Private Schools Explained
Compared to state schools, private schools are not funded by the school’s local authority. In the UK, private school funding comes from tuition fees paid by parents and donors, rather than state schools, which receive subsidies that are distributed from the government. Private schools are any schools that are not financed by the state, including:
- Independent schools – the terms ‘independent’ and ‘private’ are often used interchangeably. Independent schools are overseen by a board of trustees or governors, while private schools do not necessarily have a governing body.
- Public schools – this type of school traditionally refers to 7 private boarding schools that were granted independence from the Crown (including Eton College and Westminster School). These days, the term ‘public school’ generally refers to any fee-charging private school for students aged 13 to 18, with most public schools accepting day pupils as well.
- Prep schools – this school is a fee-charging independent primary school that caters for children up to the age of 13. They prepare pupils for entry into private secondary schools via Common Entrance examinations taken in Year 8.
- Pre-prep schools – these schools take children up to age 7
There are various private schools catering for all age groups, and the fees vary across the country. There is much to gain from teaching in private schools in the UK. Let’s take a look at how they might benefit you in your search for a new teaching job.
Why Teach in a Private School?
Becoming a teacher in a private school gives you a huge amount of experience of working in diverse school environments, with different traditions and ethos’. Private school jobs are more varied as it pertains to several factors:
- Class sizes – private school class sizes tend to be smaller than in most state schools. This is a preferred option for many fee-paying parents as they often like the idea of teachers spending more individual time with pupils to assist their learning and development. This is also great for teachers, who can obtain a higher level of control with smaller class sizes.
- Extra-curricular – if you can demonstrate effective skills and abilities within one or more school extra-curricular activities, it may help with any job application. Offering something beyond the teaching curriculum might be preferable to some schools who value this facet as much as (or more than) the classroom work. That’s not to say this is a must-have, as no hire will be made based on this factor alone. For many it’s the appeal of what’s beyond the classroom that makes teaching in private schools a popular career choice.
- Working hours and pay – there are no fixed pay scales within the private sector, and private school teachers can expect this to vary between schools. In some cases, pay from private schools might be lower than public schools on average. However, there are other benefits to consider, such as housing allowance or reduced fees for teachers’ children or even subsidised accommodation if you are working in a public school. When comparing the pay and working hours in both private and state schools in the UK, you should not expect too much of a disparity.
- Curriculum – private schools do not have to follow the UK national curriculum. While they have this freedom and added flexibility with teaching, these schools are still inspected regularly by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) to ensure standards are being kept as it pertains to the curriculum.
Benefits of Working in a Private School
Working in private schools is in high demand across the country for multiple reasons. Here are some of them:
- You have a good opportunity to progress in teaching specialist subjects to a high level.
- Often, there is a culture of valuing and respecting teachers within a private school.
- Smaller class sizes allow you to give more attention to individual pupils.
- Many private and prep schools have a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
- Many private and independent schools offer an enhanced level of pastoral care.
- You have more flexibility and freedom within your role, and the school as a whole.
- There is a strong commitment to continued professional development throughout your teaching career.
Private School Teaching Jobs
We recruit teachers who are wanting to work in the private sector across the Home Counties. Our team is comprised of highly experienced education recruitment specialists who are committed to find the perfect private school teaching opportunity for every candidate who registers with us.
Always Flourishing are proud to support a huge range of private schools in Berkshire and extending to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Hampshire.
We don’t just work with candidates looking for jobs in private education. We work with schools in the following sectors:
We aim to offer you anything from supply teaching positions to permanent and leadership roles. Upon securing a role with us, we will provide you with a dedicated consultant to support you every step of the way.
If you currently work in a private school, and are looking to fill a vacancy with a reliable and capable candidate, please visit this page. All of our consultants are committed to recommend candidates at all levels of the teaching profession, from supply teaching assistants all the way up to head teachers.