–Date: Thursday 11th July 2013
Session Title: Private vs state schools: which sector has more to teach whom? Should there be more collaboration between the two sectors?
[pullquote]Get rid of stereotypes. I’ve worked in both sectors & think there’s great scope for sharing: all the same under surface.” @DrDawnie[/pullquote]
This evening’s chat was focused around collaboration between state and private sector. The chat began by looking at the collaboration which is taking place between private and state sectors @GreenHamstring discussed a recent connection he has made with a local private school, and the beginnings of collaboration between his state school and a local private school. The collaboration looks at cross sector planning, CPD and team teaching. However, this proved to be surprisingly rare, there seemed to be a lot of misinformation and a sense of unease between the two sectors.
The idea of pairing up of schools was discussed as a way to remedy this. Teach meets were cited an ideal way for teachers to collaborate and develop a more open partnership and communication between state and private sectors.
@Jon_Torbitt developed the discussion onto inspection of schools. The way the private sector schools are inspected. The ISI was discussed. This institution consists of serving teachers and head teachers, all aspects of the private school are inspected, with a very different emphasis and focuses to OFSTED. It was interesting to openly reflect on the different ways in which private schools are inspected by the ISI, we all contemplated whether the private sector was more entrenched in their agendas. Could that be something the state sector could learn, are they too focused on OFSTED ? @iehasmall commented though, that the state sector has a different accountability, as private schools are accountable to fee payers, whereas state are accountable to the DfE.
We then moved on teaching staff and professional sports coaches, as well as extracurricular activities and sports facilities. @hrogerson stated that the only unqualified teachers at her private school were the sports coaches, as parents demand high sporting standards. Although it was also stated by @mikallaane that in state schools this was also the case. Extra curricular was the norm, parents in all sectors expected it.
It commented and it was very apparent that there was a surprising lack of fluidity of movement of staff between state and private, and the limitations in terms of mixing the two sectors at all. It did seem that many teachers were entrenched in one sector. However @PhilippaLark, @missyip_maths and @taraatkinson all discussed very positive links they have with local private schools and that staff were open to looking at enhancing this even more.
The discussion moved on to looking at whether the intake of schools affect the outcome, we discussed that fee paying schools can still have pupils of mixed ability. However, classes were smaller. State schools were open to a more variable pupil intake and worked with students with different needs and challenging home environments.
In the last five minutes the morality of dividing the sector up into state and private sector was discussed, it is a good thing? Or should we teach all in schools that are open and available to all? There was a interesting comment that all pupils should go to their community school. Importantly though, it came back to our students: all pupils need to be taught effectively. If we as educators make an effort to collaborate more effectively, it can only enhance the education experiences of all young people, whatever the sector they are taught in.