To Me, To You

1 Feb 2019 | by Lesley Burton


My Site Manager and I have a reputation of being somewhat of a double act.  Whilst we’d like to think we were akin to the glamour and charisma of Dempsey and Makepeace, we have been likened more than once to Laurel and Hardy.  This is usually when we are ankle deep in water trying to locate an errant stop cock, whilst the bathroom fills with water faster than a challenge on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ - much to the amusement of both staff and children and me telling him “this is another fine mess you got me in”.


The relationship of the SBL and the Site Manager is definitely a double act and a vital one in school.  Although he is the Jack Duckworth to my Vera and we squabble on a daily basis, I couldn’t function without him.  While I deal with complex HR issues, he is ensuring we have enough toilet rolls to see us through the current D&V crisis to hit Foundation Stage.  While I am processing and approving payroll, he is negotiating the price of grit with suppliers like a Wall Street Wolf even though it’s only July. 

(You know when he’s negotiating price by the sound of the renowned Yorkshire Battle Cry of “Hooooow much???”)

This is why we work.  We may be very different, but we know what’s needed, we get on with it and half of the time we don’t need spoken words to converse this.  We think the same due to the shared desire for the very best for our children underpinning everything we do.

I know I am blessed.  We have worked together at our current school for 6 years and worked together previously at a secondary school for 5 years.  People are often entertained by our account of how we have continued to work together at 2 schools – his account says I rang him begging for him to come as I couldn’t live without him, mine is that he kept standing with his face pressed against the window and I finally gave in and took pity on him.  I love the bemused look of the listener’s face wondering who to believe and we never enlighten them.  (The real story is the job was advertised, he applied, I wasn’t involved due to conflict of interest and he was appointed on merit, but this isn’t half as entertaining!).


To me he is an unsung hero, one of the vital organs of the school ensuring the building and grounds are safe and ready for teaching and learning every single day.  The children adore him, all of the staff are very fond of him, and the parents admire him.  As for me …. Yeah he’s alright but don’t tell him I said that!!



We’re off to move some furniture now as apparently nobody does it like us strangely enough!  To me, to you …