Committed teaching and non-teaching staff are the chief asset in guaranteeing the quality of education that Eton provides. The physical environment in which they operate is important too, both in attracting and retaining them and in making it possible for boys to be taught in pleasant and well-equipped spaces. We have a well-planned development programme which ensures that buildings are periodically modernized, and new ones provided where necessary. Within the buildings themselves, the provision of the right equipment and the appropriate use of computer-technology are seen as high priorities. The clear objectives are to allow us at all times to deploy best practice in our teaching and to provide for appropriate out-of-school use by boys.
Achievement is encouraged and recognized by an extensive set of academic prizes, and travel grants are available to boys with convincing plans for trips abroad during the holidays or on leaving Eton. This achievement is often stimulated by the many distinguished speakers who come to Eton to talk, usually in the evenings, to a range of societies which have explicitly academic roots. It is helped too by the various expeditions into the wider world which are organized during the half and the holidays — some of these have entirely academic aims and may indeed be part of the syllabus requirements of particular subjects, some are intended to foster other skills and enthusiasms.
There are approximately 160 full-time teaching staff (masters) at Eton, giving a pupil-teacher ratio of just under 8:1. About 20 part-time teachers bring particular expertise to bear in several subject areas, and over 70 musicians come to Eton specifically to give music lessons. There are qualified staff in our Learning Centre who help those few Etonians with diagnosed learning difficulties, and many others — librarians, computing experts, technicians, maintenance staff, etc — who provide the support essential to any successful schemes of teaching and learning.