Do you take pay in loo?

20th August 2004 at 01:00
Many people would admit to "borrowing" the odd pen or a few paperclips from their workplace.

But hard-up trainee teachers are not only raiding stationery cupboards, they are also stashing swag from the school lavatories.

Toilet rolls are among items disappearing into large bags being taken home by teachers anxious to give the impression that they are doing lots of extra work.

Postings on Staffroom, the TES's online chatroom, disclose a vast array of pens, pencils and notebooks taken by teachers.

One says: "When out drinking last night with fellow, prospective post-grad students, I was introduced to the ingenious idea of 'borrowing' stationery from my office. We have now made a pact to take extra-large bags to work for the remainder of our employment, accidentally filling them with staplers, lever-arch files etc.

"This had never occurred to me before, so I'm passing on the knowledge to all you other (soon to be poor again) prospective students."

Another admits: "For the past week, I have looked super-keen by taking work home with me every night - in particularly attractive folders filled with all the pens, pencils, Post-its and dividers required to finish my 'project'!" A third asks: "Do toilet rolls count?"

Another's booty includes two packs of whiteboard pens, six notebooks, pens and pencils, about 300 plastic wallets, about 50 pocket wallets and five lever-arch files. "Ho ho ho. Thanks boss," they write.

Elsewhere on the forum, teachers complain that they are spending too much on books and other resources for pupils out of their own pockets.

Gwen Evans, assistant general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "A lot of student teachers are in debt so it's not surprising to hear of pirate excursions to the stationery cupboards. It is an interesting aspect of underground school life."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today