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22 years as HOD demoted out of the blue

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by johnsmithson, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. johnsmithson

    johnsmithson New commenter

    Has anyone else been demoted without any previous criticism of either classroom or leadership practice? I.E. out of the blue.

    Despite being allowed by law to retain the TLR for 3 years the obvious message is we don't want you, you are now a classroom teacher only ( despite being paid top of UPS plus the TLR), so the clear message from the top is go or we will manage you out.

    I am referring to a northern MAT whose main priority is to employ as many teach firsts and NQT's as possible so as to cut their cloth so the jam stays firmly at the top.

    It's a scandal yet to be addressed by serious journalists and commentators.
  2. Leigh1999

    Leigh1999 New commenter

    Yes it is a scandal.

    (Apologies I can’t offer you more support than this. All I can say is that I fought hard through supporting campaigns against academisation and I always suppprted the Union. Everyone was warned that it would come to this but too many decided that they would toe the line and aim for SLT and so not put their heads above the parapet. There are a lot of “Pastor Niemollers” in academies today. Best of luck to you though).
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Yes, they are as guilty as anyone else of destroying education (and teaching as a career) in this country.
    MarieAnn18 and agathamorse like this.
  4. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Have you been given anything in writing? If not I would ask for this. Then I think you need to be on your toes because, after reading many posts on here, I suspect the next thing will be capability as they try to get you out. It must be quite a shock to you - make sure you look after your mental health.
  5. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    Yes I have seen this happen. First the HoDs were demoted back to classroom teacher, the put on capability in an attempt to either get them to either relinquish their protected TLR or quit. Totally despicable behaviour but a common tactic among MATs taking over schools.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    The school do not deserve you. It happened to a colleague of mine. They watched someone else lead - and quietly enjoyed claimimg back their new life. They did the minimum as a teacher from that point on. Kept their head low. And did not offer any advice or criticism to all the new changes their new hod brought in.

    Sure enough the results went down. Another new hod was then appointed and the same happened again - results went further down.

    So - if you stay, be selfish. Dont give advice or criticize. You are not paid to . Do get the best results but just for your classes. Let the dept go.

    If you leave - then.go for a hod post or promotion
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You have plenty of time to find another job
  8. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Great advice install.
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Given that the OP is the sort of experienced, specialist (read: expensive) teacher schools do not seem to want, as evinced by the fact that their current school is trying to offload them, this might not be so easy.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  10. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Makes my blood boil this. 22 yrs and this is what is served to you. The best advice is as @install describes. They have unintentionally done you a favour
    If a HOD or now even SLT post is really what you desire apply elsewhere or enjoy classroom teaching whilst watching those sweat through it. Oh and by the way what goes around comes around ....it really does;)
  11. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    I don't want to be miserable but it does sound like they're trying to push you out. I find that once you turn 41 your cards are marked.It's blatant ageism but academies now employ HR professionals who can make teachers disappear with no legal comeback. It'll start with a lesson observation that 'wasn't to your usual standard' we need to see you again next week. Except they'll not tell you when and just drop in. It will be just within the legal required notice though. Naturally, you fail that lesson and be given a 'support plan' with achievable targets, which chances are you'll never meet.
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Yep. Time to start winding the career down. It’s the start of the end. The school does not need or appreciate you, and can do what you are doing for a lot less. Maybe it’s an opportunity to do something with your life as teaching in the UK is the pits now. Teaching abroad? Retire early? Start a business? Travelling?
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Once upon a time 22 years as an experienced HOD was enough to have your next step be into the hallowed ranks of SLT.

    Those times have passed... now a big fat target hangs from your neck... all the experience is worth nought in the brave new world of MATs and Executive Headteachers...

    Reappraisal of management systems are usually the best way to drive out unwanted staff.... change everyone's roles and when they find they are unnecessary... well it happened to everyone, don't go taking it personally.

    Ah such a time to be a teacher...
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    If we might ask, @johnsmithson, how did the school put this to you? Were just hauled in and told your services as HoD were not longer wanted? Was it a consequence of 're-organisation'? Who took you place? (To whom were they related?)
  15. johnsmithson

    johnsmithson New commenter

    Good question jolly roger. In an unbelievably arrogant fashion the Head told me the department outcomes were not comparable with other schools in the MAT. Remember, this was out of the blue, and the department in question was phse/ soft skills/related and at the time was not even reporting hard data. This was of course the practice and philosophy across the MAT and was therefore nothing less than a power move.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    This rings alarm bells wit me. I am not an expert on employment law, but this is how I see it. If you want to take it further, you need legal advice, probably via your union.

    From what you say about 'by law' it looks like your contract is governed by STPCD - this is possible via TUPE even in an academy if you were at the school before it became one. Or if the academy uses STPCD. The three year rule you refer to is the salary safeguarding, which starts:

    29.1. Paragraphs 30 to 36 apply to a teacher in the following circumstances:
    a) the teacher loses a post as a result of:
    i. the discontinuance of, a prescribed alteration to, or a reorganisation of, a school;

    I can find nothing in STPCD which allows for demotion on other grounds.

    Now if the school had hard evidence that you were not up to the HoD role, they might be able to justify removing your TLR. But I don't think they can just do it.

    That being said, it would be less stressful for you to look for another HoD job, as has been suggested. Some schools are willing to pay the price for an experienced HoD.
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Good advice.
    agathamorse, install and jlishman2158 like this.
  18. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @johnsmithson Really sorry to hear what has happened to you and of the appalling behaviour of the HT. Once you've gotten over the shock, if you decide to move to a new school, please get some advice on how to answer the question, why did you move from HoD to class teacher. You may have to get the narrative agreed first with the current Head.

    Since he wants you to go, and this is a way to get you to think about moving, I hope he is compliant in helping you with the transition. I would definitely get on the phone to the union re, getting some clarification as to how this is to be explained to a potential new employer.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I am sorry to hear that your head treated you so peremptorily! I wonder whether his claim about your department's results was even true. As others have said, get advice from your union asap, as if your school is still going by the burgundy book, you might have a case.

    I cannot see your Head continuing to pay your TLR for the next three years, so a visit from 'Capability Blue' might be coming your way. It might be an idea for your union to negotiate a package for you, which does not mention your demotion.
    catbefriender and agathamorse like this.
  20. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    As a new academy they will allow you to be subject to TUPE and so maintain your terms and conditions for 3 years but more than likely they will cite technical, organisational and economic reasons to do what they have done.
    They will then pick you off one by one with capability where prior there were no issues of capability. They want you to leave to reduce their salary costs.
    Firstly get your union involved at regional level, if you want to fight for a settlement deal. The other option is to find a school that is looking for your skills. I am sorry that I cannot be positive and accept that you and others have targets on your back. It is this kind of shoddy behaviour that we expect from academisation and they wonder why they have a recruitment/retention problem.

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