I did a double-take at lunchtime, checking the blog home page to check for comments. Where was last night’s posting? A quick dip into the admin showed why, it had been inadvertently scheduled for October 10th 2009. Why? Becuse at the moment my PC thinks it is Saturday. (It doesn’t explain the year though, that is probably down to OFI*)
Anyway, we were out last night looking around Woodkirk High School, the second closest school to our house. I found this particularly interesting as I know the school through their generous hosting of Morley Community Radio but I have only been in a few bits of it, where we have happened to hold meetings.
By contrast with Heckmondwike and Morley High, the Head Teacher, Jonathan White, managed to condense his talk into fifteen minutes. It was topped and tailed by musical performances and their award winning kitchen was open.
This was slightly better organised than Morley High in that maps and pupil tour guides were available, although parking was something of a zoo. Morley High seemed to have more freebies and nibbles around the building and more kids dressed up in interesting costumes. Their campus is extensive but the buildings interlock in unusual ways and we completely missed the art department first time round as one of the new blocks had a basement area but the upstairs looked like the downstairs.
Something had been bugging me about Morley High and a student there has confirmed my fears. If you want to go to the toilet you need to “be prepared” because there is no toilet roll in the cubicles, just available from a giant roll dispenser out in the room. This harks back to children blocking the loos and possibly even setting fire to them.
This is a very authoritarian approach:- it basically gives the message “we don’t trust you” and reminds me a little of the story of the monkey and the ladder.
So, with a certain amount of trepidation, I entered the boy’s toilets, (Year 7 & 8 only). What a revelation! These toilets were smarter than the ones we have at work. Modern, clean and bright, with smart furniture and toilet paper in the cubicles. This enthusiasm was dampened somewhat later in the evening, though, when I returned with David and noticed a CCTV camera at ceiling level above the urinals. (Karen checked the Girls and it was the same). I also had a quick look in the Year 9 & 10 ones and they were as good, other than smelling a bit rough.
So, what message do the Woodkirk toilets give? “We don’t trust you- but we won’t humiliate you”.
Well, we have made our preference choice and returned the form (in a virtual sense, as we did it online). We will find out on March 1st where David is going.
(OFI- an old BT Engineer term, the polite version being “Operator Found Ignorant”).