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Does the school own my personal resources?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by anon3884, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. I am leaving my current school at the end of the term and my current (and may I add, very recently appointed HOD) has now demanded several times that I upload all of my resources onto the school's shared drive.

    Don't get me wrong, I have already completed a thorough handover for the new person starting in September and all my data spreadsheets are complete, I have handed over all the SOW for the courses I am teaching, moderated coursework is filed separately for each student, books are marked within an inch of their lives, the lot.

    I have shared resources with colleagues during my time at this school and they have shared theirs with me, however, it doesn't sit right with me that the HOD now demands that every single resource I have ever created should be handed over. When I expressed my opinion, she told me that the school and the teacher jointly own resources and that I have to hand them over, is this correct?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. scienceteacha

    scienceteacha New commenter

    Unfortunately for you, yes, resources you create for the school are 'intellectual property' owned by the school, not you.

    I sense sour grapes about your HOD here - did they get the post over you?

    At the end of the day do you have anything to lose by handing over resources? If you are in the job for the right reasons then think of your wonderful resources benefitting the kids!

    If you are still not happy, just upload some of them and say you've given everything. Chances are they won't know.
  3. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    It's horrible, but I think she is right. There have been discussions on these forums before about this and I think the consensus is that resources produced whilst in the employment of the school belong to the school.

    I am leaving my school too at the end of term and will be leaving electronic copies of all my resources for my soon-to-be-ex-colleagues, but I am taking the ones I have laminated with me, as most of these were done at my own expense. I am not sure if that is strictly speaking correct but I don't think the school will mind - they can always print new stuff out and laminate it if they want.

    By the way, how does your HOD know exactly how many resources you have produced?
  4. Thanks, scienceteacha. No, I didn't go for the HOD job, plus, it was never advertised, not even internally. But yes, the atmosphere in general isn't great in the department.

    You are right, at the end of the day it is the students who benefit from the resources. I am just surprised as when I started at the school, I wasn't given any resources from previous teachers. My then HOD gave me some of hers, but the vast majority I made from scratch.
  5. I feel for you, kittylion! At least we know we're not alone!

    And you are making a very good point about the exact number of resources being unknown. I will bear that in mind.
  6. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    If your HoD is so horrible, let her have a few resources, but put some mistakes in them. Maybe some of them aren't available in an uploadable form.
  7. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Might I ask what the legal definition of "create" is?

    Does this include resources which I created for use at another school and merely re-printed for use at my current post (which I'm shortly leaving, and which contains this silly clause in my contract)?
  8. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    No, it is because anything you create in the course of your employment as a teacher is owned by your employer, irrespective of when and where you do it and on whose equipment it is done.
  9. Just a question.

    If you design/create/develop/produce resources at one school do those then belong to that one school or the education system as a whole?
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    This is fascinating. By extension, then, everyone who DOESN'T make their resources available for the whole department/school is flouting intellectual property laws? I ask because a lead practitioner at my school recently refused to share her resources with me for a new unit we were teaching (I asked nicely to have a copy of a booklet she'd produced - I share plenty myself) and she sniffily said, "Well, we're al supposed to create our own".

    I am leaving my job and I'm afraid I've deleted all of my resources from the shared drive. I will happily share everything I've got with the colleagues who have support me and treated me well, but I will not be leaving behind anything for the general use of the rest of department who, quite frankly, are the reason I'm leaving.

    I'd love to see how they can/would enforce this. Perhaps my USB pen got accidentally broken/wiped?
  11. As far as I know, any company can only claim ownership of IP if it is created within the hours they pay you. If the resources were created outside your contractual hours and on equipment other than their own, they have no legal claim to it. Well, this is the case in Scottish law, you best check what the English law states.
  12. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    The school that employed you at the time.

    For what it's worth, I don't like this any more than you do, and I agree with Eva that sharing resources with people who treat you shabbily or who demand that you give them your resources is adding insult to injury.

    I would argue that resources that you have already uploaded are the school's property but what you have privately are nobody's but your own. As well as the USB being accidentally wiped or broken, it would be something of a tragedy if while uploading resources you pressed shift + delete and lost ones you'd already put there.
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If your new HOD p!sses you off, delete all the resources already on the system, but leave the titles there so it appears that they are present.... And tell them you haven't any others at home! How can they know what you've got?
  14. New HoD: "You must leave copies of all your resources on the shared area." (as I know yours are good and I haven't done any myself).

    Those who are always banging on about it being 'good practice' to share resources are usually the same ones who have nothing to share themselves!
  15. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Jenny, your terminology is about a decade out of date. We don't share good practice; we disseminate it. [​IMG]
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter


    At all three schools I've worked at (less so at the first as the idea of sharing resources electronically was not really common) I've made all of my resources available for anyone to dip into.

    At my second school, we did a fair bit of planning 'together'. When the new specs for GCSE were introduced in 2010, for example we all took on different areas and made some resources/teaching ideas. I still use some of the resources I received from colleagues. I left all uploaded resources behind.

    In my third and current school, though most of the department are very pleasant and do share, there certainly isn't a routine or system for sharing. "Good practice"" was on the agenda for a department meeting once and we all brought something along, but it vanished after that.

    When I arrived in 2011, I immediately copied my entire USB onto the department's network area. I've also built a page for the school's website containing revision resources for year 10 and 11. I asked the rest of the department for their contributions many times, but received nothing. I will be removing my resources from that before I go too. I doubt anyone will notice until I'm gone. It will just seem as though the weblinks are broken. I've deleted my USB from the department network as I'm not prepared to leave behind everything I've ever made. I will share with my friends who I will keep in touch with.

    As I say, I'd love to see the school try and insist I give them copies.
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  18. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I am leaving my post (it was a one-term temporary) and going to another school in September. I am leaving copies of the various booklets, etc that I created, but will re-use next term, depending on what I am teaching (induction next Monday). As I see it, why not?

    In my area (Classics) there are several nationally used teachers' resources websites (you have to contribute something to be able to access and it has been invaluable).

    HOWEVER, if it was the HT or HOD demanding, I would be very annoyed (rather than another colleague in my department or my 'replacement' - for him, I am happy to give copies of as it benefits the students that I have been teaching this term and I have used the materials both for revision and as a taster of next term's topics, so the school and the students are aware that I created them)...

    best wishes
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If your colleagues will benefit from your resources, why do you want to stop them? I have put loads of stuff on our network and would be pleased to know it was being used by my colleagues after I leave. But then, I have used loads of their resources too.
  20. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If somebody knows it is there and cares enough, they could probably get it back from a backup/

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