Handy hints

21st April 2000 at 01:00
Dirty classrooms.

Cleaners do a thankless job for derisory money, but you still have the right to a clean classroom. So how do you handle any problems?

* Don't take the cleaner to task yourself. Cleaning is a site management matter, and the problem may be bad management, rather than one person's failings.

* Be persistent. In some schools, management would rather volunteer for another Ofsted than tackle a cleaning issue.

* Before you complain, make a record with dates and facts; management will want to be sure of their ground.

* Do other teachers use your room? Get as many oter opinions as you can. Get your department head on board.

* Make sure the seniormanagement teammember responsible actually sees and understands what you are complaining about.

* Is there a health and safety issue? Get the rep on the case.

* You may be expecting work outside the cleaner's job description - clarify this.

* Do your bit by leaving your classroom as clean and tidy as possible - and by encouraging the children to do so too. Apologise in person, or with a note, if you make extra work for your cleaner.

gerald Haigh.

Next week: infants and the toilet

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