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Appraisal and Anxiety - Next Steps

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by curlcurlcurl, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I was told last week I was deemed as not having passed my appraisal targets and therefore wouldn’t be recommended by my line manager for pay progression. This came as a shock out of nowhere.

    The following day, my line manager was isolating and completely ignored me until it came time to tell me that as I have sought union advice it has been passed on to a member of SLT.

    I feel as though I’ve been ambushed. I was due to move onto UPS this year (not the only one in the dept and another teacher is asking if they can be jumped up to UPS sooner than usual too) but I am also the team member that’s been at this school the least amount of time in the department.

    I’ve spent the whole weekend feeling massively anxious. I’ve been unable to sleep, have had an upset stomach in relation to stress and am dreading returning to work tomorrow. I’m looking for a new job but I honestly feel as if I can’t stick out the rest of the half term let alone untill Christmas. :-( Any advice welcomed.
    pepper5 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It came as a shock to you. Of course.

    You don't sit here day after day reading exactly the same story. Told by different people.

    Days are gone when anything is "due" to you. Getting UPS depends on the budget, the day of the week, whether your SLT had croissants or toast for breakfast, if there's an R in the month.

    What were your targets? Were they vague and woolly? Or can you conclusively state that you met them all? They were objective measures? No?

    Get the union in by all means. I know it's tough but it's nothing personal. Unless you really are rubbish or haven't met the targets when you should have done. But I'm excluding that possibility. You're fine. They just can't afford it. They need to plough more money into advertising or some nice lighting in the lobby. You know, useful stuff like that.

    Go through the motions. Read the school's policy. You're looking elsewhere. Good. But your dreams of UPS may be dashed for a year. Sorry.

    NEVER agree to targets that aren't 100% objective and ensure you think you WILL meet them.

    Follow the procedures laid down. Good luck. But I don't want to tell you the union will assuredly get you your UPS. They may very well not. Which is a blow. I hope you hadn't already budgeted for it.
  3. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    All concepts of fairness and justice have gone out of the window in the past decade or so, as far as school teachers' pay progression is concerned. What a surprise ( of course not), they aren't putting you on the UPS. No doubt money gravitates its way to the top , to the leadership team , but you are on the lower rungs. Don't take it personally.
    By the way, the way you're feeling may well be the way they want you to feel ie that you want to get out and find another job. Then they can replace you with someone cheaper.
  4. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I hadn’t already budgeted for it and can survive financially on what I’m currently on. The pay rise would obviously have been welcome, who would turn one down?! However, my bigger concern is the school not upholding the ‘no surprises’ guidance when it’s even in their own pay policy. And also how this makes me look to new employers being told I haven’t met my objectives when I have the evidence to show I do.

    I fully agree and also think I’m now getting expensive and they just can’t afford that. However the behaviour of my line manager ignoring me definitely feels as if there is some element of a personal attack here.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ah. You can prove you met your targets. So they weren't vague. I assume school policy allows an appeal? Have you checked that?

    Look, I'm not sticking up for your line manager. Just an attempted explanation.

    Your line manager earns a bit more than you but isn't, I'm guessing, one of the fat cats. S/he's embarrassed. S/he's been told to block progression to UPS. She can't meet your eye. She feels bloody guilty and knows she's, to all intents and purposes, cheating you.

    It's only personal insofar as you're the one who's looking to progress. It isn't you as a person though. It's just you as an expensive colleague.

    If you can fight this using THEIR policy, THEIR rules, THEIR guidelines? Do it! You'll get plenty moral support from us. You think you can show they're not honouring their own policy? Go for the jugular.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I can't imagine for moment they will ask.
    I expect that SLT have said there is to be no pay progression and so all appraisers need to find a reason to refuse and your line manager was hugely embarrassed at having to do this, and possibly totally against it as well.

    If you have evidence that all targets have been met clearly and unequivocally, then ask for a review meeting with SLT, and have your union with you if you want, and set out your defence.

    It's possibly a blanket 'we can't afford it' situation and most people won't make a fuss. Those who do, might just get what they want. You never know.
    Don't hold it against the line manager, it almost certainly isn't their decision and they almost certainly hated giving you the news.
  7. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I see your point as these sorts of decisions almost always come from above.

    All line managers definitely haven't been told to deny a recommendation for pay progression though so I know it's not a blanket situation across the school. I also line manage a few individuals and was not told to do this.

    Thinking on it in more detail though, it doesn't mean that they necessarily WILL get the pay progression simply because they have been recommended to when it goes to governors. Or it may just mean that MPS-UPS pay progression recommendation have been told to be denied.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I admire your faith/innocence/naivete.

    As far as you're aware. Definitely haven't been told? Well, not officially. No. I dare say! You were told no to hinder pay progression. Yes. As has everyone else. Doubtless.

    Until it was afterwards suggested to them ever so subtly that there might be...instances, cases, occasions when...there might be...reasons, grounds....to .....delay, defer, consider ... whether progression was .... really justified. Ever so subtly.

    Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    Look. You stick to your targets and your achievements. You met your targets without equivocation? Good. Then follow policy and do whatever you can.
    agathamorse, jonators2007 and pepper5 like this.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Someone is going to want to appraise me soon

    I am 59 years old, on a temporary one year contract being paid UPS 3 just teaching Key Stage 3.

    Should be an interesting meeting
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    Is it possible they are trying their luck? They expect you to just accept it. Keep your cards close to your chest. Because this sounds like game playing.

    So speak to Union. Look at pm policy and pay policy. Make it formal. Challenge it. Keep it professional. Also big questions about lack of support from your lm.:cool:
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    agathamorse and SundaeTrifle like this.
  11. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    More likely to be a lack of social skill in dealing with difficult situations. I've come to realise over the years that, in dealing with colleagues, school leaders are often rather lacking in emotional intelligence.
    dizzymai, ATfan, gold19951 and 8 others like this.
  12. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Definitely possible they were trying their luck and assumed I would just accept it so am taking advice and using how the contradictions with their own policy/my evidence shows that. Massive agreement with lack of support from the LM too. How are you supposed to know there’s a problem if nothing has ever been expressed?!

    I’m still feeling hugely anxious though. Looking for a new job is one thing, one thing I’ll definitely be doing. But there are problems that come with that too. If I’m too expensive for a school that I currently work in it feels as if movement prospects will also be limited. How can I expect a school I’d interview with, who barely know me, will fork out the cash that comes with being at the top of MPS or bottom of UPS? Unnecessary worry? Most likely. But that’s the impact the whole situation has had on me, especially since I have no ‘appraisal fails’ under my belt.
    install and agathamorse like this.
  13. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    GDW don’t worry, not offended at all. The advice is hugely welcomed and definitely shows how things can be ‘unofficialy’ suggested when it comes to these situations. Times are hard for schools financially, I get that. Just the somewhat underhanded way certain schools go about cost cutting is hugely frustrating. Especially when they’re still paying for luxuries like bottles of hand sanitizer in every room... Priorities!
    agathamorse and SundaeTrifle like this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    I would focus on challenging - but keep it formal. Don't discuss the challenge with your lm as they will be fishing.

    You need to produce lots and lots of evidence to show you have done all within your power to have met the targets. And if they were not met - you did all you could anyway. Has your lm always been your pm ?
    gold19951 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  15. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I can’t really answer the last question without revealing a little too much and a worry that the situation may be pieced together should any prying eyes be lurking and thinking ‘this sounds quite familiar...’ But, out of curiosity, why do you ask about whether my LM has always been my PM? Would this make some difference to a challenge if they were/were not always both my LM and PM?
  16. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    ...because there are still some decent schools out there!!
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    If you had a new lm and/or new pm - it may be that something has gone awry eg lack of support and meetings, understanding of the pm process, training, midterm pm meetings, discussion of passing the targets.. Things that used to happen maybe but no longer take place:cool:
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Your next job?

    Remember this.

    There is no pay portability.


    You will see a range advertised. At interview you MUST discuss remuneration. You must NOT assume your pay will be matched. This makes it easier for you to find work as your current pay is of little consequence. You are very likely to be offered less. It is then up to you to negotiate.
  19. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the advice. Was aware that pay portability no longer exists and hasn’t done for a while but didn’t think of discussing at interview. Always good to know.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you are hoping to move onto the UPR, under STPCD or similar, then it is usually more than just meeting targets. As well as meeting standards, you need to demonstrate your wider contribution to the school. Most schools expect an application of some kind. What does your school pay policy say about moving to the UPR?

    If you have evidence that you met your targets, then I hope your union will be able to help. You don't want that on your record.
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.

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