Are you a primary school governor? A very simple question...

(99 Posts)
Wigeon Fri 08-Mar-13 13:14:47

...does the school provide tea and coffee for free at governor meetings (full meetings and sub-committees)?

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 16:41:58

Is this a state school?

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 16:49:39

I do the finance in a state primary school.

We buy tea and coffee for governors and other visitors, but we have to keep it hidden under lock and key to stop the deputy head pinching it! It comes out of the stationery budget confused

Wigeon Fri 08-Mar-13 16:51:09

Bonfire - yes, I wouldn't expect governor refreshments to come out of the staff supplies if the staff pay for their own tea/coffee. I would expect it to come out of the school's budget. I was so shock I came home and calculated the cost to the school of providing basic tea / coffee / milk for every single governor meeting and subcommittee for a whole year (assuming full attendance at all, and assuming every person always wanted a hot drink). That came to........£6.60, and that's at Tesco prices. Presumably the school buys wholesale and would get it much cheaper.

BeerTricks - same here - people come straight from work.

Feenie - yes, very normal state school.

I am very reassured this is not normal. At the meeting I said, "well, I'll bring tea bags next time, along with more homemade biscuits", and a couple of others offered to bring coffee and milk, and I pointedly asked the Deputy HT if he was ok with supplying the hot water, and he shamelessly said yes, that would be fine!!

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 16:52:29

reeddrerrrr

Are you a parent governor? Next time you get asked to donate to some school thing, tell them you're donating £6.60 for governor's tea, instead. If you specify what a charitable donation is for, it has to be set aside and used for that, IIRC.

Activ Fri 08-Mar-13 16:56:59

Sorry, that was an annoying child!

Pourquoimoi Fri 08-Mar-13 17:01:08

We don't get anything at all. We now meet in the community room and several of us take a travel mug of coffee with us. Even when we previously met in the staff room we weren't generally provided with a drink. Certainly no biscuits!

Staff in our school have a tea/coffee kitty though and pay for it themselves so it can be a tricky issue. I volunteer once a week and used to stick the odd pound in the kitty for when I had a coffee at break time. I don't anymore as I am very rarely there at break time but today I had a coffee in the staff room as a rarity.

When we have particular meetings, for eg with finance advisor then we make a coffee beforehand. Nobody has suggested we pay.

I think widgeon's dht is amazing. I'd want to tell him to p* off with that attitude! Sometimes I think governors are very much under appreciated. Not that I particularly want appreciation but I can't stand it when staff can't do a 6.30 training session with us once a year due to their work-life balance, what about ours?!? Most of us work and come after work so why can't they once a year. If they do, they get it taken as directed time and another training session off! Grrr, anyway moan over, sorry I got sidetracked. I enjoy it really, this is just one of my gripes!

middlesqueezed Fri 08-Mar-13 17:03:15

I like Bertha's suggestion. Take biscuits along too and make sure you don't give him any!

cumbrialass Fri 08-Mar-13 17:08:54

The Head makes tea and coffee (with whatever biscuits are in the biscuit barrel)l for all the Governors, it comes out of the "staff" tea pot but no-one begrudges 8 teas or coffees every 2 months!

Ilovesunflowers Fri 08-Mar-13 18:07:43

The school I am governor at provides tea, coffee, water and biscuits at every meeting. One of the school staff looks after us.

We have tea/coffee provided.

And the Head either asks the kitchen to make some cakes/biscuits or they buy some.

But we only have 3 meetings a term.

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 18:39:03

My question about a state school was to BeerTricks - have no objection to tea, coffee and biscuits, but I would be pissed off with diverting children's resources towards buying governors' tea. As a staff governor I often stay late (obviously unpaid) to meetings - I either wait until I get home or bring a sandwich.

tubsywubsy Fri 08-Mar-13 19:20:21

Governors give up their time to help the school for no reward. Most of our committees meet at governors' houses, where the host provides refreshments of one sort or another. Our main meetings take place at school in the evenings and many governors come straight from work. I think that it's only courteous that the school provides tea, coffee, water, sandwiches and fruit for them three or four times a year - its hardly going to break the bank.

Wigeon Fri 08-Mar-13 19:35:23

middlesqueezed - I am sooo tempted to bring biscuits and offer them to everyone apart from the Deputy HT!

Feenie - surely resources would not be diverted from the children? And what school can't afford £6.60? My DH has worked out that by not providing those on ParentMail with a hard copy of the weekly newsletter, the school would save £176 a year. By increasing the proportion of parents on ParentMail (apparently some parents aren't on it - surely 99% of parents have an email address?) they'd save even more. And then the governors could have an occasional cup of tea...

It's not about the money at all. It's indicative of a whole attitude, which is why I am still shock and angry.

DewDr0p Fri 08-Mar-13 19:40:33

No we don't. We have a kitty and when it needs topping up we all chuck a pound in. None of the governors have an issue with this at all - none of us actually feel comfortable with spending school budget on our refreshments.

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:46:58

Governors give up their time to help the school for no reward

As do staff governors.

* it's only courteous that the school provides tea, coffee, water, sandwiches and fruit for them three or four times a year - its hardly going to break the bank.*

No - but it will mean that something else cannot be purchased, Sandwiches and fruit are not necessary imo. Books are.

I am not quite sure why I, as a teacher, should provide tea and biscuits for the governors out if my own pocket. (Using staffroom supplies.)

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:48:49

Feenie - surely resources would not be diverted from the children? And what school can't afford £6.60?

Nobody begrudges you tea and coffee. It's pizza, sandwiches, etc that are not necessary - and yes, even £6.60 is the cost of a precious library/reading book.

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:50:47

I am not quite sure why I, as a teacher, should provide tea and biscuits for the governors out if my own pocket. (Using staffroom supplies.)

That used to hapen at our place - it made us very cross.

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:51:06

happen

Wigeon Fri 08-Mar-13 20:25:05

I absolutely do not expect the teachers to personally pay for the governors refreshments out of the staffroom kitty. I do not expect pizza and sandwiches. And if £6.60 for a whole year's refreshments for governors is too much, they really should look at the other wastage in other areas (eg the photocopied newsletters are completely unnecessary for people on ParentMail).

Dear god!

Governors come straight from work, give their time and arent offered tea or coffee?

Shameful.

A tray of sarnies would be welcome as our meetings often go on to 10.

As for using 'staff supplies' ffs, most schools have visitors and helpers and z stash for them ime.

£6.60? Can you imagine what it would cost to pay thr going rate for the expertise governors bring. Can you imagine they usually pay for their own travel, babysitting and stationery.

As i say, shameful.

Perhaps the stingy teacher woukd like respobsibility points for making a round of tea?

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 20:50:31

As for using 'staff supplies' ffs, most schools have visitors and helpers and z stash for them ime.

No, they don't.

Am guessing you are not on the Resources committee :-)

I am a governor. My meetings go on to 10. I give up my time. I would rather provide my own tea that see money wasted on sandwiches.

I do quite enough without carrying about teabags and milk!

I bet every school has the ofsted stash. If a school cannot make visitors of any kind a cuppa then it is a poor show imo.

It is about more thsn convenience. It is a tiny way to recognise a contribution.

If a school does not do that, it is a false economy

Jeez you're school is in major financial trouble if they can't stretch to some tea and coffee. Always have hot drinks at ours and often school cook makes some buns or chairwoman brings a big cake.

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