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I'm out of pocket

I started my NQT design technology post in a secondary modern last September. I was told I would have a budget of pound;900. Two weeks after I started I went to place a small cost order and was told that the department had no money as the previous DT teacher had spent it. To retain interest and behaviour I've been buying materials myself. I've complained to my head of department, but while he is sympathetic, he's done nothing.

My GCSE group is starting to build their major projects. Each will cost Pounds 5-10 in resources and materials, and I'm skint. I'm sick of paying out when it's the school's responsibility. I'm losing sleep worrying about how they're going to pass. I don't know who to ask for advice. I think about moving school or changing career.

A: Stop spending your money. Your school should have clear policies about payment for materials. Your head of department has let you down. He is responsible for ensuring that your subject has adequate funding;

distributing it accordingly; and for monitoring departmental expenditure.

Enlist the support of your mentor and re-present your case to the HoD.

Investigate where the money has gone - your finance officer or bursar should be able to track the expenditure.

If that doesn't work, take it up the line of management until you achieve success - curriculum deputy first, then headteacher.

If there is no money, approach your parentteacher association. You might offer to help them with a fund-raising effort, but that's up to you. The suggestion might galvanise management into finding an internal solution to the problem. Changing school might be an option but don't give up teaching because you've experienced an instance of mismanagement.

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