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Last crumbs of decorum

School staffrooms are indeed windows into the etiquette of modern life. Just a few weeks ago, posters on the TES forums debated the rights and wrongs of nodding off during breaks - or sometimes in staff meetings - and now comes a discussion on the ethics of eating. Is it ever right, one wonders, to eat when others are not?

The question arises after zara123 was told off for eating crisps in the staffroom during a free period. She was working on her own, with no one at risk of being hit by cheese-and-onion breath, and no one within earshot of the deafening noise crisp-eaters make, but still she fell foul of her superiors. "My boss argues that as the kids aren't allowed to eat except at breaktime, we can't either," zara123 laments.

This prompts a tide of tales on food prescriptive staffrooms. Waterfin's is a healthy school, where pupils are asked only to snack on fruit or vegetables, and it seems this extends behind the closed doors of the staffroom, to the extent that "a packet of crisps or a biscuit brings a sarky comment".

At the other end of the scale is markxtc123's school, where sweets are more entrenched than phonics. "My boss brings in chocolate for staff to eat at break, lunchtime, meetings, frees, between lessons, after school ." Sounds just the ticket.

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