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School admin?

(23 Posts)
Arronsmissus Wed 13-Dec-17 16:05:23

Just taken up a job at a primary school doing admin (120 kids). Office is a bit of a muddle, person before me a bit laid back/last minute etc. Been there 2 days in at the deep end to say the least! Been on a training course for SIMS and school cons today 😨 please tell me it gets easier!? Im used to office environment, but their relaxed way if things is doing my head in! Monies coming in every day, a pot for this pot for that, and the lunch registers are all1st names, where theyre all strangers!! But im glad to say that this Friday is the kast day of the books and its all online next week.

Please reasure me😂😂😂 i left a comfy job of 10 yrs for this😕

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WhySeaEm Wed 13-Dec-17 21:50:10

it'll get easier as you get to know the kids, and their parents smile time time time!

dungandbother Wed 13-Dec-17 22:37:34

I'm a year in from a different environment.
I love it. I can almost name 210 children. After a year I'm totally confident to do things 'my way' as the repetition is rather repeatitous grin

I haven't had any Sims training. I either google what I need or just sit and search. I re did all my reporting into excel as I prefer it to the word output. And spent hours fixing the sims to work properly as addresses weren't validated so nobody lived at the same house and therefore weren't linked.

I hope you continue to enjoy it

Arronsmissus Thu 14-Dec-17 06:58:19

Thanks! I know ill like the place a job, and I love being called auntie! But i just need to get around things and change a few thing to do it my way.

And perhaps get the head to ensure that dinner money/trips are paid online only. My DC’s school is completely cashless and i like that!

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AuntieStella Thu 14-Dec-17 07:04:05

"And perhaps get the head to ensure that dinner money/trips are paid online only."

Do not do this. Yes set it up as an option for those who want to use it, but don't enforce it. It doesn't save time for office staff, and only pleases parents who want to do their finances on line (and that is far from everyone).

Fruitcocktail6 Thu 14-Dec-17 07:08:15

We do pretty much all our finances and payments online. It saves a huge huge amount of time for the office staff (me). Especially when parents can't get it into their heads that we don't have easily accessible change in the office and need exact money.

Auntpetunia2015 Thu 14-Dec-17 07:10:13

13 years in the job. Honestly it gets easier just start your own systems. I joined somewhere like yours very set in their ways of doing things. I just made my own wats of doing things which were more efficient for everyone.
When you say on line do you mean dinner registers Attached through sims? If so best thing I ever did. BUT and it’s a big but. This relies on the teachers marking the registers promptly and correctly as dinners is loaded from the daily register.

Do not suggest cashless it’s a nightmare for staff but yes easier for parents.

Fruitcocktail6 Thu 14-Dec-17 07:10:22

But it is hard OP. I have just moved from a lovely independent preschool to a state primary and the office is chaos. I've cried at work twice in the last two days, having not ever cried once at work before. It is very hard and the pay is crap

AuntieStella Thu 14-Dec-17 07:11:39

Genuine question - if there's a regular need for change, why was that never dealt with?

(Also, different schools have different procedures for handling cash, and they need not be onerous).

Arronsmissus Thu 14-Dec-17 07:26:20

Yes online as in school comms/sims. It will save a lot if time and i wont have to ho i to class and disturb lessons. I don't think a lot of cash in an office is never good (having worked somewhere where ££££ was stolen by a person who was responsible for counting and banking).

The head is the head of 2 schools so splits her time between the schools and i don’t think its fair on any of the schools, but hey-ho, tgars the the councils decision.

My desk is just full of loose papers and thinks the previous person just left. She hasn’t cleared her desk (and it wasn’t last minute she left neither).

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Fruitcocktail6 Thu 14-Dec-17 08:00:15

Because it's a state school and all money is assigned to various pots and bank accounts. Each thing someone is paying for in cash is for a different thing and belongs somewhere else, there is not one pot we can take the change from. If we did, we'd have to reconcile it later and there is absolutley no time for that.

We also end up with people saying they've paid and they haven't. People give their KS1 children money and it never makes it to us. They give it to teachers and it is not a teachers job to deal with cash.

It also means we have to make bank trips we don't have time for.

Cash causes endless problems.

Auntpetunia2015 Thu 14-Dec-17 08:21:44

Money does need to be in theoretical different pots but can be in one actual pot as long as you have a system of logging money received in one Central way. We have a receipt book which all money is logged in be it from the clas teacher or from the parent at the office and it takes 2 seconds to code it trip dinner uniform etc. All money is then counted and paid into school account. We only have one you’re no longer allowed to have a separate school fund account in our Lea as it was open to abuse as described above.

Op person previous to me left loads of stuff I put it all in a box under the desk to start with and made the deal my own and then if anyone asked about something we’d check if it was in the box if it was it got dealt with and I moved it to the appropriate place. I kept the box for a school year as some jobs you only do yearly , thinking sats and promoting the school year, but if it was still in the box after a year and it wasn’t obviously useful stapler highlighter etc then it got binned. Only thing I’ve still got is random keys no one know what they’re for but they don’t take up much room and you can guarantee I’ll chuck them and then I’ll be asked for the key to the x y or z that’s suddenly broken.

Arronsmissus Thu 14-Dec-17 13:35:48

Well I have started my own pot system. Ive brought in my takeaway plastic trays and labeling them!!

And im in the office listening to the Christmas concert. Sweet!

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TheSnowFairy Thu 14-Dec-17 23:14:52

On the plus side op, it's Christmas soon fgrin

We break up tomorrow grinwine

BackforGood Thu 14-Dec-17 23:53:33

A school office is a wonderful place to work, but some people absolutely love it, and others hate it. It is a very different environment from any other office, anywhere.
My tip would honestly be to check with the caretaker if you can get in one day in the holidays, (yup, I know, "working for free") but the benefit you will get from having had a really good sort through, and from setting up systems that work for you, clearing the desk, etc.,etc., will be well worth it in the long run.
There's nothing like the backdrop of children singing Christmas Carols whilst you work though, to know you work in a lovely place.

Arronsmissus Fri 15-Dec-17 21:39:32

Going in over Christmas will not be happening 😆

I had a really good week, having Christmas lunch from Aunty next week eith everyone else, and I remembered 3 kids names today!!!!

After 1 week i can say i love it!

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BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Sun 17-Dec-17 14:26:44

I LOVE my school office job. Listening to the KS1 children singing carols whilst reconciling the dinner money is lovely.

It WILL get easier. We don't use online payments as it is ridiculously expensive (for a small school, the cost could be close to the amount being received). We have different pots for different 'things' (dinner money, uniform, clubs, trips etc.) and parents are advised that change, if needed, will be sent home at the end of the day or they can collect it at the end if the day, we dont have the time or the facilities to offer change there and then.

Enjoy your Christmas and look forward to making the systems work in the New Year.

LoafEater Sun 17-Dec-17 15:03:12

I started in front office at a high school after 20 years in "normal" offices and it is indeed a huge culture shock. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for most of the pointless beauocracy and it's like going back to the 1950s some days!

You will get used to SIMS, and everything in a school is cyclical - open evenings same week every year, exams start same week every year, etc etc so you do the same things at the same time every year.

It took me a good year to get my head around things. You can always tell the staff members in a school who have worked in a business environment and those who have always been in a school.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Sun 17-Dec-17 15:07:05

I'm miss working in school offices. Hoping to go back one day.,

TeenTimesTwo Sun 17-Dec-17 15:11:44

(parent here)
If I had a request for school admin, it would be to have a checklist for all letters regarding trips and activities to ensure all info is included:
- uniform / clothing requirements
- packed lunch
- rucksack
- pick up time
- spending money
Plus, clubs & trips not to be first come first served which biases towards organised/SAH/better off parents, but with a cut off date followed by selection system.

Arronsmissus Tue 19-Dec-17 20:39:35

Good god im stressed!

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Arronsmissus Tue 19-Dec-17 20:42:05


Found the previous clerk left the dinner regs in a total mess😡 hasn’t made weekly returns for the last few weeks, and her maths are wrong! Seriously up shit creek. Its so bad the council hare having to help me out big time😡😡😡😡

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Auntpetunia2015 Wed 20-Dec-17 11:56:18

Take heart. At least everyone know it wasn’t you. And you can get them to sort it out. And you can start again in the new year

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