It is a very difficult issue and one that I am trying to resolve for myself at the moment. I have been teaching 23 years and know all of the tricks of my trade as you can imagine to help my dept run smoothly, and like being busy so don't tend to sit down much during the day. Making a school fair in all respects is virtually impossible, but I think that from my point of view my HT does not realise the constraints of my working day. The support that I am offered is very different from that of the science teachers. Their technicians bring all of their experiments to their rooms, take them away again etc. I have asked our science staff if they regularly stand in the prep room cleaning test tubes etc break, lunchtime and after school and the answers is no. Would the science teachers carry out experiments with no technicians present within the dept....no! Is it the status of the subject historically ? House craft, home craft, domestic science, home-economics, food technology? Why are my working condiitons well below other member of staff who teach practical subjects? I teach four KS4 Catering groups. I have moved from delivering Food-tech to catering four years ago and I'm so pleased that I did. The SLT, HT, students, parents and wider community are too. I cook a lot more recipes, and the level of skill is higher.The use on the room and equipment is more. The results achieved are among the highest in the school. I only have a technician for 2.5hrs a day. As the school day is longer than this, when she is not here, I am the teacher and the technician and I don't feel that this is acceptable. I find it very hard to access breaks. One catering session finishes with a slight overrun, and then I'm straight into the other. With no technician I am unable to join the other in my dept with their morning coffee! It is tiring too. There is inequality within my own dept. I have 12 hrs pers week, which may well be reduced next year, while the resistant materials have a full time technician. My HOD said that I could have his technician for one morning a week as he admitted that there was a large imbalance, but after one morning workong in my room, the technician refused to enter my food room. This issue was never resolved. Some of my catering lessons are in the afternoon, and as my school is rural and the students are mainly bused in there is a real time pressure. The cleaners at my school only want to clean in my room and not do anything that is technician related, event though on a light night there may well be time in my 2hr cleaning slot for the rooms. Flexibility and a positive solution based approach is needed. We employ our own cleaners so this should be achievable. Too often I am late getting out for my morning duty, I struggle to make lunchtime meetings etc. Getting a loo break seems a real challenge in itself sometimes too! For me the issues are two fold. I don't have enough technician time and I therefore struggle to access breaks and use my free lessons effectively. I will have more whole school responsibilities from September and I'm struggling to think how I will find the time during the school day to communicate with the other staff that I need to liaise with. The level of technician support varies so much. I have come across schools where there is someone there all day, to depts where there is nobody. I don't feel that I should be made to feel grateful that I have 2-5hrs a day. I did the 3 star award this afternoon and the students made some wonderful food. I tasted everything which the students always enjoy. With the TA away the result was that the room required 45mins of my time before the cleaners came as I have no technician on a Friday and there is uproar if the cleaners do any technician work, so washing machine put on, two students washing up needed finishing, fridges on a Friday night to check/throw etc, washing up bottles sorted,remained of equipment put back in its home! Do you think that the science staff were doing the same in the science prep room? I have been advised to cook less often and cook much easier recipes for the catering groups, but I have able groups and achieve 95+% A*-C so don't want to achieving outstanding results. Rant over, now for a glass of wine!