Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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St Edmund’s grabs best summer job spot

But other boarding schools hit the bottom…

St Edmund’s College, Hertfordshire, has taken the top spot as our Summer School Job of the Year, with an offer to residential teaching staff starting at £720 a week for CELTA teachers and the induction period paid pro rata.

‘We are delighted and very touched to have received this wonderful accolade,’ said Martin Mostyn, St Edmund’s Headmaster. It was ‘a tribute to the teamwork and commitment of our exceptional staff.’

As well as the salary, the Gazette was struck by St Edmund’s comprehensive breakdown of all work-related activities and duties including meetings, briefings, on-duty activities and marking; all these count as working time for residential staff under National Minimum Wage (NMW) law but are routinely ignored by most summer schools. All Induction days, which must be paid at no less than NMW by law, are paid pro rata of salary.

Full-time teachers at St Edmunds teach 22 hours a week and are paid for 11 hours planning and preparation time. There is one excursion a week but no residential duties are required.

Three boarding schools currently dominate the best summer school jobs table: St Edmunds, Whitgift School and Bede’s, all offering weekly wages of £700 or above. Another Boarding School-owned provider, Fettes Centre for Language and Culture, which operates a five day week for teachers, shares our award for simple, comprehensive job descriptions which cover everything including class beaks. It would be on our list of best summer school jobs to apply for: except all its teaching posts for 2024 were filled by the beginning of February!

Teachers should be warned, however, that not all boarding school-run summer schools are so generous or offer such clear terms and conditions. At least three other boarding schools are offering £700 a week but cite only teaching hours in the job descriptions plus a long list of activities, excursions and duties for which no time appears to be counted.

This summer, £700 net of holiday pay for a six day week will only get you 61 hours of on duty time at the National Minimum Wage rate for anyone over the age 20. You can add in six more hours for residential staff as an offset against the cost of their accommodation, as long as you haven’t deducted any money for it. However, if they are required to be on-site and on-call, you have to pay them for all activities and duties specified in their contract, including lesson planning and marking.

Other boarding schools are at the bottom of the pack for pay. One is offering less than £350 a week, albeit for five and a half days with no excursions or airport runs. Others cite “competitive” pay rates. But which end of the market are they really competing with?

Can St Edmund’s be ousted from top of the summer job spot? We will keep our eyes peeled and our pens ready!

Image courtesy of Japheth Mast
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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