special schools. You can check a school's status by looking them up on your Local Authority website or their Ofsted report. (Although, it is not 'required', it is usually favoured).

For me, they are different jobs - you will find the disbenefits outweigh the benefits of working in private education. As someone mentioned, it is made to look 'attractive'.
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SarcAndSpark
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#11
(Original post by ReadingMum)
The cynic in me would argue that this precludes a large number of state schools
Do you mean the bit about finances?

I totally agree that (usually through no fault of their own) a lot of state schools are running a budget deficit at the moment. The difference is, state schools don't usually close due to financial problems, and they can usually plan their budgets one year in advance. It's different for support staff, but it's very rare for teaching staff in state schools to be made redundant due to lack of funds- whereas I know people this has happened to who taught in private schools (admittedly small prep schools), and I have another friend who has been told her school is at risk of closing all together- if this happens in the middle of a term, her income will stop suddenly and she probably won't be able to get another job straight away in teaching. It's really very unlikely this would happen to someone in a state school.

Before the current situation, I wouldn't have put as much weight on this issue- but at the moment I think it is really important to consider the financial viability of a private school before accepting a job, and I don't think it's such an issue when taking a job in a state school.
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ReadingMum
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Do you mean the bit about finances?

I totally agree that (usually through no fault of their own) a lot of state schools are running a budget deficit at the moment. The difference is, state schools don't usually close due to financial problems, and they can usually plan their budgets one year in advance. It's different for support staff, but it's very rare for teaching staff in state schools to be made redundant due to lack of funds- whereas I know people this has happened to who taught in private schools (admittedly small prep schools), and I have another friend who has been told her school is at risk of closing all together- if this happens in the middle of a term, her income will stop suddenly and she probably won't be able to get another job straight away in teaching. It's really very unlikely this would happen to someone in a state school.

Before the current situation, I wouldn't have put as much weight on this issue- but at the moment I think it is really important to consider the financial viability of a private school before accepting a job, and I don't think it's such an issue when taking a job in a state school.
yes - finances.
I was a school governor at a small state school and the finances were seriously tight but we were determined to not run at a deficit. Some state schools are in serious financial trouble.
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parmezanne
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#13
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
By teaching in a private school, you're perpetuating a system of inequality, so there's that.
But if a parent rightfully earned their money and wants to give their child the best chances possible at success, why can't they?
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lhh2003
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(Original post by yzanne)
But if a parent rightfully earned their money and wants to give their child the best chances possible at success, why can't they?
Ever heard of the poverty cycle ?
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SarcAndSpark
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#15
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
yes - finances.
I was a school governor at a small state school and the finances were seriously tight but we were determined to not run at a deficit. Some state schools are in serious financial trouble.
Yeah, I do agree that there are some state schools in a real financial mess, and if we were talking about support staff especially I would say that taking a job at one of these schools might be a bad idea, as support staff are often made redundant when a school is in trouble.

In general, for teaching staff, it's a bit different- AFIAK, a state school would never close suddenly mid-year due to financial problems. Even for a tiny school, this would be too much of a headache for the local authority, who would have to find somewhere to place the students. You might be employed on a 1 year contract and not renewed, but that's a bit different, and possible at any school these days.

I do agree that a state school in real financial trouble probably wouldn't be a nice place to work, though, and it probably wouldn't be my first choice of school to work in.
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parmezanne
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#16
(Original post by lhh2003)
Ever heard of the poverty cycle ?
yea I have, I've done sociology. It's not evil for parents to choose to invest their money in their child's education though. Understandably, this is not a choice for many people which makes it seem 'unfair' - but if they earned the money rightfully and worked hard, shouldn't they be allowed to spend it how they like? Obviously within reason.
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Greywolf.
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#17
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#17
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
By teaching in a private school, you're perpetuating a system of inequality, so there's that.
Inequality within teaching is a part of life, if you go to private school you get better teaching, there’s nothing wrong with going to a private school
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04MR17
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#18
It's at this point that I remind everyone that we're in the Teacher Training forum, and this question is about the difference in being a teacher in Private and State-maintained schools.

If you would like to debate the morals and politics of private education, feel free to do so in the educational debate forum instead.


:ta:
Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
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SarcAndSpark
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#19
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(Original post by yzanne)
But if a parent rightfully earned their money and wants to give their child the best chances possible at success, why can't they?
I'm not saying they can't- I'm just saying it perpetuates the cycle of inequality, and I, personally, wouldn't want to be part of that.

Choosing to work in a private school has a moral component. I'm not saying people shouldn't, I'm not saying private schools shouldn't exist, I just think it's worth thinking about whether you want to be part of that system.

Presumably, you respect the freedom of choice of teachers in the same way as you respect the freedom of choice of parents?
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parmezanne
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#20
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#20
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Presumably, you respect the freedom of choice of teachers in the same way as you respect the freedom of choice of parents?
Of course.
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