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Personal belongings

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Orchid2457, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Good afternoon,
    This is a question which I very much doubt many posters will have had direct experience of but...
    The short version is: I left a school near the beginning of the year. Tessers have been very supportive of my plight etc.

    I never returned to collect my belongings and items that I bought for the class but now feel strong enough to go and collect my things as I’ve had closure, so far my request to go in and get what’s mine has been ignored.

    Any advice? X
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    How did you make the request? Emails and letters can so easily be ignored.

    1 Call and speak to someone.
    2 Pop in.

    Be prepared for someone to say that it would be rather awkward for all concerned if you were to go in and would you kindly supply a list. They'll pack up your things and send them to you. I don't say that this WILL happen. But it MIGHT. Just be prepared. And don't be upset if they suggest this.

    But let's hope they'll speak to you over the 'phone and just let you find a quiet time to collect your things.
    Bentley89, phlogiston, IanG and 3 others like this.
  3. BehaviourQueen

    BehaviourQueen New commenter

    Do you not have any friends/colleagues who could do this for you? That’s what I did.

    Hope you get your things soon.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and Orchid2457 like this.
  4. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Don't ask. Tell them you are coming to collect the stuff.
    It's your stuff, after all.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'd go in just after school (or on an INSET day if you know the dates), if they haven't replied to you (you can always email: 'I'll pop in at 4pm on ..... unless I hear from you...')
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Of course you must claim your property, have a list prepared, if you opt for turning up with a few bags ready to collect, I suggest you chose a day or time of day when you know there won't be pupils about, this will prevent them from using safeguarding or any other pupil related issues to refuse you access.
  7. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Thanks for the speedy and useful replies. I just hope that future headteachers, having been the ones to witness/endure such behaviour whilst teaching themselves, start to treat staff with dignity and respect as they progress through their careers.
    1970devon and hfromh like this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'm going to be a bit less positive and hopeful that the other posters, sorry.

    You left the school at Christmas, that's four months ago. An entire term has passed. The chance of them allowing an ex-employee, who left on less than perfect terms, on to the site to rummage around is tiny. If you just turn up, they are likely to accuse you of being an intruder on a school site and call the police to have you removed.

    I assume you have no proof that the belongings you want are 'yours'? Nor any proof that they were ever in school? Without these the school is likely to accuse you of stealing, should you attempt to take the items, and call the police.

    What was your classroom is now someone else's. They will likely have gone in over the Christmas holidays, or soon into the start of term, and made the room their own. Anything that is obviously yours, such as a planner or named books, might have been boxed up and put somewhere, but everything else will have been utilised or discarded. Resources could well be in other classrooms or put away in various cupboards. There is little chance that after such a time you will be able to locate all your things. You may know where you left them, but they are highly unlikely to still be there.

    While I understand waiting until you felt brave enough, I fear you may have to put this down to a horrid experience and move on without your things.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It partly depends on what items you left, how obvious it is that they were yours, whether they're likely to still be where you left them, etc.

    I'd be inclined to send an email along the lines of:
    I know some time has passed since I left the school, but I did leave a number of items behind. I'm hoping that they will have been stored safely, if not being used, and someone will be able to round them up so that I can reclaim them at the start of next term. I enclose a list of the items, and where they were when I left. Some of them have my name on; I've indicated those with an asterisk. I could pop in at 3.45 on <date>, and pick up the items then. If there is any problem with this, do let me know.

    I think caterpillartobutterfly is right that you may find that some things have vanished, but with a polite request and a list, hopefully someone will at least round up some so that they have shown willing.
  10. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    I agree with caterpillartobutterfly, the school has moved on and most items will have disappeared by now. You will never get back resources, copies of worksheets, books, posters etc. So other than a staff mug, I struggle to think of anything else you may of left? Remember you will have to prove said items belong to you.

    Frustum idea of an email is a good one, but as others have suggested you may not hear back from them or worse a dismissive response. Could you not speak to union rep to organise? Please avoid just turning up as this will open a whole can of worms...

    Good luck.
  11. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I have just been through a similar situation myself. I had to make a list of my belongings and send it in and then the items were delivered to me at home. Good luck and let us know how you get on! X
    Sundaytrekker and Orchid2457 like this.
  12. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Thanks All,
    I have receipts to prove that things are mine. I will definitely talk to the union.
    jlishman2158 and FrankWolley like this.
  13. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    really? Most staff have a lot of belongings in their classroom.

    I've currently got clothing, paper, hole punch, glue, scissors, stapler, food, shoes, books, DVDs, a variety of science equipment, models, posters, mugs, toiletries, asthma pumps, coat, umbrella, several full pencil cases, board markers, a bell, fish tank, storage boxes, two filing cabinets, toolbox, tools, training records, 4 pot plants.....

    In one school I ended up leaving lots behind, and I never managed to get it back wither, in spite of the union arranging several days when I was supposed to be allowed in. I easily lost around £200 worth. I hope you have better luck than I did.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You shouldn't be choosing a juncture months down the line when you feel strong enough and have closure-this makes it sounds as if your items are residing with an ex partner who you caught cheating on you. Identifiable, on a shelf, exuding specialness.
    You should have taken the items, or arranged for them to be delivered as soon as you left. That is the expectation of the school.
    But waiting for "closure" or whatever sounds as if you have an expectation of some sort of storage facility. You want your stuff but only when it suits you.
    It's a school. It's a cash strapped underfunded heavily peopled establishment, where staff are always on the lookout for stuff they can use, not because they are thieves or opportunists, but because they need anything they can get their hands on to help do their job. Unless you locked the things up and/or labelled them with your name, your items are as likely to have been used as if you had left them lying at the bus stop.
  15. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I must say when I was off sick it did upset me at the thought of not having my ‘things’, I know it sounds silly. I did get nearly all of it back but now at my new school I’ve taken in very little of mine. I spent way too much money on nice books and resources when I was a student (massive error) so now if I have something useful for a lesson or a nice story book I just take it in for that day then bring it home that afternoon so I won’t have the same problem again.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You might well have receipts that prove you once bought something, but it won't prove that the one lying about in someone else's classroom is yours. Your receipts could well 'prove' that some of my books in my classroom are yours...

    I'm sorry, but the chances of being allowed in the building so many months down the line is teeny.
    The chance of them packing up your items carefully and shipping them back to you so long after you left is teeny. (They've ignored your requests to sort the stuff yourself, they are hardly going to do it for you.)
    The chance of you successfully taking the school to court to get your money back is teeny.

    Yes, there is a chance, and if you don't try you'll never know, but don't expect to see your stuff again.
    border_walker, jlishman2158 and IanG like this.
  17. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    Yes, really. How many times have we discussed staff buying 'stuff' for pupils? Kiss good bye to glue, stapler, books, DVD's, models, posters, pencil cases, board markers etc. I do find the idea of a teacher having shoes, clothing, coats, unbrellas left in the classroom rather odd. Filing cabinets and 'science equipment' (I'm a scientist and fail to think of anything I've bought) just plain bizarre. But each to their own.
  18. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    When I wanted to collect my things I was asked to send a list in - I did this and a date - by my union rep (they offered to come with me as they were concerned about how it might go). When we got there there was a pile of boxes. I had a look and realized that none of my specialist subject things were there although they had given me a new box of glue sticks! As it had been agreed, before I left, that I could collect all of my things the rep and I had to point this out and we were then allowed into the room where most of my things were. Satisfyingly - the first books that we took from the shelves were ones with my name and address labels stuck on the front. Once I had got my things - plus the boxes - we left. When I went through the boxes at home I realized that I had been given lots of things that did not belong to me and that I was still missing some books. I emailed the bursar to arrange to return the things that belonged to the school but did not get a reply so then I contacted the chair of governors and then I was contacted by the bursar - so I had to go back into school to get the rest of my stuff and return the things that didn't belong to me. I didn't end up with everything that was mine but I did get most of it. It was about six months after I had first been away from school with WRS to when I finally had my belongings,
    If you are up to it - persevere about collecting your things. It probably depends on the school - if you were in a primary school it may be more likely that you will be able to find your things. Good luck.
    agathamorse and Orchid2457 like this.
  19. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I've never before met anybody who brings their own filing cabinets to work with them. I hope you don't come on the bus...
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    (I guess it depends on the value of these 'items') but Is it really worth the hassle?

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