Our design and technology resources are insufficient, and the subject co-ordinator and I compiled a purchase order to replenish them, but she was concerned that this would blow a large chunk of her budget. I was amazed that this was a teacher's concern. Should the school budget for this?
A: It is clearly a disappointment for you to take the trouble to order materials only to be denied them for what you perceive is no good reason. There's always the possibility the subject co-ordinator was not allocated a budget, or was given one late or one that was severely inadequate. Budgets are boring, and most of us don't want to be involved. Better to be involved at an early stage rather than being frustrated because resources for the pupils (which is what really counts) are simply not there.
Sue, East Grinstead
A: My only surprise is that you are surprised. Being stymied by lack of money is an everyday reality of teaching. There is no bottomless pit of money, and neither should there be. What there should be is a sensible, transparent budgetary planning process that shares out the available dosh rationally and on a consensual basis.
A: It's fair to say that we don't really "do" budgeting very well. We join the profession to get away from that boring stuff, and we all think our needs are greater than everyone else's. Managers are meant to do this kind of stuff, not classroom teachers. The answer is for staff to be involved at an early stage and forecast their needs early in the budget building exercise
Q: Certain Year 9 to 11 pupils won't keep themselves in a lesson. They just get up and leave, either with their bag (not returning) or leaving their stuff (probably returning). Some say they are going to the toilet or to get a drink, but should I just wait until they come back and sanction them, or should I report it to senior management and leave it for them to sort out?
Q: Four of our last five pastoral heads have been geographers. Are some subject teachers better prepared than others for pastoral work in secondary schools?
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