"An independent school owns you body and soul"

5th January 2007 at 00:00
Rosie Fielder, 45, teaches chemistry at Wellington college, a co-educational boarding school for 13 to 18-year-olds in Crowthorne, Berkshire. Her husband Mike is a physics teacher and head of sixth form there. Both taught at Collingwood college, a comprehensive in Camberley, Surrey. Ten years ago he became a housemaster at Wellington, an appointment which required his wife to take on pastoral duties with the girls. This gave her an intriguing, if exhausting, view into both worlds until she became a housemistress.

Now an average day begins at 7.30am with breakfast duty and ends at 11pm.

"I felt state sector paperwork and bureaucracy, as well as class sizes of 35 or so, were stopping me teaching, and I wanted more flexibility," she says. She feels the most important difference is the extra-curricular life, societies and clubs. "Collingwood had some of that," she says. "Here, you have to be involved."

However, Rosie misses things about her old school. "Though they had many able pupils, it was especially satisfying to help the ones who were struggling.

"Each school has its own challenges and rewards," she says. "An independent school owns your body and soul."

Stephen Manning

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today