22nd February 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
The life of a boarding school teacher
David James, deputy head (academic) at Bryanston School in Dorset has taught in boarding schools for 20 years and he explains The workload at a boarding school can be punishing, the classes might be smaller and the working day different – but there are still teenagers, league tables and the pressure to get results.
There are no typical working days for an independent boarding school teacher – and it’s different in a day school – but if you are involved in a house, the 40-50 boarders will go to breakfast at around 7.30am and are registered at 8am. Chapel can take place at 8.20am and lessons can start 20 minutes later. If you are a member of staff on duty, you are likely to be involved in each of these events and then go straight into lessons.
There is no protected time in a teaching day, although independent school teachers will on average teach fewer lessons than their state school colleagues – and almost certainly considerably fewer students. Free periods can be taken up meeting tutorial pupils, or running clinics. If your school runs a winter timetable then, on certain days – to accommodate two or three afternoons of sport – you will be expected to supervise activities or coach a team, before going back into lessons at around 4.30pm – until 6.30pm, when supper starts. Again, if you are on duty, you will be expected to supervise the students eating and clearing up. In most boarding schools, "prep" starts around 7.15pm and runs for two hours. At this time students complete work set during the day. This is supervised by a member of staff.
Typically, a teacher will do one evening duty a week and is likely to finish between 9.30pm and 10pm, when the housemistress or housemaster takes over. Oh, and there are also Saturday lessons, which go on up until lunchtime – after which comes more sport, with some teachers having to take sports teams to away fixtures. Many colleagues don’t return on a Saturday until late into the evening. Like most teachers, Sunday is a day for marking and planning, unless you are on duty, when you have to supervise the school, or run activities and detentions.
House of Commons Science and Technology Committee announces plans for an inquiry into social media and young people's mental health
Schools are being asked to contribute to an inquiry by MPs into the impact of social media and screen-use on young people's health and wellbeing.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, has today announced it plans to hold the inquiry and is seeking written evidence.
Mr Lamb said: "Social media and smartphones are increasingly being used by children and young people. It is vital that we understand the impact this is having on them – the benefits as well as the risks.
"We want to determine the scale of the issues – separating out the understandable concerns from the hard evidence – and to identify what practical measures people are already taking to boost the benefits and blunt the potential harms.
"We want to hear from schools and young people, as well as from the industry and government."
As part of the inquiry, the committee seeks written evidence from children, schools and youth organisations on the effect social media can have on young people, as well as what measures, controls and regulation are needed.
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