"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Drawing to a close

The thing I was surprised about is how much the closure of the school affected me. After all, I have only been there a year so in a way, I didn't feel I even had the right to be upset and emotional about it. How the rest of the staff have coped, I have no idea. Most have been in the school for several years and all have gone through the full process, from the first announcement that the school was targeted for closure, through the fight by the parents' action group to keep it open and then sustaining the school, pupils and parents once the final decision had been made.
The children finished last Wednesday. By then, most people were emotionally exhausted and thoughts of the staff had to turn to the next two days of clearing our rooms of our personal stuff and anything we intended taking to our new schools, such as small resources, games etc. The big stuff had already been earmarked for neighbouring schools.
We had been told that we had Thursday and Friday to do that, without interruption, but would not be able to come into the building again after that, so it was with some surprise and dismay that we arrived on Thursday morning to find the Authority's IT team swarming round the school, already dismantling interactive whiteboards, projectors and computers. We had the situation where teachers were frantically trying to copy planning etc onto their memory sticks whilst IT personnel were hovering over them waiting to take their laptops. One of them mentioned that the laptops would be taken straight to the schools which had bid for them but would not be wiped until September. When I protested at this, he sheepishly admitted that maybe it was not in the best interests of data protection and that he would instead take them back with him and wipe them first.
On Friday, the secretary arrived with a day's work still to do, to discover that her office computer had already been dismantled and had to demand that it was put back, which it was, but without the printer. To make matters worse, the phones had already been disconnected so head teacher and secretary had to make any necessary calls on their mobile phones.
It seemed to have totally escaped the powers that be that, although term had finished for the children on Wednesday, we were still at work until the end of the week.
Sensitivity??? That lot definitely need counselling!


Dale said...

The situation is difficult enough. Why not try to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible? It almost seems cruel, doesn't it?

Yewlands English said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Cruel is right Dale. After the pain of the closure, the authorities owed it to the people on the ground to make sure they phased out in the most thoughtful way possible. It would be interesting to compare their vision statements and personnel philosophies with what happened at the back end of last week. A school is not a factory or an office building. It is a place where lives were shaped, where children's laughter was heard and a place that -in this case - was the heart of a rural community. The vultures, scavengers and I.T. hyenas could at least have waited till this week.

Laura said...

On our local news, there were two closings (very small schools) for two different villages in the south east. It was so sad for the children and others. They were losing their friends - all going to other various schools. I think it's a pity when that it happens. The children get so much more out of small classes, rather than put into such large environments.

p.s. I'm back up for awhile, don't know how long I'll stick around. Come visit when you get a chance. Oh, I changed the name of my blog and using my real name (instead of Alice)...somewhat new beginnings.

Laura said...

Another p.s.: Duh! I'm now Pink Phizz instead of Through the Looking Glass. Don't ask me why. My darling youngest daughter liked the name. Couldn't be because it has the word "Pink" in it. Heh.

Jennyta said...

Difficult indeed, Dale.
Laura, lovely to see you over here again.
YP - was the deleted comment written by your alter ego?

krip said...

Like everything in this twisted world, it's all done for profit.
You would have thought they might have allowed you to clear your desks with some dignity. But you know, "time is money".
The closure of any school is a sad day indeed.

Jennyta said...

Too right, Krip.


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