Q: I am considering looking for a job in a private secondary school and I'd like to know what the differences are in pay scales, inspections, workload and working hours. For example, do all private schools work on Saturday mornings?
A: Private schools are free to set their own pay and conditions arrangements, although many stick close to national agreements on pay. Some schools do have their own pay scales that reflect the extra duties and responsibilities required of their teachers. Any job you inquire about should contain information about pay and conditions, including whether working on a Saturday is a requirement of the job. If this is missing, ask yourself why they aren't being open about these issues. Also, check on whether there are annual increments, and what the pension arrangements are.
Some private schools allow you to pay into the Teachers' Pension Scheme while others have their own arrangements. The Teachers' Pension Scheme is more generous than many private schemes. All private schools should be subject to inspection.
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