BT.com reports that there is a growing “sense of entitlement” among mothers and fathers who are paying for their child to go to a fee-paying school, according to Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU).
She argued that teachers in independent schools are working “insane” hours, with rising fees being pumped into buildings and facilities rather than wages.
Among the issues due to be debated is a resolution on workload and mental health among independent school workers which argues that there is evidence of a “growing expectation that teachers are having to respond to emails and text messages from parents, governors and children after the working day has ended and at weekends”.
It adds: “Not only is this causing a challenge to their work-life balance but is also increasing anxiety levels in teachers’ lives.”
Dr Bousted said that private school teachers often do not have the same pressures as their colleagues in the state sector, such as children turning up for lessons cold and hungry.
She added: “What teachers in the independent sector often tell me is that, ‘no we don’t have that, but what we do have is a sense of entitlement amongst parents’ and the entitlement is this: ‘we’re paying all this money for our children to be educated, therefore we expect you to get them through their exams with very good grades and to a top university’.”
Figures from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) show that as of January last year, average school fees, including boarding and day schools, stood at £5,562 per term, and this was up 3.5% compared to 2016.
This covers 1,259 junior and senior schools as well as sixth forms.
Dr Bousted argued: “I think that even though it’s more expensive than ever before to get an education in an independent school, a lot of the resources goes to buildings and it doesn’t go to the actual staff in independent schools, it doesn’t go to teachers and support staff.”
Have you found this to be the case? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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