OUR Secret School Receptionist currently works in a primary school in Yorkshire – but we're keeping her identity a secret…
Here, she reveals the gift teachers hate getting at the end of term – and why she's sick of seeing topless dads in the playground at pick up time and parents in skimpy clothes.
SHE says: "It's fast approaching the end of the summer term: the time of year when both staff and students are counting down the days to being able to turn the alarm clock off for 6 weeks.
Having worked in primary and secondary schools for years, I have seen it all and I know that standards start to slip in when it comes to both parents and teachers around now.
If you want to make a good impression before the end of term, follow my advice and avoid the things that will instantly give your child – and yourself – a bad name among the faculty.
Keep uniform in check
Uniform standards do start to slip when heading into the summer break, it’s inevitable.
Parents don’t want to be forking out for everything new just for their little darlings to shoot up another 3 inches over the holidays.
However, when students are turning up in cycling shorts, or football shirts and shorts as their, ‘PE kit’, it does start to take the proverbial.
Plus, there is always the peril of a non-uniform day to contend with.
No matter how many times students are reminded of the 3 Bs (no bums, bellies, or boobs), there are always some that feel that they can flaunt the rules and rock up to school in the tightest of Daisy Dukes, or a t-shirt with the most inappropriate logo or explicit wording.
Also, sandals and sliders are for around the pool, not for second period geography.
This why most headteachers will try to avoid non-uniform days as much as possible in summer!
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Parents are worse than the kids
At this time of year, the office staff always get the special treat of seeing what some parents feel is appropriate clothing for the playground, especially when we get some nice weather.
Dads, you may think that we want to see your bare chest but this is not Marbella beach, and it’s just odd to pick your child up shirtless.
And mums, this is not the time that the phrase, ‘less is more’ is appropriate – please, put more clothes on, or at least some longer ones.
Makes us long for a good ol’ British summer with some nice blustery drizzle. And possibly hail.
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We love gifts but please don’t buy us this
Of course, the end of term comes with a flurry of gifts and cards from well-meaning parents –primary more so than secondary – and they are always treasured. Chocolate goes down especially well in the staff room!
Even better when the gift has been made/chosen by the child giving it, it makes the staff feel so appreciated.
But please, no more mugs.
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Please keep holidays to school holidays
Teachers do love to hear of their students’ holiday plans, it doesn’t matter if it’s to far-flung foreign climes or to a caravan in Filey, all that’s important is that they are looking forward to it.
There is no budget cap for excitement.
All we ask is that parents do wait for the term to be over before taking their children away. As much as parents think that schools, “don’t do any anything in the last week of school anyway”, it’s simply not true.
Mum's, this is not the time that the phrase, ‘less is more’ is appropriate
Yes, there are treats going on for the students in the final days – especially true this year after having two years of disruption and not being allowed to do anything due to Covid – but learning continues right up to the last day, and teachers will have to manage students who have gaps in their knowledge going forwards into the new academic year.
At the very least, please inform school that your child will be absent; there’s nothing worse for an Attendance Team than having to chase you, or you having to ring in every day to spin out a child’s sickness and diarrhoea for two whole weeks.
Besides, *Spoiler Alert* the foreign dial tone when we ring you gives it away…!
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Coming to the end of the first full school year since the pandemic means that pupils are tired, teachers are tired, support staff are tired – just a few more days to get through.
A few blissful weeks off, then back to it in September and we’ll do it all over again!
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