What have you got your School Site Team this year?

Christmas is coming and so are the demands on parents for collections for teacher’s presents or the annual efforts in coming up with something more original than a best Teacher Mug. How many mugs and boxes of chocolates do these people need? There’s a whole industry dedicated to Teacher-based gifts, the sheer number of ideas boggles the mind; quite what a grown adult would do with a Unicorn “Your work is magical” stamp is up for debate though.

Don’t get me wrong, we are all extremely grateful to all our teachers for the hard work they do and they absolutely deserve every gift of thanks they get. However they are a cog in the vast and complicated machine that is a school.

There is an unseen army of hugely dedicated and hard working

professionals who are up with the dawn chorus to make sure that School machines are fired up every day and are working on all cyclinders even before any teacher arrives. They are the miracle workers who fix the leaks, unblock the blockages, grit the paths, coax un willing boilers into life, retrieve the footballs from the rooves, buff the floors and secure the sites, often going way above and beyond their job descriptions.

Without this secret army keeping schools the safe, warm, clean and functional spaces they are, there would be no teaching happening in the first place.

Yet it is still so rare to hear of school site staff getting any kind of recognition let alone appreciation at Christmas. At the NNoSSS we talk to lots of site staff all the time and we often hear that Site Staff don’t mind just getting on with the job unnoticed, they usually feel part of the school team until it comes to Christmas. At Christmas all the teachers go home with best teacher mugs and gifts etc but the Site Teams get a muttered “Happy Christmas” if anything at all – this is when they fell a bit left out of the school team as a whole.

I’m feeling a John Lewis advert moment coming on!

However this doesn’t have to be the case. Try and remember, all the other people working to create fantastic school environments that aren’t teachers this year. Perhaps treat your Site staff to a hamper from the PTFA.

Perhaps a Caretaker Mug? (some are available if you search the interweb). Bake them a cake, a homemade card or even just publicly thank them in the playground on the last day of term.

Usually an unassuming species, school site staff don’t ask for much – a little thanks goes a long way.

So remember your site staff this Christmas. They take care of you – so take a little care of them!