Tuesday 16 February 2016

Purse Strings

Food - the essential building bricks of a school
Finances and budgetary control were a mystery to me before yesterday's training, but the most important learning for me was about transpency.  The inextricable link between Power and Knowledge came to mind, as I pondered my own complete lack of knowledge about my own institutions finances, or how they operated.

But then, to be fair, I don't think I've really gone out of my way to find out - Have I been floating around like the 'Despicable me' minions in their minion heaven, waiting to be assigned my task in someone elses gigantic world domination plan?

Sponge structural problems
It can be hard to encourage children to make comment and take responsibility of a school environment.  In one project in Frankley I worked with the school council to encourage them to take a bigger role in their school.  Looking back at previous minutes nearly all the discussions were based around school dinner - clearly an important part of their lives, but not the only aspect of their schooling I wanted to encourage them to at least comment on.

Food was an obvious starting point, so we began by making a school out of dinner leftovers - the convesations were great to listen to as they started to talk about what they were making, and there was a slight subversive edge to the activity, as each of the children asked permission to use the food type (luckly it was mainly pizza, jacket potatoes and sponge cake that day) and to handle and mould into a school together.

How does your cake measure up?
We had started the conversations, and over the weeks the group began to ask more questions, express their opinions, and see more things in their school change thanks to their feedback.  The permission to ask questions, and the ability to make changes in their school had always been there, but because the culture had been to only discuss food, the children only discussed food.

Going back to my own office environment, I suspect their is more 'information' available, both on the finances and in other ways - perhaps all that is needed for me to take more responsibility, and help develop a more transparent culture where everyone is used to asking the questions, turning the 'information' into 'knowledge' into 'power' to influence changes to 'Make important things happen'.

Part of #29daysofwriting @Staffrm


  1. I guess these activities are great for enhancing the creative abilities of students.
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