Secondary schools

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Jenbt85
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Secondary schools

Post by Jenbt85 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:15 am

A friend of mine from the UK is a secondary school science teacher who is looking to move out here and teach. Does anyone have some insights they can share on her questions:

Do most people send their children to paid secondary schools? What is the general consensus on education in Australia? What is your view?

As someone who didn't go through the Aussie education system and am dipping my toe into it only at a primary level now, my insights are a bit limited!
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Mummy woo!
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Mummy woo! » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:22 am

I think most public systems are falling over themselves for science teachers. Where we are ('rural' NSW) that is the case.

A friend of mine just moved her british maths teacher husband out here and he found it much easier to get work in the private system because of some accreditation/recognition issue. He is paid very well, but has fewer protections than he would have in the public system (he can just be sacked and he had some trouble with his boss last year which was a worry) and they expect him to coach sports teams and do lots of extra curriculars for no extra pay.
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Bailey's Mum » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:24 am

I was a secondary school teacher for a while.

Schooling is split between public (state system) and private (paid by parents) - I think our terms are the opposite of the UK system. I taught in the public system. My bridesmaid is a private secondary teacher, and spent about 15 years teaching in the UK before coming home and returning to the private system in Australia. She managed to get a job in a school of the same religious denomination as where she taught in the UK, so her long service leave carried over and everything. She's very canny :wink:

Australian teachers are (or were, at least) in very high demand in the UK, because our training and experience are highly valued. One thing that's different, though, is that schooling is state-based in Australia, so each state has its own system. That said, we are moving towards a national curriculum, but at this stage, the official administrative side of schooling varies from state to state - each state's school-leaving certificate is called something different and may have slightly different requirements. This is obviously more unique to secondary teachers - most primary schools are now on national curriculum for key subjects, and most year levels are now on some kind of par on a national level - school starting age has levelled out, where a few years ago, kids in Qld started and finished school much younger than their southern counterparts, for example.

I'd be happy to ask my friend if she'd like to chat with yours by email, if you like. Who knows, they might even already know each other. Kyles was a bit of a legend in the UK, apparently 8)
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Esther » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:44 am

We feel lucky to being living in the catchment area of a highly regarded state school. People travel from all over Brisbane to come to the school and it's bursting at the seams atm, which is a bit of an issue. But from what I've seen after one term, the teaching seems great, the staff appear very supportive of each other. If I have one criticism, it's that the communication with parents isn't always as good. Mind you, I'd struggle to keep in touch with the parents of 2500 students too :shock:

DD1 is in French immersion there (300 applicants, 30 taken) and hasn't struck a bad teacher yet. OK one. The classroom music teacher :roll: Each high school seems to have a particular area of emphasis and generally I don't hear many complaints. Although I hear (and know) that ours is ridiculously strict, especially on matters of uniform. Not all the state schools seem to put such an emphasis on this.

There are quite a few private schools as well in our area. Don't really know much about them. Again, I tend to hear not very many negatives. I believe one parent chose a private Catholic school in the area for her her child with learning issues as she felt that school was able to offer more support than the state school. Guess it just depends.

In a big state like QLD, depending on experience, I think they like teachers to accept postings to regional areas initially. Could be an interesting way to travel!
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Jenbt85
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Jenbt85 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:17 pm

Thank you all so much for your insights, I've passed them on to my friend! Bailey's Mum, thank you for the offer - I'll let you know if my friend would like to take you up on it :)

Esther 2500 students :shock: That's a village! :D

I'm really interested in experiencing another education system through my children.
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by AussieBritLu » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:53 am

I'm the same Jen ;) being schooled in the UK system...it's strange lol.....I'm still getting my head around the holidays and beginning and end of the school year being different lol
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Mummy woo! » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:22 am

AussieBritLu wrote:I'm the same Jen ;) being schooled in the UK system...it's strange lol.....I'm still getting my head around the holidays and beginning and end of the school year being different lol
Ah, but I bet Harry Potter makes much more sense!
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Bailey's Mum » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:25 am

Hahaha. 2500 students IS a pretty big school. I went from teaching in a school of 350 (I knew almost every kid!) to a school of 1500, and that really overwhelmed me. When we lived in ACT, my kids went to a P-10 school which had 1200 students, and they struggled with a school of that size (having come from a Brisbane school of about 400). But my now teen DS2 attends the #2 school to Esther's #1 school in Qld. Last year, they surpassed the "premier" school in enrolments, and were ordered by the Department of Education to downsize, LOL. But the school he goes to has a village atmosphere - everything is divided into small groups, and he is coping better than I ever could have imagined. But having taught in a "large" school half the size of this one, I can't imagine being on staff! Mind-boggling.

Meanwhile, Esther - I attended a work conference at a hotel near that school you mentioned last year. I was dumbfounded to discover there were students living in the apartments in the hotel! About 30 of the units were occupied by seniors at the high school, whose parents owned the units so the kids could have an address in the catchment. Some of the kids lived alone :shock: and were "supervised" by hotel staff (ie, no parties, visitors, etc were allowed), but I got chatting to one parent who said mum and the younger kids live at home in the suburbs, dad and the high schooler live in the apartment during the week and go home on the weekends. Convenient for dad, who works in the city - he reckons he's saving more on owning the apartment than he was spending on his car, fuel, parking, etc to drive to work from the 'burbs. Also gives the kid a taste of independence in a controlled environment on the weekends he chose to stay in the city to go to the library, etc.

Someone I used to know was a teacher at that school - excellent at his subject matter, a brilliant teacher, and had been actively recruited by the school, even before the days of independent public schools (some Qld public schools now have the right to recruit their chosen staff, rather than recruiting from the pool). Then he got poached to the premier private school across the CBD 8)
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Jenbt85 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:01 pm

Mummy woo! wrote:
AussieBritLu wrote:I'm the same Jen ;) being schooled in the UK system...it's strange lol.....I'm still getting my head around the holidays and beginning and end of the school year being different lol
Ah, but I bet Harry Potter makes much more sense!
Harry Potter makes me so homesick! :D
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Jenbt85 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:02 pm

Bailey's Mum wrote:Hahaha. 2500 students IS a pretty big school. I went from teaching in a school of 350 (I knew almost every kid!) to a school of 1500, and that really overwhelmed me. When we lived in ACT, my kids went to a P-10 school which had 1200 students, and they struggled with a school of that size (having come from a Brisbane school of about 400). But my now teen DS2 attends the #2 school to Esther's #1 school in Qld. Last year, they surpassed the "premier" school in enrolments, and were ordered by the Department of Education to downsize, LOL. But the school he goes to has a village atmosphere - everything is divided into small groups, and he is coping better than I ever could have imagined. But having taught in a "large" school half the size of this one, I can't imagine being on staff! Mind-boggling.

Meanwhile, Esther - I attended a work conference at a hotel near that school you mentioned last year. I was dumbfounded to discover there were students living in the apartments in the hotel! About 30 of the units were occupied by seniors at the high school, whose parents owned the units so the kids could have an address in the catchment. Some of the kids lived alone :shock: and were "supervised" by hotel staff (ie, no parties, visitors, etc were allowed), but I got chatting to one parent who said mum and the younger kids live at home in the suburbs, dad and the high schooler live in the apartment during the week and go home on the weekends. Convenient for dad, who works in the city - he reckons he's saving more on owning the apartment than he was spending on his car, fuel, parking, etc to drive to work from the 'burbs. Also gives the kid a taste of independence in a controlled environment on the weekends he chose to stay in the city to go to the library, etc.

Someone I used to know was a teacher at that school - excellent at his subject matter, a brilliant teacher, and had been actively recruited by the school, even before the days of independent public schools (some Qld public schools now have the right to recruit their chosen staff, rather than recruiting from the pool). Then he got poached to the premier private school across the CBD 8)
Wow! The idea of teenagers living alone makes my mind boggles. My friend's parents moved county (UK) and rented a place there in order to get their son into the right catchment for a school.
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by AussieBritLu » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:21 pm

Mummy woo! wrote:
AussieBritLu wrote:I'm the same Jen ;) being schooled in the UK system...it's strange lol.....I'm still getting my head around the holidays and beginning and end of the school year being different lol
Ah, but I bet Harry Potter makes much more sense!

Haha of course! The schooling year was the same ;)
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by AussieBritLu » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Jenbt85 wrote:
Mummy woo! wrote:
AussieBritLu wrote:I'm the same Jen ;) being schooled in the UK system...it's strange lol.....I'm still getting my head around the holidays and beginning and end of the school year being different lol
Ah, but I bet Harry Potter makes much more sense!
Harry Potter makes me so homesick! :D
Same. Plus ads on fb for English chocolate being sent lol
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Esther » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:40 pm

Bailey's Mum wrote:Meanwhile, Esther - I attended a work conference at a hotel near that school you mentioned last year. I was dumbfounded to discover there were students living in the apartments in the hotel! About 30 of the units were occupied by seniors at the high school, whose parents owned the units so the kids could have an address in the catchment. Some of the kids lived alone :shock: and were "supervised" by hotel staff (ie, no parties, visitors, etc were allowed), but I got chatting to one parent who said mum and the younger kids live at home in the suburbs, dad and the high schooler live in the apartment during the week and go home on the weekends. Convenient for dad, who works in the city - he reckons he's saving more on owning the apartment than he was spending on his car, fuel, parking, etc to drive to work from the 'burbs. Also gives the kid a taste of independence in a controlled environment on the weekends he chose to stay in the city to go to the library, etc.
:shock: :shock: :shock: I've heard some odd stuff about people getting into catchment areas, but that takes the cake! I believe the big state high school close to the city is over capacity, because no-one gave serious consideration to the thought that families might move into all the apartments that are being built there :roll: :smt075

And your story BM is as good as the local real estate agent I was chatting to once. The one that raves to prospective buyers about their potential house being in the school catchment area ;-) ....I was told none of the local schools were good enough for their kids. Their eldest goes to boarding school in Ipswich. Once I'd picked my jaw up off the ground, I stammered something about it at least being close enough to come home at weekends. Nope. The kid stays there. Much happier, apparently....We parents do some weird things to our kids!
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Mummy woo! » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:05 pm

Hotel/apartment might be cheaper than private school fees. We would consider something similar for high school if we had to.

One of the private schools here offers weekday only boarding - it is apparently well suited to parents who travel a lot or work shifts (doctors etc). I can't imagine packing my kids off to boarding school. But I read all the Mallory towers books when I was Oobiwoo's age and I dreamt of going myself!
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Re: Secondary schools

Post by Jenbt85 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:53 am

Mummy woo! wrote: But I read all the Mallory towers books when I was Oobiwoo's age and I dreamt of going myself!
Me too. My Dad was in the army and I could have gone to a private boarding school at the military's expense. I was heavily into Mallory Towers and St Clears at the time and begged to go. My Mum cried so much that I ended up backing out before we even looked into it further!
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