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Making Copies of Department Resources

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by spectre89, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. spectre89

    spectre89 New commenter


    Lets say a department in a school have a computer "staff area" for saving documents.
    A teacher uploads a lot of their own resources to the shared area for other teachers in the department to use.

    Can the teacher in turn make copies of resources (homeworks, powerpoints, worksheets) which other teachers have made and saved to the shared area and, for example, save the copies to their own external hard drive or cloud storage?

    This would give the teacher access to these resources at home - where they carry out the bulk of their lesson planning.
  2. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Of course - "shared" - why not?
  3. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Unless there is a specific school policy that disallows it. Why the question?
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Not only for use in that school, l always took copies of subject resources to any new school l went to. Share & share about - everyone benefits.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Sounds like a very off department if you have to ask us rather than your colleagues! All resources created as part of your job belong to the school anyway, so it is really up to the school, but I cannot think of a reason why they wouldn't want you to use them to prepare at home. I believe that, if you leave the school, you are not entitled to take them with you (even if you created them yourself), but I think that any reasonable school would not mind.
  6. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Agree with the above. Leaving my last job (one-year fixed term), I left all of the materials for the AS I taught (student got an A, by the way) for them this year, including photocopies of materials I made and/or bought - I even created A2 resources for the same student for this year, even though I was leaving. I asked if I could use some of the GCSE materials that my HOD had created (for my new job) and it wasn't an issue. [am not teaching AS/A2 in new school, but IB]

    Cannot see why if you are within the same school, you couldn't use the shared materials at home, in school or wherever to help with planning.
  7. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    If the teachers made the resources while at the school they belong to the school. The school is unlikely to have a policy to stop the sharing of its resources if they help the staff do their job.

    If you make a copy of the schools resources to do your job at home, why would the school object?

    Any teachers objecting should not have put the resources on the shared drive.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Lots of good answers above.

    Just one more comment.

    When you use some material and find it very useful, make sure that you thank your colleague. Preferably in writing. Just imagine the lpleasure someone will get on opening an email full of praise for their hard work!

    And following from another post above, read this

    Can I take my materials to a new school?

    Best wishes

    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  9. Katierobertson

    Katierobertson New commenter

    I left a department with good resources and had a copy of everything that had been shared. Some of it was mine. I feel resources can and should be shared as one of the reasons teaching is so hard is we are all working individually to achieve the same goal.
    We were always taking other peoples ideas and work, adapting and improving them to meet our students needs or adding to them and sharing again. It is exactly how we are supposed to work but often don't. We shared most work but all had a few things we particularly liked to use which we kept. And that was OK too. Some were obviously better than others!
    For me the secret to it working is everybody being strict about the year level and topic. Nobody wants that amazing activity they created to have been done with last year's rule breaking teacher.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I always shared resources, at least I did when I had time. Other people using them validated them and helped me to feel useful.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  11. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    Freedom of Information.
    I have recently started teaching a new course. The course guidelines do not give sufficient detail, I emailed the man who is in charge of the course and asked for his notes. Initially he agreed, but he did not deliver. So I was stuck not knowing what exactly to teach. I put in a Freedom of Information request. I now have his notes. (He also has mine).
    As I see it we are all government employees, paid for by the taxpayers, so we all own all the resources.
    His notes were 10 years old, so I'd wasted my time, but the FOI system works.
  12. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    That's an interesting approach - but I can see one or two difficulties:

    • Not everyone has their notes totally kept electronically (and my word processed notes were often covered with apparently random jottings which would mean nothing to anyone else, but were to remind me to do/say 'X' or 'Y' at this point.
    • With 'free' schools & academies, are all teachers technically 'government employees'?
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    And it might be handy for them when they come to showing a contribution to the school at pay review time.
  14. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    I specifically asked for electronic notes. A free School is still paid for by the taxpayer. I have in the past made FOIs that involved photocopying of documents. I am in Scotland, but I can not see the English FOI law being that different.
  15. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Fair enough - but as I said not all enotes are electronic (and, as you found out) not all electronic notes are useful.

    I'm still not sure you can actually describe teachers as 'government employees' - their employers are governors, academy chains, the LAs etc., even if the funding comes from the taxpayer.
  16. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    copied from govt web page

    How to make a freedom of information (FOI) request
    The Freedom of Information Act
    • Organisations you can ask for information
    1. How to make an FOI request
    2. If your request is turned down
    2. Organisations you can ask for information

    You can request information from some public sector organisations, eg:

    View the full list of public sector organisations covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    Check FOI responses
    Government departments and other bodies often publish responses to freedom of information requests online. You can search through previous responses.

  17. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Freedom of information?!

    Has it really come to this - <facepalm>
    Dragonlady30, cate_h and Flere-Imsaho like this.
  18. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    It came to this because I asked for help nicely and did not get the help I needed to prepare my pupils for their exam. It is the nuclear option and it took weeks of wondering whether to use it. I am glad I did.
  19. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Just thinking about the FOI question - whilst it might be possible to get a copy of anything held on the school's server, I'm not sure it would work in getting the actual teaching notes of (probably) a former teacher, now working elsewhere or retired. In the former case they might well say 'not my business', in the latter they might (like me) have disposed of them as no longer required!

    As it happens I have supplied previous colleagues with resources I had a few times during my career - I was happy to help if asked nicely. That's all it took!
  20. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Fair enough (ish) @misterroy, it's the fact that people are unwilling to share that amazes me so much.

    When I started teaching and for many years everyone was happy to share everything (mainly) it's just in recent years that the selfish attitude that some teachers have that helping someone in competition (real or imagined) with them might somehow harm themselves that amazes me.

    It's nothing to do with education and the wider picture, just looking after no.1. All driven by the climate of fear, measurement, micro-management and scrutineee! There were some at my previous school who were more concerned that their own position was protected than if the pupils, their department or the whole place suffered.

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