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Lab Technicians

Discussion in 'Science' started by richev, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. richev

    richev New commenter

    We have two technicians for 220 students in each year 7-11 and over 70 6th formers. They have just been given at risk notices of redundancy would like some advice, how many technicians are there in other schools? are any other schools in the same situation?
  2. richev

    richev New commenter

    We have two technicians for 220 students in each year 7-11 and over 70 6th formers. They have just been given at risk notices of redundancy would like some advice, how many technicians are there in other schools? are any other schools in the same situation?
  3. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    We have 5 technicians and 160 in each year, plus 180 sixth formers. I would be whipping up the parents and kids by cancelling practicals and increasing the amount of copying from the board because no one is there to sort out books.. How can you cope?
  4. Thejumpingjew

    Thejumpingjew New commenter

    We have 4 technicians on a split sit school - One for year 7-9 - thats 600 pupils and three at upper for 400 year 10-11 and sixth form - thats 4 sixth form courses + IB

    We need to reallocate rather than make them redundant as the three at upper do not really have enough to do.
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    We are a 11 -16 school with 750 on roll. 2 techs, I full time and one who works term time only on about an 80% week.
  6. Is it that all support staff have got notices and in reality they will be ok?
  7. I think that against what we have richev, you have a raw deal already. Our school is a similar size (180 in all years, incl both years of 6th form) and we have 2 FT and one PT 25 hrs (all TTO). We know that if one of us were to leave then they would not be fully replaced, but no indication of redundancy.
  8. TecHKnow

    TecHKnow New commenter

    Dont get the wrong idea here richev, how is knowing "how many technicians are ther in other schools" going to help you or the two poor technicians who may be made redundant?
    Your school, maybe as part of the consultation process, could do better at focusing on redesigning their job to maximise their skills or time. A less satisfactory solution, though one that is better than nothing, would be to make the two poor technicians agree to go term time or part time for a specified period of time.
    However, to answer your post I am one of three full-time technicians who work right across the 11-18 age range. Each of us specialises in one of the three sciences, particularly at AS/A2 level. Without listing all of the job tasks that we do, we carry out a quite range of job.
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    This is a tactic often used in industry. The future is uncertain and they probabaly will need to get rid of staff at some stage. However it is too early to think about who and how many. You have to give 90 days notice of redundancy so they give it to everyone (or a large group) then in a few months when the situation is clearer they can get rid of people right away as they will have already had the requisite notice. What Management fails to see though is the effect this has on morale and also the conflicts it can raise between staff members. Once, when working in the aircarft industry we had this hanging over us for 2 years! At regular intervals people would be literally tapped on the shoulder, told to clear their desks and then were escorted from the premises by security men!
  10. My independent school has 5 technicians: 4 Term-time and 1 fulltime, for 3 Science depts, Art and DT in an 11-18 school of 700 pupils.
    I'm sure many other schools are in a similar situation as richev's as budgets are squeezed and Heads decide on priorities. For me there's no getting away from the political reality in Britain where capitalist policies are following the American model, breaking up social entities like the NHS and the education system into smaller units with less power and fewer rights for workers. It would of course be better if we had a standard for tech support, but when they are making firefighters redundant I fear lab techs. will come off worse.
    Technicians don't have the clout to force positive change, but science teachers are in short supply, so they they can threaten to leave if they don't have the tech. support they need.
    This may not improve the lot of technicians, but schools with good tech support may attract the best science teachers, and schools which lose tech support (and science teachers ?) may come to appreciate technicians more... or is this just wishful thinking on the part of a school science technician ?

  11. Very sorry to hear about the situation, but I'm afraid things like this are going to become a lot more common.
    Very little your techies can do apart from hope for the best and keep their union rep buzzing.[​IMG]
    As a department a formal letter to the Head and Governors pointing out the value of their support to the department and the consequences if they were to go. After all, quite a lot of what they do are not teaching tasks and as such the teachers should refuse to do them. This would then have a knock on effect on the amount of practical that could be done, hence poorer quality lessons and declining exam results.
    Teaching unions fought hard to have the Workforce Reform implimented a few years ago, if support staff are axed then who is going to perform the 24 tasks that teachers should never be doing now?
  12. Forgot to add, only me here on a TTO contract, 11-16 school, 500 pupils.
  13. Who made this obtuse decision when science and therfore parctical science is a core subject?
    Oh no, it's the arts trained headteacher's decision or the arts lot in the SMT????
  14. No it's not, it's teachers whose subject is no longer taught and who now teach business studies, (4 gcse equivalents) who just happen to be on SLT, who think any science knowledge on the part of science techs is not necessary as they just wash up and carry test-tubes and beakers from one lab to another.
  15. An independent school here: 3 lab technicians (term time only) for a school with ~90 in each year group (11-18) . It sounds like we have a good deal - but the technicians' pay has been frozen for 3 years & if any ask for a rise, they are told to look elsewhere.. Two have left (& been replaced) in the last 3 years.
  16. Forgot to add - all technicians have degrees in their subject & one has a doctorate from Imperial College. That's the one that has decided to do the experiments when new equipment arrives or when the syllabus changes and can give the teacher 'sample results' before the lesson in case the class messes up & the teacher needs to give out a model answer.
    I am taking her with me if I ever move school.....
  17. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    As a HoD, I feel rather lucky! We have 280 in each year group, from 7 to 11, and a decent 6th form which I know is a big school. I have 4 full time techies, 1 of whom is term time only, and they all do a fantastic job. Only my senior techie is a 'Scientist' (degree level chemist) but we have trained the others in house so that we now have specialists in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science.
    I know that we simply couldn't cope with any less technical support than this - we wouldn't be able to do the level of practical work that we do, or the outreach to primaries.
  18. richev

    richev New commenter

    Thank you for all your replies, they have been told today that we are going to one technician on the lowest pay scale so the senior technician post is going. I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with this situation I have already pointed out that we cannot cope with one technician only
  19. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    That sounds totally unmanageable!!!
    How many Science lessons are there each day in the department? I would put together a strongly worded letter outlining how it would be impossible to resource the lessons with only one techician...and how this would impact on teaching and learning.
    What job cuts are being made elsewhere? Is a ScienceTechnincian really considered less important than other support staff jobs which are staying?
    If the Governors/HT refuse to even consider moving on this, I guess you have two choices...put up with it or consider your options outside the school.
  20. Sounds bad. Can you write to someone to highlight the problem? Being as objective and quantitative as possible, point out the effect of the decision.
    Governors, Head, local press, parents association, your MP, ..... getting colleagues to sign letter.

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