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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by reena2706, Jun 7, 2012.
Free meals with what duty?
Surely they can be free or more or less free?
Pomz cannot teach without vast quantities of coffee readily available. Closed flasky-cup-travel-thing to avoid any spillages/scaldings..
Kitchen staff not too keen on Pomz as he fairly frenquently turns up unexpectedly and requires feeding - Pay, you say? Maybe next week...
It would be nice if it was free, but in my experience, schools have always sold beverages and food to staff, never free.
Free would suggest that we were valued and deserving!!!!
However, we were without the facility to purchase and the headmaster/teacher at the time put millk, coffee and tea bags in the staffroom...would you believe that unscrupulous members of staff, just took the milk into their own departments and left nothing for the rest of us.
The head was livid! She anounced in morning briefing that she would find the milk: She did! I still wonder to this day if she had forseen this and put a tracker on the carton!
I've been a teacher for a very long time, so can't say with absolute certainty for the schools at the very start of my career, but I'm reasonably sure I have never, ever paid for tea or coffee.
There is fruit a couple of days a week in our place too, but this is the first school where I've had that.
There is usually someone or other who has brought in cakes/biscuits/other rubbish as well.
Our head dislikes coffee cups and so on in classrooms, so I just pop my cup on the floor under my desk and he is none the wiser (I think. )
School pays for tea, coffee and milk for the staffroom, plus once a week a huge carrier bag of biscuits arrives...
We have free coffee, tea, biscuits and fresh fruit daily; also free lunch (breakfast and dinner, too, if we're around)....starting a diet tomorrow
Gosh! You guys have someone who appreciates and values you and clearly reaslises that these are the sorts of things that make staff happy.
I'm coming to work in your schools.
See now we also have free lunch and 'tea' in the afternoon, but I thought that might be rubbing it in a bit when other have to pay just for their coffee.
Independent schools might have long days, but they do feed us well!
This is standard in all (most) independent schools to provide free lunch etc due to the long day and the expectation of doing clubs and duty. I read quite a lot of adverts while job hunting and haven't found one that does not offer these things. Especially, in big/expensive schools, the food is really good. If I could have gone back to the single life before a family, I would have taken a job in a boarding school much sooner.
In an ideal world both students and adults could have a hot drink in the classroom. But, they are still children and we adults. So I often have my cup of tea (with a lid on) in my classroom, and the students can drink water. That's life I'm afraid, we have earnt our status, it's not equality and our days our harder so nothing wrong with sipping on a cup of tea
The cost in providing free tea and coffee for staff during break time would be minimal. But the beneficial effect in making staff feel appreciated and valued would be immense.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this. Why do some schools not get this?
We have this. Along with the milk and sugar, obviously. But I have worked in schools that charged staff per term for their tea and coffee. It also sends a good message to supply teachers and visitors when you show them the tea and coffee and tell them it's free. Also plenty of clean, plain mugs (that don't belong to anyone in particular.) It's basic hospitality.
I was a TA for four years and now a trainee so into my fifth year in schools (and been in three so far this year). I don't drink tea or coffee so it doesn't bother me but I've only been in two schools (out of 6) where tea and coffee was provided free. One school also provided squash which was lovely! The head just used to do a big wholesaler trip every so often. It is interesting how schools differ.
I would never expect a TA to get me a drink. I do release TAs slightly early if they're on duty, etc. to be able to get a drink because I think it helps build good relationships but they're teaching assistants not teacher's assistants! One school literally expected us to serve it from trolleys to teaching staff on training days and also patronisingly called us 'trolley dollies'. Thankfully, I'm dreadful at making tea and coffee (not being a drinker of it), so I was only landed with that duty once. I feel that training time could have been better used.
One school expected everyone to contribute to the fund on the assumption that no member of school staff could possibly dislike tea and coffee. I obviously declined. That school also expects visitors to pay for tea and coffee. Another school, you brought your own supplies or bought tea/coffee from the kitchen staff. I've heard horror stories from a few people who, upon arriving at a school for placement, were very clearly told that teachers do not go in the staffroom and that, not only do you need your own tea-making supplies, you're also expected to provide your own mug and teaspoon too. It's almost comical to think of four trainees sharing a battered teaspoon that somebody had dug out on their first day.. But then, one year team in that school had a fun policy of staying until 7pm on Friday to complete marking together. I was totally astonished when nobody applied for jobs there.
I have no issues with drinking in class as I only drink water and the pupils are allowed to do that too. That said, I don't think there's a problem drinking hot drinks in class provided the health and safety aspect is addressed. If I've a cold, I will be drinking medicated hot drinks to keep me going. We're adults, they're children. They need to understand that there's some things we're allowed to do and they're not.
My schools have always charged a small amount each term to cover tea. coffee. milk and sugar.
I don't agree with drinking in lessons. Why is it that people cannot go for more than an hour without wanting a cup of tea/coffee? It's not necessary, or professional.Water is fine-it lubricates the voice and when it is hot , the children need a drink. But.....surely, if you have a coffee in the morning you can wait until break time or lunch time for your next one. If you have a tea/coffee at lunch time, why can't you wait until after school for your next caffine fix?? It's the same at the cinema-no one can go and watch a film without buying large quantities of food and drink and rustling and slurping all the way through the film. HAVE A DRINK BEFORE YOU GO!!!!
*Grumpy of TES!
Not in state schools.....
It is not "unprofessional" to drink during a lesson.
There are potential issues with all these freebies. I have never known a case in a school but there are rules about taxable benefits.
2. What's exempt
You don’t have to report anything to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or pay tax and National Insurance if you offer all your employees:
free or subsidised meals of a reasonable value at a workplace canteen
vouchers that cover the cost of buying these meals
Schools ought really to offer the same to all staff. In my experience this wasn't the case for TAs. TAs got a meal only if they were on duty. In some schools teachers seemed to get a free meal regardless. I don't think that's technically correct and the teachers ought to have been taxed. Not entirely sure.
Just a thought.
Break is 15 minutes. By the time I dismiss a class, eject the lingering pupils, go to the toilet, get to the staffroom, stand in the queue and get a mug of tea, it is time to make my way back to the classroom. I can either down the boiling liquid or drink it at a reasonable temperature when I get back to my room.
I don't think it's a big deal.
I've taught in 2 state secondaries, 2 state middles and 3 state primaries and all (as far as I recall) had free tea and coffee available.
Until I moved to an independent, I've never know anyone to get a free meal unless they were doing lunch duty.
In my school now everyone gets a free meal at lunchtime.
Minibus drivers arriving to drive children to matches, TAs, office staff, teacher, caretaker, everyone.
Seems to work well.