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Experience/advice greatly appreciated

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1Experience/advice greatly appreciated Empty Experience/advice greatly appreciated on Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:09 am


I am in a bit of a panic at the moment and would find it useful to hear what others experience is.

In September the intake of the school I work at is going to increase and with it the number of Science teachers in the department.

We will be going up from six full time teachers to eight but our subject leader has been told there is no money to pay any more technicians.

Is it possible for one technician to successfully look after eight teachers especially when in a year or so A-level may be added into the mix?

Any advice would be welcomed as I am seriously considering what my future with the school might be but I may be worrying for no reason.

2Experience/advice greatly appreciated Empty Experience/advice greatly appreciated on Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:50 am


Hi. Sorry to hear your problem.
There have been many formulas for working technician hours needed.
CLEAPSS have a nationally recognised formula for technician’s hours which is the total of teaching hours X 0.85 (Service factor), which can be found in there publication Technicians and their jobs.
The recommended service factor is 0 .85.
There is a chart on the link below that shows the recognised effects of having insufficient technician hours.
Follow the link below and then in the left panel click section 3. How many technicians are needed in a science department?
If you divide your technician hours by the number of teaching hours you will get the service factor you are working at.
Looking at the chart should give you the foundation for putting together reasonable grounds to request more technician time.

3Experience/advice greatly appreciated Empty Re: Experience/advice greatly appreciated on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:04 am


The answer is yes. However, please read Admins advice above.  The answer to your question will depend on your current system of working, layout of your school labs and prep room and volume of work.

For example, if you had a preproom environment that was self-sufficient in so far as teachers could walk in directly from adjacent laboratories and basically lift "off-the-shelf" what they need then it would be, in theory, possible to absorb this additional increase in teachers that you have described in your post. 

I think the essence of your post is not can you do it but rather is it/will it be safe? The only way that this can be answered is by somebody (usually management) carrying out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. Such an assessment will;

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution
  4. Record the findings and implement them
  5. Review the assessment and update if necessary

More information from the above links will be provided by the  HSE.

What drops out from such a risk assessment is essentially "A Safe system of work". Normally with any change to a policy, procedure or practice within a science department there is a corresponding change in the level of overall risk. The change may increase or decrease the overall Risk. The idea is to make changes that REDUCE or elliminate the risk.

In my personal case as a Senior technician is to make sure that what ever changes happen within my science department that the technicians under my care have sufficient time to carry out their duties.

4Experience/advice greatly appreciated Empty not enough time on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:15 am


I have been doing the job for 24 years as the only technician with a part time assistant , over the years our intake has increased and we now have 8 full time teachers and 2 part time teachers , i feel at the moment we are not working safely and rushing all the time, which has taken the enjoyment of the job away. If can manage on your own you will be very rushed. Good luck .

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