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Is it time to say goodbye to the secondary school staffroom?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The secondary school staffroom looks set to become a redundant room because teachers rarely use it, according to a new survey of teachers.

    It seems that teachers tend to use the room to have their lunch rather than to socialise with other colleagues or share information.

    https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/has-final-bell-rung-secondary-school-staffroom

    Is this a sign of the times? Do you have time to use your school staffroom? Would you miss your staffroom if your school decided to utilize the room for something else?
     
  2. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Been in one school that had eliminated the staffroom with all ancillary areas open plan only individual offices kept.
    Ghastly. Teachers do need to have somewhere to escape public scrutiny every once in a while and do some work quietly.
    Most staffrooms I have been in, have been well used and barely big enough.
     
  3. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    All the new builds I've seen have titchy staffrooms. Because they're so spread out, satellite departments tend to grab a coffee and a sandwich in the 30-40 min lunch break and don't have time to traipse halfway across the campus. The Science lot stay in the prep room, the SEN lot stay in the SEN base, the Tech lot stay in the Food room.
    When I started teaching, and indeed right through to the early years of this millennium, break was too short to move far but lunch was one hour, and unless you were running a club, you were in the staffroom. Ours had a dartboard and a smokers' area. Something for everyone rather than divide and rule.
     
  4. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    If you don't provide the space for teachers to get together and relax or discuss things, you stop them sharing information, such as the latest stupid directive that the DH has come up with, or that the HT is gunning for a particular member of staff and how can we provide support for said member of staff, or that the goth IT teacher was heard swearing at her class. Teachers left in ignorance of the wider picture are easier to control.
     
    Compassman likes this.
  5. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The staffroom seems to be mainly a place where support staff can congregate these days, particularly so when as xena says, the lunch break is short and departments stay in their own base. My SEN department was open to some students at lunchtime, so we had to be there.

    It's become a bit of a badge of honour not to go into the staffroom- shows you're always working, but I think down time is definitely needed.
     
    lanokia likes this.
  6. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    The primary staff room is also under pressure....many teaching staff in Primary eat food in classrooms.Often the only folk in there are TA's
     
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I don't think many people see it as a 'badge of honour' to never go in the staffroom. On of Mrs P's gripes is that in the last half term she's not been in her staff room. Most schools I know seem frantic places.
     
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    How very very true.

    In my last school that is exactly what happened. Lots of departmental staffrooms but only a very small main staff room.

    A definite divide and rule situation for SLT.
     
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    More now than ever, schools need staff rooms for all the reasons mentioned above.

    I've always enjoyed going to the staffroom and went most breaks as well as every lunchtime (it wasn't far away and in the same building). You get to meet and talk to people from all over the school and most importantly for me, get away from the kids and think about something different for a little while.

    I've met those teachers who think it something admirable to not go to the staffroom, usually said in terms of "I don't go to the staffroom...." followed by a pause for effect and accompanying shaking of the head while dying to be asked "Oh, why's that then?" I took it as a sign of someone to avoid.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and drek like this.
  10. maurice-r

    maurice-r Established commenter

    A sad sign of the times, but managements will love an overworked and divided workforce. I'm glad I'm out of it.
     
  11. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    My school has reversed this trend, unusually.

    When I first worked there (as agency supply, 3.5 years ago) the staffroom was a horrible poky little place which no-one used other than a few cleaners and TAs. At breaktime, we made ourselves a cup of tea in the department office and at lunch everyone just worked in their classrooms.

    When I went back for an interview I couldn't believe the difference - the staffroom has moved to a lovely spacious room in the middle of the school, and is packed with staff every break time because one of the kitchen staff serves us free tea and coffee (there are also cakes and sandwiches for sale, and bacon/sausage cobs on a Friday). It's a small gesture but has definitely made a difference to the mood of the school.

    There still aren't that many people in there at lunch as people prefer to stay in their departments and get some work done, but the move to staff having a genuine break and a chat each day is definitely a positive.
     
    monicabilongame and drek like this.
  12. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    I hope everyone declares this "payment in kind" on their tax returns.:rolleyes:

    It's certainly nice going into a school like that rather than rushing around trying to find a not too grungy kettle with a bit of hot water in it.:eek:
     
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    try finding a cup as they all vanish........or better stil any tea/coffee/milk as you have to take your own......and dare you use some else's stuff......
     
  14. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I don't understand this. In all the secondary schools I worked in, the staffroom was essential in running the school. In one school which was on the verge of special measures we had regular morning staff meetings which benefited the running of the school tremendously and I think instrumental in the school improvement. There were also work stations with PCs for marking and admin, though these were inadequate for the staff numbers.
     
  15. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Class teachers with no leadership time would have taught one hundred students before lunch and need the Time and Space to recoup before tackling the next 2 or 3 groups. Lunch is a break but with so many new lead staff anxious to prove themselves, and a continuous disruptive flow of demands through line managers, (the latest being 'extra' marking and feedback evidence), encroaching on home time, it has become a luxury rather than a right!
     
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Exactly correct! I learnt so much from fellow colleagues in 'staffroom downtime'.

    I think it's even more important these days to take opportunity to recharge one's batteries.
     

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