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A culture of bullying amongst staff

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by BlackBullet, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. BlackBullet

    BlackBullet New commenter

    Good evening fellow teachers :)

    I have been teaching now for 5/6 years and have had some good experiences but also a particularly awful one, involving bullying by my head of department, to add insult to injury, this also involved the subsequent 'brushing under the carpet' approach by the senior leadership team at my school when it got to the point where I made the decision to have a meeting with my hod, deputy head and my union rep. This is the first time I have ever posted... Although I have been a member of TES for 6 years.

    I know that there have been endless threads regarding (unfortunately) the negative experiences many teachers have experienced within school in relation to bullying of staff by heads of department and even senior members of staff (people with power/status).

    I suppose really, I am seeking advice as to how best to deal with the fact of being in a school, in which there is an overt culture of bullying. Numerous colleagues, both in my own dept and others, have experienced bullying. My question is, how can this issue possibly ever be dealt with when even the headteacher dismisses any complaints that are ever made, whether they be formal or otherwise? I do feel trapped. I know I am a good teacher and work incredibly hard (like so many others) yet; it is so demoralising to know that nothing ever changes or improves...

    I would appreciate any of you coming forward with some of your experiences and how you have dealt with similar situations. I have attempted (many times) to seek new employment and always had excellent feedback, but unfortunately miss out every time to trainee teachers (obviously trainee teachers are equally deserving of securing a post!! :)) this leads me to wonder whether I'll ever be successful in getting out of the hell hole that is my school. Appearance is everything. Results are everything.

    Any advice from experienced or teachers new to the profession would be much welcomed. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post :)
     
  2. donrickles

    donrickles New commenter

    Welcome; sorry you feel how you do.

    Sadly teaching is not the job it once was. I myself have found the changes hard to adapt to. Many teachers feel increasingly unsupported in the new system of micro management and target culture.

    Bullying comes in many forms. Sometimes obvious sometimes cloaked in smiles and support. You need a thick skin these days.

    Some see bullying as managing performance, some manage performance so badly it seems like bullying the lack of communication makes it difficult to decide.

    The truth is you have to make your own decisions based on how you feel.
    My experience is that unions will not tackle a headteacher any longer.

    So you are on your own in many’s ways the simple answer is find a new school you will be happier.

    Another factor is cost sadly many teachers are finding themselves targets sooner than ever a lot of ups3 staff have been forced out. So now even those approaching ups will find themselves targets.

    Without knowing your exact position it is difficult to comment but for your mental health don’t put up with a bully

    Take the higher ground, leave with a clean reference and find new ground

    Good luck

    Mr w
     
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    How do you define bullying ? I know this is a term often deployed by colleagues in these threads but I suspect it is open to interpretation?
     
    BlackBullet likes this.
  4. EGO8

    EGO8 New commenter

    Hi, are you able to flesh out the incidence of bullying you experience? Tell us a bit more.
    If not, '' Take the higher ground, leave with a clean reference and find new ground".
     
    BlackBullet likes this.
  5. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I suspect that many of your good qualities are taken for granted,seen as weaknesses and exploited by the bullies.
    My advice is stay positive if you can , paint a smile on your face and leave asap.
    It is not worth sacrificing your health and happiness.
     
    BlackBullet likes this.
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    Keep job hunting, I suspect that your colleagues will do the same. Also be prepared to leave teaching and look at alternative career options. The longer you stay the harder this will become.
    As things stand at present I don't think things will improve in your school.
    Imagine being in your mid to late 50's with 10 years before your pension starts and being bullied out of one job after another, or unable to find work, because HT's are forcing you out in order to employ younger, cheaper teachers.
    The government proposal to pay teachers £30,000 starting salaries, this will prove to be a lie anyway. may attract more new teachers, this will lead to an increase in the cull of older teachers, to save money.
    @donrickles summed it up very well - this is not the job it was, the damage is done and I do not believe things will change for the better.
     
    BlackBullet, emmam25 and tenpast7 like this.
  7. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    I have experienced something similar - a HoD who started out 'in my corner', but as a bad OFSTED review developed, the HoD failed to remain 'in my corner'. I pointed out to him that SLT who had made a witchhunt out of three in our department had false information on me and he agreed - but refused to go to SLT to put the record straight. I was quite astonished. I can only assume on reflection that he was keeping his head well down so that three didn't become four. The three of us left our posts and at least two of us remain outstanding teachers in other schools which I believe is to the detriment of the school we left.
    HoDs have got their own challenges which often mean they fail to live up to one of their duties of care - to protect the wellbeing of those people they manage. But this is the nature of budget cuts, rising numbers enrolled, cuts to assistants etc. There will be a shift eventually, and school funding will go up, but I doubt this will happen with an elitist, privately educated, 'meritocratic' leadership.
     
    BlackBullet and tenpast7 like this.
  8. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

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