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Cleaning the ovens- who's job is it?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by doodle_dt, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Hi, I'm just looking for some opinions from Food teachers (I'm not one!) My Food teacher is leaving and the new teacher who is taking over is not happy with the state of the ovens (FILTHY apparently!)
    The current Food teacher is adament it's not her job, or a job the students should do.

    The general cleaner is adament it's not a job she should do- she has to do 17 rooms in 4 hours or something.

    The technician (who does RM really) doesn't think it's a job he should do.

    So the mystery I want to solve is...who's job is it?!

    Any suggestions welcome (I can't afford to pay hundreds of pounds to an outside agency!

    Thanks :)
  2. In my current school it is the food tech technician's job. In other schools where we did not have a tech (years ago when staff did all sorts of things that are not a regular teache's job) it was contracted out to one of the many companies who clean ovens.
    Do you any of your other teachers do heavy cleaning of machinery and equipment like this?

    A food room should ALSO actually have a specialist cleaner who follows the hygiene regs for food prep rooms- to ensure sanitising and bin and floor cleaning for instance is done effectively. Seek advice from DATA if you are not sure.
    Pupils should NEVER clean ovens- you have to use caustic sprays etc.

    BTW I have been teaching food for over 25 years in 8 schoolsand I have never been asked to clean an oven!

  3. Thanks :) I wasn't suggesting the teacher does it (though I do think students should make an effort to clean after themselves where possible, obviously with hot ovens it's a bit difficult!) I was just wondering what other schools do! Thanks!
  4. I have a term time technician (8.45am to 4pm). Part of her job is to clean cooker, fridges, sinks etc with the appropriate cleaning materials in both the food rooms.
    However students do wash down cooker, fridges & sinks etc with hot soapy water - it is built into their last lessons on rotation. And if they have used hobs that lesson - they wash/wipe them down
    We place tin foil onto the base of all the ovens & change this regularly - it collects most of the spillages
    It also helps that most of our practical lessons are 2 hours. At my previous school, lessons were an hour so students did very little.
  5. Maintainance of equipment is a technicians job. That goes for all specialist equipment used in all areas. If your laptop is on the blink you have an IT technician to fix it, if the water is off the caretaker fixes it, if your ovens are filthy, the technician cleans them. Saying that, I do clean the hobs regularly to keep on top of them, I like a clean room :)
  6. <font face="Calibri">It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to ensure the students are safe. If the cookers are dirty they are un-hygienic and not safe. If the classroom teacher decides to devolve responsibility to the technician they are still responsible, so says the law. I think your current member of staff is negligent to allow the cookers to be filthy. In our school we have &ldquo;clean up week&rdquo; everything gets scrubbed to within an inch of its life, if it doesn&rsquo;t move bleach it!</font>
  7. Thanks....isn't bleach illegal in schools 'Bodge-It'? Our Food teacher has also informed me that we can only use restricted cleaning products that don't contain bleach etc?
  8. <font size="3">Illegal? Your LEA may have banned it? It does fall under COSHH regs but so does almost every chemical. There are safer alternatives but your risk assessment will help you judge. Get your head to switch to an Academy, no LEA control, as much bleach as you like and you can hire your own legal team when you get sued, exiting times.</font>
  9. As a food teacher i/c two food rooms I have a weekly jobs chart on the office wall so that each job is signed and dated as it is completed. Eg. sanitise aprons, check/clean ovens and grills/pull out ovens and clean sides. This works well from my point of view as my expectations are clear and my food technician likes it because it allows her to have a clear plan of attack and as long as she gets the jobs done I dont constantly have to tell her what the next job is! I can also be really positive about all of the hard work that she is doing which is important.
    I also work closely with my cleaner and have a chart of daily, weekly, fortnightly and half termly jobs that need doing in the rooms. I like the rooms to be clean and poor cleaning in food rooms really shows.
  10. Hope you don't mind me asking, but would you be kind enough to send me copies of your daily, weekly and half termly jobs list as decribed above? I put a request out a couple of weeks ago for just this thing!
    Thanks in anticipation.
  11. I was recently told that the teacher is responsible for making sure the equipment they allow their students to use is safe. Seems fair to me. However, when do we have time to do this? Our job descriptions are no different to teachers of other subjects who don't deal with specialist equipment, we are not timetabled with extra periods in the day to check equipment and we're certainly not paid anymore. So when do we find the time?
  12. jlishman2158

    jlishman2158 New commenter

    In my school I do the cookers, I go in during the holidays and spend 2 days cleaning. It isn't actually on anyones job description so if i want them clean I have to do it. Always have and I've taught for over 30 years.
    I would love to get in a firm but its the cost that puts me off. Really the cookers need cleaning every week and then a complete clean in the holidays.
    So much cleaning falls to the teacher - I always wonder if trainees know this!
  13. Hi,
    I,m new to this too. My last technician hardly did anything. I would appreciate the job rota to help set up a routine with my new technician. Thanks in advance.

  14. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    A new cleaner left the rota of what she was supposed to clean and how often in my room. It was surprisingly long, and had been ignored by the previous cleaner. Perhaps the cleaner' job description includes the ovens.
  15. If you do your technicians job, they won't complain, but you'll be the worn out one.
  16. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Cleaning a food room really depends on the teacher and the school. If you have a technician and you have it as part of the job description: fine. It may also depend on the building you are in. Cleaning used to be an end of term ritual for all food teachers and I bet still is is for many. In 'new builds' you may be restricted with the type of cleaning materials you can use, however, we have agreed that we can use all the cleaning fluids that we brought with us from the old school. 'Cleaning' as part of the curriculum seems to be frowned upon by SMT but if taught correctly, with explanations about the different types of cleaning materials, how to use them, not to mix them - it can be an extremely informative lesson. We still have pupils cleaning at the end of term but the cookers belong to the firm that built the school, so we can book a 'deep clean' over the Summer. It has always been the responsibility of the teachers using the room and the equipment. What has usually happened at your school? Even though we have a food room cleaner (no technician) it is still the responsibility of the class room teacher to oversee the cleanliness of the room, by students, any other teaching staff (using the room) and cleaner. As to what exactly the technician/ food room cleaners do - depends on how many rooms and their job descriptions. It is not possible to use corrosive cleaners with students in the room but cleaning oven shelves with scourers and Cif (rubber gloves if necessary) is possible. I applaud any food staff that say that they are not cleaners but equally you cannot leave the room in such a mess that others take hours to clean up after you. I too spend my own time cleaning so that my room is in a fit condition to teach in and sets an example. The food room cleaner has her list of jobs but it doesn't cover all eventualities. How long would it take a technician to clean 22 ovens/ grills and 6 refrigerators and defrost 3 'freezers? Do they work over the holidays? We had to enlist the help of students or the cleaning jobs would not have been done. And in the hot weather we used to buy ice-pops and students were given one as a thank you/ well done... if a class in lower school has two lessons, why can' one be an evaluation/ quiz and the other cleaning? I think this all depends on the teacher/ inherited organisation and whether you are a new build etc. Good Luck, this sounds like a tricky one!
  17. We had the fire department in to teach our pupils about the dangers of chip pan fires. They told us that food left around the hob can lead to fires as its fuel left around the hob. As a result, we always clean our hobs. They're too hot for pupils to clean.
  18. As an ex food teacher and from the D&T Association, we get asked this question a lot, and there are some interesting parallels
    1. Compare the food teacher to other teaching staff - is the PE teacher asked to clean the showers and the changing rooms? Is the IT teacher asked to clean all the keyboards and screens? Does the headteacher clean their own office and dust their desk?
    2. Is this a good use of a teacher's time/pay - it is usually much cheaper to add this to the cleaning contract for the school.
    3. Risks assessments for hygiene are important - OFSTED look at them as part of safeguarding children. A good cleaning policy should be in place (similar to the school kitchens) to protect children, and also so that the teacher is not personally liabale if the room and its equipment are not mainatained.
    The usual solution is that it is NOT the teachers job to clean rooms, although they supervise the tidying and do some cleaning. Deep cleaning (end of day, teatowels, cupboards, floors, cookers) are nearly always added to the cleaners contract or the technicians contract.
    If you have any further queries, please get in touch with the H&S team at our office info@data.org.uk

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