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Appointing without consulatation

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by dangerfield1k, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. dangerfield1k

    dangerfield1k New commenter

    Sorry if this is the wrong section but I would like to ask for advice on a situation I am currently experiencing.

    I am a joint HOD in a large department in an academy and the other joint HOD is sadly leaving us. The job was never advertised and therefore nobody in the department was able to apply for it. Today I found out (via a passing remark by SLT) that somebody who came in for a visit a few weeks ago has been given the job. This person knows a member of SLT but is not (in my opinion) the right person for the job.

    I now have zero trust in the management, I have angry team who have no chance at career progression and I feel almost bullied as I was not asked my opinion on any of this.

    Any advice would be greatly received. Thank you.
    install likes this.
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Put your anger aside and make the new HOD as welcome and supported as possible. Encourage (strongly) your colleagues in the team to do the same.

    Not being asked your opinion is not "bullying", by the way and you need to put such emotive words out of your mind. The head can select whomever s/he wishes to the post and doesn't have to consult you, especially as it's not a post you will line manage.
    CWadd and GLsghost like this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Can you just appoint an external person to a job that hasn't been advertised?

    Either way, it's pretty shabby.
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    GLsghost likes this.
  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    How does that not fall foul of equal opportunity laws etc?
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Because equal opps doesn't mean that you have to advertise. It simply covers not discriminating if you DO advertise!
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I can understand that you feel miffed, @dangerfield1k . And actually miffed rather than bullied is the correct adjective here.

    So you are miffed because they didn't consult you, and because a promotion opportunity has been denied your colleagues. I tend to agree that this was not a sensitive way to deal with this, and therefore some temporary miffedness is fine.


    In private. Only in private. I do hope that you have not been miffed in public.

    Because in public you must not be miffed, let alone talking of bullying, because it is your job to ensure that the department runs smoothly for the benefit of the students.

    And also for the benefit of the staff.

    You say that your colleagues are angry. I hope that you have been doing your best to calm them down. As I said, the smooth running of the department is down to you, so ensuring that they do not continue to be angry is in your hands.

    You say that this person is not the right person for the job. But how do you know?

    You presumably have not seen the confidential paperwork (application form, supporting statement, references) nor were you present at the interview. You have no basis on which to make this judgment, and i do hope that you haven't even whispered it to anyone else except us on this forum.

    The smooth running of the department will also rely on co-operative and harmonious working between the two joint HoDs. You need to put aside all miffedness now (it is a tad teenage after all!), and start thinking how you can achieve this, as well as ensuring that your angry colleagues return to a better state of mind so that the department can move forward and be successful in supporting students to achieve at the very best of their ability.

    Best wishes

  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Sorry, can't agree with that Middlemarch. Whilst I agree that it is perfectly legal to appoint without advertising the post our HR advisor is always flagging up the risk this may fall foul of Equal Opportunity legislation.

    If (say) the HT only asks their friends to fill vacancies and the HT only has white friends where is the Opportunity for non-white staff to be employed? Leaving aside the inherent evils of nepotism, it's difficult to decide if you have the best person for the job if you don't look at a wide range of candidates.
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That's what HR depts do. They've yet to offer a single example to support their claim.

    Proving discrimination even where a post IS advertised is notoriously difficult.

    Again - the head can appoint without advertising. Encouraging the OP to believe it was 'discriminatory' isn't going to help him/her get on with their job, which is to lead their own dept.
  10. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

  14. dangerfield1k

    dangerfield1k New commenter

    The new person will be welcomed but having spoken to them, I know they do not have a suitable background (vocational) to be a direct replacement and will definitely require a lot of assistance and time. We are overstretched as it is and we definitely do not have time to spare.

    I know it seems like I am moaning and being petulant but me and my team only want what's best for our students and that is why I would have liked the vacancy advertised properly.

    It just seems so wrong.
  15. dookiedaveuk

    dookiedaveuk New commenter

    Depends on your definition of advertising... Put it up on the staff room wall? for a day or two... Post it at the front of the school website for a weekend? There are grey areas which you can use to good effect...

    Not saying I agree, but what I would be focusing on if I were in the original posters shoes would be gaining experience, and moving on to brighter futures at other positions. Allowing themselves or others to take it personally is not going to help anyone (I know this is difficult, having been there).

    Colleagues are colleagues, not friends. You realise this when you leave, and all ties die within the space of one summer holiday.
    Godmeister and minnie me like this.
  16. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    I'm quite surprised why SLT did not involve you in the recruitment process. You are going to be the one that will be working with the new recruit the most and therefore you should have had a say in the final decision.
    However, I would like to ask you a question. How do you know that the new HoD is not capable of this job? Have you worked with them before? Never judge a book by it's cover.
    Your post comes across as if you already have 'hard feelings' against this person because a member of SLT has recommended them for the job. Ease it. Make your overall impression once you've worked with them.
  17. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    I have to disagree @jago123 - SLT definitely should not have involved the OP in the decision over this. The post, as I understand it, is a joint-HoD role with the OP. As such the OP has no responsibility over that person and so has no say in who is chosen. It may feel a bit harsh not to have been consulted but it all seems perfectly in-keeping with recruitment processes.

    The HoD before me had no role in choosing new recruits for the following academic year after they were leaving as I had been appointed (and was already working as 2nd in department) so I conducted the interviews as I would line manage them. Similarly, I had no role in choosing who would succeed me as HoD as it had nothing to do with me. I understand that the OP is joint HoD with this new person but they still have no line management responsibilities over this teacher.

    The not advertising part I can understand to some extent as maybe others on the team would have liked to apply, but we don't know the circumstances of the team and maybe SLT didn't think anyone was ready. Who knows?
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    I don't agree with some of the comments written here and would ask privately the following :

    Questions :
    1 Was your own post advertised and that of others in the school?
    2 Have you been undermined because there was no effective transition in process to allow sharing the post a real possibility?
    3 Do you have the same rights as your counterpart?
    4 Is there an element of bias here?
    5 Are your reponsibilities equal?
    6 How do your team view you and your counterpart as shared leaders? Has this been made difficult for the both of you?
    7 Has everything been done to ensure that a blame culture does not develop?
    8 Does your linemanager meet regularly with the both of you?
    9 Who presents to your team and on what?
    10 Do tell your team the facts and in front of the new person sharing the role BUT agree with the new person what you both say so that there is a united front.
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    I don't agree with many of the comments written here and would ask privately the following :

    1 Has your dept been undermined because of the lack of effective transition in shared leadership?
    2 Has your role changed as a result because you have to do roles that your counterpart would normally do?
    3 Will the two roles continue as before?
    4 Will there be a regular meeting where you both meet with the line manager?
    5 How will your team view your leadership skills if you don't tell them what is going on?

    Advice and nothing more:

    1 You and your counterpart meet and agree that you will tell your team the facts of what has happened. Remember that your counterpart is most likely in 'the dark as much as you ".

    2 You both agree where your duties start and end and check with your line manager.

    3 Again you continue to let your team know as a united front and throughout the year what is actually going on. This will allow you both to deal withany more shocks that may come your way when you are not consulted rightly or wrongly.

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