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About to be dismissed

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Alice1965, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Alice1965

    Alice1965 New commenter

    I have been accused of pushing a child. I did not I put my hand up and said "stop". The child was uninjured. 2 witnesses, I use the term loosely as one could not have seen from her position, have agreed on my guilt. Had a meeting today and my union rep says it doesn't look good for me as it's the word of 2 against 1. I just can't believe the situation or where it came from. Anyone else been in a similar situation?
     
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Sorry. No. But surely you can cast doubt on the veracity of one witness? And that might undermine the credibility of the other?

    Oh, dear. How awful. There must be a bit more to it though if the rep is giving such a gloomy prognosis. More detail? If you're up to it?
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Oh dear, this must be so distressing for you!

    Is your union rep actually fighting on your behalf? Have they actually mentioned dismissal rather than a formal Warning?

    Keep strong. Ask the union what they propose to do to defend you.

    Best wishes for an outcome that is just and fair.

    .
     
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I can't add more than Theo has except you might want to contact the Teacher Support Network for someone to talk to. I don't know if they may be able to advise you further, but they are someone to talk to.

    As Theo says, ask the union what they are going to do to defend you. Don't allow them to give up so easily.
     
  5. Alice1965

    Alice1965 New commenter

    Thanks for the support. Although I have worked at the school for nearly 3 years I was on supply until beginning of November. It is SEN. There were only 2 students and 2 TA's in class at the time. The students are not able to be witnesses and the TA's both say that I pushed said child. To fully explain I would need to go into behaviour patterns no go areas in class and each child's profile. Obviously I can't do that but I am honest when I say I did not push the student. If there had been any accidental contact I would have apologised. It is a "safeguarding" issue and the school take no chances. My union rep says because I am on my probation period I have no rights. The head seems most concerned that I may not understand the Whistleblowing Procedure as when I was suspended I demanded the accuser also be suspended for lying as she most certainly has. I can't get my head round the fact that the Whistleblowing Procedure enables people to make malicious accusations and promises protection from those they have wronged.
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    I think that there may be a misunderstanding here. You have rights, as does anyone accused. What you may not have is the right to claim unfair dismissal, if you have not been directly employed by the school until very recently.

    CAB Unfair dismissal

    I'll just call a friend here who can explain a bit more, perhaps.

    @GLsghost

    Best wishes

    .
     
  7. Alice1965

    Alice1965 New commenter

    Thanks TheoGriff
    Any suggestions welcome as I feel bemused and confused. I have been a teacher for 25 years and never experienced anything like this, either personally or seen it happen to others. x
     
  8. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    First thing to do might be to write down exactly what happened, who was in the room and where people were standing at the time, what you said/did, what the child said/did, times dates etc. as much as you can remember and in as much detail (include a diagram if possible) while it is still fresh in your mind. That way when you are questioned about things you will have something to refer to, and are less likely to be confused or have other people try and confuse you.
     
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You have to press to have the hearing (or whatever happens) ASAP. You don't need time to prepare. Write everything down as suggested by monica and push to be exonerated without delay.

    Do either of these TAs have it in for you? Why are they making these allegations? Sounds as if they are great mates and one is backing up her friend without good reason.

    Fight it. Of course your union should be supporting you and fighting for you. You do have rights. You don't have as much protection as someone who's been on a permanent contract for a couple of years but what the heck is going on? Challenge it.

    Do these TAs have an issue with your way of doing things?
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Alice1965

    Alice1965 New commenter

    In reply to both. I wrote down immediately after I was informed. They had plenty of time to confer, and I suspect they did. There was an incident the day before where a TA from another class was coming in every morning to have coffee with my (8) TAs before kids came in but during directed time. It was brought to my attention and the other teacher had a word with the TA but it got back that I had had a go about everyone and accused them of not doing their work. Not true but wonder if this had anything to do with it, but one of my senior TAS told me they were "very angry" with me. However I thought this had been clarified and sorted at ta meeting the evening before incident. Hearing was today and I was told by my union that it does not look good for me.
     
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    That explains it.

    You've been mafia-ed. They've closed ranks.

    Well, you should probably be guided by your union but they do sound overly defeatist. Is this an experienced person supporting you? If there's no substance whatsoever in this allegation then it's heart-breaking to be forced out by a conspiracy.

    I feel for you. Without being able to be very helpful, I'm afraid.
     
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  12. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    I am somewhat confused. Was this not immediately referred to LADO and did they not direct any subsequent investigation?
     
  13. ilovepoppies

    ilovepoppies New commenter

    Well done for writing everything down.
    Have you been suspended, had a suspension meeting and given copies of the school's disciplinary and safe guarding procedures? You should have been.
    An independent investigating officer should have been appointed and the LADO informed.
    When false allegations against me were made, my Union told
     
  14. ilovepoppies

    ilovepoppies New commenter

    For some reason my whole post didn't come through!
    My Union told me to resign, rather than fight a battle I was sure to lose. I had five members of staff, plus the head, lying about me, but I fought my corner. I admit it wasn't easy, to this day, I still have flashbacks, but I won, I kept my job.
    Only you know how much fight you have in you.
    Make sure the correct procedure is followed. You may have been told that you are not allowed contact with your colleagues. This is not true, you can see them socially, as long as you don't talk about the case. You can call colleagues to act as character witnesses, if any heard the TAs moaning about you the day before, this can be used as evidence.
    I wish you all the luck in the world, take care x
     
  15. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I really feel for you. In a stint as 1:1 in an SEN school I accidentally hit a pupils hand. (He was moving the paper my charge was supposed to be writing on across the table continuously and I was aiming for the paper).

    My career flashed before me.

    No action was taken in the end. But there was a very stressful morning where I was asked to re-write what happened several times. It got to the stage where I wanted to either get back to work or be sacked and go straight home. The version that was accepted was when I included the word assault in the title. Then it went up to LEA.

    I would emphasise that I reported the incident myself, pupil couldn't recall it happening and no-one except the three of us saw what happened.

    Write down what happened. Get someone out of school to read it through. Do not be talked into re-writes. Do not ask anyone in school for advice on how to word it (another mistake I made).

    Good luck. It does sound as if you might be better working elsewhere in the long term.
     
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Your best chance is if you can find proof that the TAs had it in for you. But that will make your position untenable really as it will hardly endear you to your colleagues. Very tough indeed.

    You have to clear your name. But also probably manage a dignified exit unless they are prepared to climb down.
     
    joannagb likes this.
  17. old_dobbin

    old_dobbin Occasional commenter

    Perhaps someone legally qualified could comment: doesn't the Education and Inspections Act 2006 give school staff the power to use reasonable force to maintain discipline? Even if you had pushed the child-which I understand you totally deny-would there not be the defence that you used the minimum force necessary to maintain discipline in the classroom? You say the child was not injured at all, so presumably there were no marks or signs that force had been used, implying that even if you had pushed the child , you did so with great restraint.
     
  18. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    From what you said, and without having been there, it sounds much like the child 'walked into your hand' perhaps knowing full well the likely implications of this action. Of course, only you (and the witnesses) know hand on heart your culpability, or lack of, in this case.

    Assuming you are innocent, good luck fighting it!
     
  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    You are legally required not maintain order in your class and to act safely for children, keeping them safe. If you were dealing with a problem that led to your hand making contact that was unintentional then that is not an offence. You were guiding the child. Shepherding them. Your union is well out of order. They should be absolutely on your side. Have you had any training for handling children? Is there a school policy for handling and restraint.? The guidance is called Team Teach and absolutely clear is the responsibility of the teacher to keep children safe.
    The setting in which you work needs to be sorted out. There is something stinky going on there I think, if TAs can gang attack a teacher like this. I do hope the local authority is aware of what is happening.
    The TA who thinks they saw you push a child was not in a position to see? Outrageous. They simply cannot be used as a witness.
    I had an SEN child who would run up to me, wildly, crash into me, and as I put out my hands to buffer her from barging into me, to touch her shoulders, just at that exact moment, she would fall dramatically to the floor and scream. Luckily she did this to other people too, but anyone watching would have thought I had pushed her over. And she was only 3 years old.
    I do so feel for you. I hope it sorts. Do find somewhere else to teach. And if you can, once safe, let the appropriate people know what is happening in that school.
     
    Alice1965 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  20. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I agree with @NellyFUF and @grumpydogwoman that you are the victim of a 'TA stitch up'. I'm sorry that your union rep is not being helpful but you really need someone from the area office to handle this, someone who is good at cross-examination and who might be able to picks holes in the, so-called, witness statements.

    I wonder who is behind this? Is it just the TAs themselves, are have they been put up to it? In my last school, we had an small army of new TAs coming in. Several colleagues had complaints made against them by conveniently-placed TAs, including one poor chap who supposedly uttered the word 'b*ll*cks', in the print room.
     
    Alice1965 and grumpydogwoman like this.

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