I needed to get out of the lonely lab and into the classroom

In an article in the Guardian, 17/03/13, Cheadle Hulme School's Biology teacher Jonathan Hedwat talks about the impact teaching in an independent school has had on his teaching career.

It's very different working in an independent school, and don't forget I went to a state school myself so it's not my background. The thing I noticed first was that all the students want to learn and want to be successful. That is quite refreshing compared to a state school where a significant number of students are disengaged and you spend a lot of your time winning them over.

But really the biggest change is lack of Ofsted. After seven years in the state sector I became very weary of the cloud that hung over state schools. I worked with amazing colleagues in wonderful schools but it felt like everything we did, every initiative we undertook was to appease Ofsted. We worked in fear of Ofsted, and I was fed up of it.

It feels so different here. Independent schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. I've had no experience of them yet and I rarely hear them mentioned. We don't base our teaching on forthcoming inspections. All the initiatives we put in place here are for the benefit of our students, not to appease Ofsted.

The way I teach isn't different, my teaching style hasn't changed. There are more students to stretch and challenge but there are still students who struggle with the subject, for whatever reason, and you get the satisfaction of turning them around, but the real difference is the politics.

I'm happier in my career now than I have been at any other point and I have no desire to move any time soon. This is a vibrant place to work.

Click here to read the article © Guardian.