Cosy staffroom? That's so 1970s

30th January 2004 at 00:00
Staff at Holland Park school, beset by head Colin Hall's ruthless modernisation programme (see TES passim), used to be able to retreat to an unpretentious but cosy staffroom. It was a world away from what one visitor described as the "Notting Hill wine bar" decor imposed by Hall in the rest of the school. Its walls glowed with warm yellow paint teachers themselves slapped on two or three summers ago.

Sixteen comfy red Ikea sofas offered a place for weary staff to recover from the rigours of the new regime at the former flagship for progressives.

There they were surrounded by reminders of normality: chaotic noticeboards, unwashed cups and a fridge full of forgotten yoghurts.

Imagine their dismay, then, when they returned after Christmas break to find the sofas gone, along with the fridge and noticeboards. In their place are four charcoal-grey sofas from the Conran Shop, at pound;1,500 apiece, stark white walls and an array of "not very comfortable" wooden chairs.

A rather surreal touch is an enormous designer flowerpot, standing at neck height to some of the smaller teachers, which the diary's research suggests may have cost in the region of pound;400.

"There goes my recruitment and retention money," one staff member was heard to say. "It's a rather stark and very seldom used room nowadays."

A school spokesman said none of the money had come from school funds and most staff were happy with the changes.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now