Jane Pearce, Facilities Manager and Curriculum Support Assistant
Jane Pearce started working at BCPS in 2000, when Mr Bishop taught Year 6 and she was his classroom assistant! She continued as a teaching assistant, gradually taking on other routine school tasks, until 2015 when she agreed to become the Facilities Manager supporting the children and staff across the school in delivering the exciting and enriched range of activities offered by the school.
Did you know?
Jane’s job involves a very full and varied range of activities that keep the school running safely and efficiently – and that includes setting up the hall for different activities up to five times a day, and being on-call if any of the security alarms go off.
Jane tells us about a typical day
I begin every day by opening the school. That will be at 7am in good weather, and as early as 6am if bad weather means that I need to salt and grit the paths and do extra health and safety checks. Fortunately, there aren’t too many bad weather days – I always get a call from my husband, who leaves for work at 5.30am, to tell me what the weather is like and give me warning!
Once the school is open, I have lots of routine tasks to attend to, like checking the fridge temperatures, setting up the hall for breakfast club, distributing the milk when it’s delivered and making visual health and safety checks.
At 8am I empty the dishwasher and sort out the offices after any evening meetings and then meet with Mr Bishop for a catch-up – it’s a good time to deal with any questions I have and to set the priorities for the school.
Then at 8.45am it’s time to change the hall back for its morning set-up. On Tuesdays, for example, I get it ready for the school band rehearsal. This is also when I collect packed lunches from the classrooms and stack them in the hall ready for lunch time.
I meet up every morning with Sean, the caretaker, to discuss and prioritise the jobs for the day. Then I get on with responding to email requests from teachers to restock or order items for the classrooms to keep everything ticking along, and with calling or meeting with contractors to arrange work that needs doing within the school.
I also conduct routine toilet inspections four times a day to ensure cleanliness and safety and there are lots of other routine checks to be done; every Monday, we have a fire alarm test, and the check the fire extinguishers and fire doors. The water systems are tested once a month for Legionella.
At 11.30am I start setting up the hall for lunchtime, working alongside the mealtime assistant teams. If necessary, I help them with the lunchtime service – and then at 1.15pm, it’s all change again as we prepare the hall for afternoon activities such as choir practice, PE/gym lessons or drama rehearsals.
Once everything is set for the afternoon, I return the packed lunch boxes to the classrooms to go home that night and continue my checks, supporting staff and managing the site maintenance priorities until 2.45pm – when the hall has to be set up for the Academy Café in readiness for the influx of parents at 3.00pm.
Once the children are leaving, or at after-school clubs, I take the school post to the village, empty all the nappy/clinical waste bins and prepare the hall yet again, for maybe a trustees’ or parents’ meeting, when tables, chairs, refreshments and Skype facilities have to be set up or ready for use. Or where there is no meeting scheduled ensuring the hall is set for the following day.
By then, it’s 5.30pm. I pack away the Academy Café, collect the laundry and get that into the machines, and start locking up the school. There’s still paperwork to be done, including risk assessments, contractor communications, health and safety forms etc, but often I can do that at home working remotely.
I’m on-call if an alarm goes off – and sometimes we do get false alarms. A bluebottle fly or a tiny spider can crawl over the sensor, or a back-up battery may fail, so it’s lucky I’m only three or four minutes’ walk away!
Favourite part of the job
There’s never a dull moment in this job, and I deal with everyone – staff, children, contractors and visitors - though I miss having the interaction with the children that I had as a TA, and I can’t fit in as much of that now. I still love looking after the school gardens and helping to make all the costumes for the school productions – that’s great fun!