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Been put on an Informal Support Plan...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by CallMeJohn, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. CallMeJohn

    CallMeJohn New commenter

    Hi there,

    I've been teaching for twenty years, but...

    I've been put on an "informal support plan" and told there are three possible outcomes: pass it, with no further action required, continue on the support plan for a longer period, or be put on formal capability proceedings (gulp).

    I can't afford to go through formal capability proceedings. I have a family and a mortgage to worry about!

    So, I have started looking immediately for another job.

    My question is: how does this work with regards to a reference from the school... I'm worried that being on this "informal" support plan could jeopardise my reference from the headteacher... Any thoughts?
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    See your Union @CallMeJohn . For all you know it could be a ruse being used on everyone for all the wrong reasons.

    Sounds quite threatening too - how imformal is informal? Does that mean no paperwork ?
    Shedman likes this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    normally simply means you are too expensive for the school, and they won't do anything to hinder you moving on, quite the reverse, in fact.
  4. 9497

    9497 New commenter

    Regional union rep now.

    I am sorry to hear another teacher having to go through this, your days at the school are numbered.

    There is only one outcome: you will not succeed in improving, you will be given an extension, where you will still not improve, you will then be told you will be put on formal capability at which point the union will negotiate a settlement agreement, an agreed reference and you will disappear from the school. You can try and fight it but I personally would not bother putting yourself through the stress (been there got the scars) as they are judge jury and executioner. I asked my union rep how many people he had known stay at a school when this had happened: 1 out of 300.

    Really sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
  5. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I'm sure there's much truth in what a lot of people have said in this thread.

    However, I do know of quite a few staff who have been put on informal support, done what was necessary (sometimes just a few small adjustments), cone off the plan after a few weeks, and have had no problem since.

    In short, informal support IS NOT ALWAYS a ruse to remove expensive staff.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that it sometimes is. But I wouldn't want the OP, or anyone else reading this thread, to believe that their number is definitely up because they're on a support plan.

    The OP could check - has anyone else in their school been out on a plan? If so, are they all older and expensive?

    Has anyone been on a plan previously? Did they 'survive'?
  6. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    To me it sounds like someone wants you out, for whatever reason. You need to work out if that's the case and if you want to fight this or if you would rather vote with your feet and get out of dodge.
    Summerhols6 and pepper5 like this.
  7. delenn

    delenn New commenter

    Get your Union in at the earliest moment. They are the best to advise about possible outcomes.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    9497 has hit the nail on the head, they want you out for a cheaper teacher or NQT. As 9497 says, there's virtually nothing you can do about it as all the evidence will be twisted to paint the picture they want to see. Good luck with the job hunting.
  9. topgirl1

    topgirl1 Occasional commenter

    So sorry to hear CallMeJohn. I am currently on sick leave but imminently due to return to informal capability. Since having time to digest this awful scenario I decided to be proactive and in fact an opportunity came up to work abroad. The gutting thing was that the potential new school seem really interested but when I contacted the union, they told me to stay put. So now even more confused!!! I am putting my trust in my union to help sort out this mess. Hope that helps you decide what to do which is best for you. It's awful when you have financial responsibilities such as the mortgage. Good luck and stay strong!!
    tonymars, cazzmusic1 and pepper5 like this.
  10. 9497

    9497 New commenter

    Be warned, sickness absence was used as a reason to move a colleague from informal to formal on their return. They decided that absence was grounds for additional evidence for capability.
    TailwindTurner and pepper5 like this.
  11. topgirl1

    topgirl1 Occasional commenter

    Even after several operations 9497? Surely they can't do that?
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. 9497

    9497 New commenter

    I am unwilling to say why my colleague went off sick, as it may potentially identify both of us. No it was not for an operation but it was related to a life long condition that was known about by the school, made worse by the stress of the situation they were in.
    annascience2012 and pepper5 like this.
  13. topgirl1

    topgirl1 Occasional commenter

    Thanks 9497
  14. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Sounds like a total dick move to pull.
  15. j_pink

    j_pink New commenter

    I too am in this awful situation. My union regional rep is supporting me. 8 years of excellent results and thanks from SLT. Now this. Stinks
    dragonfly and tenpast7 like this.
  16. CallMeJohn

    CallMeJohn New commenter

    Thanks for the replies.

    It is a very formal "informal support plan". Lots of success criteria (which I doubt my colleagues would meet at this time of year with mock exam marking). Working 24-7 to keep-up with it. Not a fun time.

    Observations every fortnight. Other staff dropping-in to lessons. I'll be doing paired observations of other staff with a colleague. Meeting with a member of SLT every week, and a paired planning session with another colleague, so that's two of my non-contact periods taken-up when I need that time to do my job.

    I may not be the best teacher in the world, but I'm better than this!

    Oh well. I'm going to look for another job asap...
  17. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    just sending you and everyone else in this position a hug and lots of sympathy. This system is a bullies' charter. One day enough victims will get enough organised to arrange to sue the government for the horrendous damage done to teachers. Then the truth will all come out.......
  18. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    I went through this and I agree with many posters above - it's a game you can't win. I was observed once during the time and received a good with outstanding features - I was told I only pull it out for observation. Much of the evidence against me had never been brought to my attention during my informal capability and only found out about it on the day of the formal capability meeting. Things like I over marked - which was never mentioned to me despite my books being scrutinized every week
    tenpast7 likes this.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Anyone who has read these boards for more than a few weeks knows exactly what is going on in UK schools with respect to this process.

    It's a national scandal and a complete professional disgrace.
  20. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I second this - my school were going to do this to me because they set me a target of being back at work at the expiry of my sick note, and I wasn't - they'd said it'd go to formal absence meetings, then capability and disciplinary and on to dismissal. So I had no choice but to quit before they got to that point.

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