Thursday, 31 July 2008

Summertime (and more pictures)

We've finally reached the summer holidays. Unfortunately we haven't reached Financial Close, but I'm sure you're as bored of reading that sentence as I am of writing it.

The run up to the summer break is notoriously fraught as tempers get frayed due to rising temperatures and exhaustion. Post-decant living has added to the stress levels. I must be the only person in the UK who was relieved that we had a rotten summer, as that held complaints about the temporary accommodation overheating at bay.

In some ways it's an enormous relief when term ends and most of the regular school inhabitants troop off for the best part of six week, and you know they'll come back relaxed and more prepared for the slings & arrows of BSF, but anyone who thinks we sit around drinking tea throughout the summer obviously has no idea what schools are like at this time of year. Everything really swings into action in preparation for the new school year. Walls are painted, rooms are deep cleaned, stock is delivered and cupboards are cleared. Of course the pressure's off a bit particularly (ahem) if the server is off for the best part of a week leaving us 'phone and e-mail-less.

The builders are working full throttle to make the most of a student-free school to do drainage, piling and electrical works. They are pretty pleased to be doing "real building", so here are some freshly snapped pictures to show you what real building looks like. Apologies if I mis-identify anything.

I'm pretty sure these are drain parts.

Soon this will be deep, drain-shaped excavation.

This is the courtyard right outside the dining halls. In September this will be full of new drains and re-surfaced ready for the students to return.

This is what the front of the school looks like. This is about piling as well as drains.

Some piling earlier.

Nick took the last three photos as he was all hatted up and ready to enter the old building. Hard hats and flourescent jackets look mighty unpleasant things to wear on a hot and humid day. The photo above used to be the reception area and meeting rooms. It's been completely gutted and I was shocked when I saw how different it looked.

I thought this was a picture of the old server room until I stared at it harder and realised it's actually my old office. Take this to mean that it's unrecognisable.

Again, C23 really didn't used to look like this.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

The Home Strait? (and some pretty pictures)

The pressure's really on at the moment. MBE (formerly MPB and about to vanish and become the LEP aka "Hackney Schools for the Future") and the Hackney BSF Team have decided that Financial Close has to happen at the end of July/beginning of August, so we're working flat out. The committed reader of this blog will remember that Financial Close was originally scheduled for December 19th.

In order to get the school nearer to signing the Governing Body Agreement I have been taken off everything except for BSF, which is quite a commitment at this time of year. Documents and other paperwork are coming in thick and fast and e-mails are flying around at a rate of knots. With only four days to go until the Governing Body meeting there still seem to be a load of loose ends, so who knows what will happen.

Anyway, far more fascinating than contractual documentation are some pictures taken by the lovely (and much neglected by me) Sophie, including our temporary accommodation. I've also included a couple she took of the move, although that was a few weeks ago now. Note the vast improvement in my photo upload skills.

This wasn't even the end of the day. We completely ran out of skip space.

This actually looks pretty orderly. Amazingly almost everything got from a to b in one piece. As I said we had a great removal company, although I understand Clapton were very happy with theirs too.

This was the third delivery of crates. We needed a lot.

Arty view of the main admin block.

The lavvies.

The generators (and the Head).

One of the temporary classrooms.

And the door beneath my office. Comical sign not written by me.