[Ed - this properly belongs to the era of St John Plessington. However I suspect the only significant change has been the references to girls]

From: The Head Master

5th September, 1977


It hardly needs to be stated that the maintenance of good order in the school is the common concern of all the staff and that in a sense we are all on duty all the time. The purpose of the duty roster is simply to ensure that supervision never falls below a minimum level. Colleagues assigned to duty, however, should bear in mind that the obligation imposed on them is a serious one, and neglect could have serious consequences on a teacher’s professional career

It is undeniable that the Head Master or his Deputy is in a sense responsible for everything that happens in the School, but in a school such as this the Head Master would, if a case came to Court, be generally considered to have discharged his obligation satisfactorily in arranging for the sort of roster which we have agreed upon, ensuring that three identifiable teachers are on duty at all times along with support from a roster of Prefects.

Hours of Duty

1. 8.40 am (Upper School), 8.55 a.m. (Lower School), to end of Morning Assembly.

2. Duration of morning break, i.e. usually 10.50 to 11.05

3. Midday break — normally 12.40 to 1.40

4. End of afternoon session, 3.50 to 4.05, as well as Detention from 4.00 to 4.30 p.m.

Arrangement of Duty Rosters

1. These are in the care of Mr. Howells and Mr. Whyatt, the Senior Masters.

2. Those eligible for duty are: all members of the teaching staff, apart from the Head Master and the Deputy Head Masters.

3. Masters and Mistresses on duty will be listed in groups of four, each group being on duty for one school day.

4. There are certain difficulties involved in the assignation of part—time members of staff to the performance of the duties described in this circular, but it is much appreciated that these colleagues have been generous in assisting The full—time members of staff as opportunity has arisen.

5. The Head Master and Deputy Head Masters are often to be seen about the buildings and grounds during the times when other colleagues have been assigned to duty. Their purpose is in no way to suggest any mistrust of their colleagues but rather to provide the lubrication which all good machinery requires, to familiarise themselves with the school community and its atmosphere, and to provide also an element of unpredictability, as far as the pupils are concerned:

the identity of the regular duty teachers is published, and their movements can easily be observed by the pupils; the unpredictable appearance of other figures of authority may have a salutary effect and assist in the maintenance of good order.

General Duties

1. To supervise performance of duty by the Prefects and to refer to the Senior Masters any cases of neglect of duty of this kind.

2. To maintain good order and safety throughout the times when the pupils are not under the control of class teachers in classrooms.

3. To give appropriate attention to pupils who are injured or in bad health (this duty may in practice be the common concern of several members of the staff, including colleagues skilled in first—aid, the secretarial staff, the Head Master, etc.).

4. Punishment of boys who misbehave.

a) Latecomer’s should be assigned to Detention.

b) Pupils behaving in a disorderly and unreasonable fashion should be either rebuked. or, if judged worthy of punishment, be sent to receive corporal punishment from one of the Masters on Duty — one who has received from the Head Master written permission to administer such punishment — to the appropriate room. Pupils in Form 4 and above, however, should be referred to the Head Master or one of his Deputies. Some graver offences also, e.g. defiance of Prefects, possession of fireworks and water pistols, vandalism, etc. should be referred to the Head Master or his deputy. All misbehaviour on the part of girls should be referred to Miss Boyce.

5. The wearing of gowns by all members of the Staff is customary in this School, although one accepts certain other exceptions with regard to the dress appropriate in workshops, laboratories, the Gym., etc. So far as their teaching duties remit teachers on duty should be as formally dressed as possible and should wear gowns.

6. Requests for permission to go on the roof to retrieve a ball should all be referred to the teachers on duty who can make whatever decision their good sense may prompt. No pupil should be allowed to, climb a ladder unless it is held securely by two other pupils and in general the smaller boys should not be allowed to perform such tasks at all.

7. We have not normally considered it to be the express duty of Duty Masters to supervise the bus queues since we have Prefects appointed for the purpose, nevertheless, certain types of disorderly behaviour at the bus stop which are normally visible from the School may call for our intervention. Similarly, authority may need to intervene when attempts are made at fights between a neighbouring school and ours, and again the teachers on duty are requested to do whatever they can, although it is presumed also that they will have the support of any other colleagues who may be available.

8. When graffiti appear in any of the lavatories, the, door of tie lavatory should be locked and the lavatory put out of use until the writing is removed. The Duty Master may however decide that it is better to restrict access to certain toilets at certain times (e.g., ground floor toilets at the beginning of the dinner—time break) and may therefore decide to leave the toilet unlocked, although in this case he should send for the appropriate Caretaker immediately.

9. Teachers on duty are requested to report to the appropriate Head of School any damage to furniture or to the building which they may observe.

10. It is not intended here to review in detail all the rules of the School which teachers on duty are requested to enforce, but some reference seems to he necessary to the fact that all the laboratory: areas are normally out of bounds during recreation.

The following particular duties should be mentioned with reference to particular times of the day.

8.40 a.m. (Upper School) or 8.55 a.m. (Lower School) to end of Assembly.

1. Games and chasing in the playground are forbidden before school. During the Winter it may be necessary also to make sure that the Caretaker puts cinders or sand on any slides which the pupils may have attempted to make.

2. We do not do not accept responsibility for any close control of pupils who arrive at the Upper School before 8.40 a.m. Ideally the classrooms would all open instantaneously at 8.40, but it is fact the Caretaker will be obliged to start his round at about 8.30a.m. At an earlier hour, i.e., about 8 a.m. the classrooms are open for cleaning. We tolerate the presence of boys in the building at this time, and if the classrooms are open it seems pointless to prevent their entering them. We have found, from several years’ experience, that the boys who arrive so early are almost invariably well behaved. If there were to be any complaints implying lack of supervision, then we might have, to deny access to the building before the time of arrival of the Duty Teachers.

3. On days When there is to be Assembly in the Hall, i.e. on most school days, the bell rings at 8.45 a.m. in the Upper School, and at 9.05 in the Lower School, indicating that pupils are required to collect their books, and any other necessary equipment and proceed to the Assembly Ball in silence. Teachers on duty should see to the evacuation of the classrooms and the pupils’ silent progress towards the Assembly Hall.

4. It is necessary to supervise the Prefects who are in charge of the late roster. Regard should be paid particularly to two matters, first, the failure to "book" fellow Prefects, and, secondly, the surreptitious arrival of late—comers by various illicit entrances.

5. During Assembly teachers on duty should inspect the entire building, having regard especially to possible hiding places, particularly the lavatories and means of ascending to the roof.

Morning Break

1. All classrooms and lavatories should be visited

2. The playground should be patrolled and the playing fields supervised.

3. Pupils should be rigorously prevented from talking to members of the Teaching Staff at the entrance of the Common Room in either building; pupils venturing to knock on the door of the Common Room should be sent immediately to the Head Master.

4. These arrangements are made on the assumption that colleagues on duty have also a full teaching programme and that they need a break like their other colleagues. It is left to the discretion and good sense of colleagues whose turn it is to be on duty to arrange for each in turn to have a cup of tea and a smoke in the Common Room. (The practice observed in some schools whereby the Teacher on duty is seen in the playground with a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other is quite inappropriate here.)

5. At the end of the break at least one teacher on duty should stand outside supervising the return of boys from play; the others, so far as their subsequent teaching duties permit, should encourage the pupils to go into their classrooms and collect their books in readiness for the next lesson.

Dinner—time Break

1. The teachers on duty are in charge of the Dining Hall as well as the rest of the School, and it may be necessary for them to intervene and make decisions in case of dispute, e.g. between pupils and the Supervisory Assistants. On the other hand, the view may reasonably be taken that all the teaching staff who take the school meal in the Dining Hall have accepted the duty of supervising the Dining Hall and sharing this duty with their colleagues.

2. Patrolling of the buildings and grounds should take place just as described with reference to the morning break, but the need becomes more urgent in the last half—hour of the lunch time break. Vigilance is necessary particularly when there is a Staff Meeting, and however one may desire the presence of all the Staff on such occasions, it is better for the good of the community that same teachers should patrol. For special reasons duties could be interchanged, or the Deputy Head Masters might take over instead.

End of Afternoon Session

1. One of the four teachers on duty will supervise the Detention, which should start at 4.00 and end at 4.30 unless other times are promulgated for special reasons, e.g., when the whole school are sent home at an earlier hour than usual.

2. The other three teachers on duty, though not engaged in supervising Detention, should remain on the premises until 4.05 p.m. in the Upper School, and 4.15 p.m. in the Lower School. There are not usually many disciplinary problems at this time, but authority should be seen to be present and they may very opportunely intervene in certain circumstances, e.g., when large numbers of pupils foolishly squeeze through a doorway where only one door has been opened and there is a danger of a "pile—up" and injury.

3. Teachers on duty are presumed to share the common concern of all the Staff for the appearance of the pupils and ought not to let flagrant disregard for uniform to bass uncorrected. A boy attempting to go home without a tie should be made to put on his tie and not allowed to move from the spot until he has complied and adjusted it. It is left to the prudence of the teachers concerned to decide whether to refer untidily attired girls to Miss Boyce.