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being pushed out - really need advice

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by anon_nqt, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Hi I am a regular poster but as this post may make me identifiable I have created a new username.
    I am an NQT and I really need advice. I started school in september on a <u>permanent contract</u> and unfortunately have been quite ill, I have had 2 stints of absence each lasting about 2 weeks. I had an email the other day asking if I was available to attend a 'return to work' meeting with the head today. I said yes and went along armed with my sicknote.The head said my absence was a concern as I have had a lot of time off and I really needed to improve it (I know that but I have been signed off both times).
    He then moved on to say that it was obvious I was having a hard time (it is a difficult school to work in anyway!) and I wasn't performing too well (they 'failed' my first term) but they had put into place extra support (more observations!) and asked if they could do anything else to help me try and pass the year. He then announced that they are advertising my job but I could apply if I wanted to. I was that shocked that I didn't have anything to say.
    I recently had my performance management observation which was during a period of illness but I came into school to do my lesson because I didn't want to miss it. I failed the observation because I followed advice from a higher member of staff, despite not wanting to and I am certain I wouldn't have failed it had I gone with my gut instinct.
    I have been so upset all day, I know I have been struggling but I'm starting to get to grips with things and I can't believe that they have made this decision when there is still a whole term to go. I was that shocked at the time that I didn't have anything to say to the head. I should also mention that I went back to my HOD who was not aware of any of this.
    I am going to be contacting my union. Surely they cannot do this when I am on a permanent contract? I am so angry and feel so betrayed, to be honest I can't bear the thought of returning tomorrow!
    All advice welcome, thanks
     
  2. Hi I am a regular poster but as this post may make me identifiable I have created a new username.
    I am an NQT and I really need advice. I started school in september on a <u>permanent contract</u> and unfortunately have been quite ill, I have had 2 stints of absence each lasting about 2 weeks. I had an email the other day asking if I was available to attend a 'return to work' meeting with the head today. I said yes and went along armed with my sicknote.The head said my absence was a concern as I have had a lot of time off and I really needed to improve it (I know that but I have been signed off both times).
    He then moved on to say that it was obvious I was having a hard time (it is a difficult school to work in anyway!) and I wasn't performing too well (they 'failed' my first term) but they had put into place extra support (more observations!) and asked if they could do anything else to help me try and pass the year. He then announced that they are advertising my job but I could apply if I wanted to. I was that shocked that I didn't have anything to say.
    I recently had my performance management observation which was during a period of illness but I came into school to do my lesson because I didn't want to miss it. I failed the observation because I followed advice from a higher member of staff, despite not wanting to and I am certain I wouldn't have failed it had I gone with my gut instinct.
    I have been so upset all day, I know I have been struggling but I'm starting to get to grips with things and I can't believe that they have made this decision when there is still a whole term to go. I was that shocked at the time that I didn't have anything to say to the head. I should also mention that I went back to my HOD who was not aware of any of this.
    I am going to be contacting my union. Surely they cannot do this when I am on a permanent contract? I am so angry and feel so betrayed, to be honest I can't bear the thought of returning tomorrow!
    All advice welcome, thanks
     
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Firstly - Do contact your union at regional level and raise their support. Your permanent contract may well have something like 'subject to successful probationary period of 6 months' or 'on condition of successful completion of NQT year', but your union will be able to tell you if so and if the school has followed their procedure for enforcing such.
     
  4. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    You're certainly doing the right thing by contacting your union. I do sympathise with you. I went through a really tough a few years back. I was "supported" but the support didn't feel very supportiv and mainly consisted of extra observations.
    Why did they do a performance management observation on you? As an NQT you are not part of the performance management cycle and should only be observed as part of your NQT programme.
     
  5. I thought that my contract is likely to have a clause in there somewhere, once I have got it out I will scrutinise it. Personally, I think the whole situation has been very badly (and unprofessionally!) handled.
    To make matters worse I was only told about this situation in the middle of the day, it could have at least waited until the end of the day.
     
  6. In my opinion, extra observations is not supportive especially when my observations are graded according to the new OFSTED criteria and they seem to focus entirely on the negatives.
    I didn't know NQTs are not part of performance management and it would appear the school don't know (or don't care!) either. I will query this with the union too. I need to find out the exact reasons why they are kicking me out, I know I should have asked this today but I was far too stunned.
     
  7. Yours is not the first school to do performance management in error with NQTs! Hopefully your union will be supportive and guide your school to get it right.
     
  8. Hi
    A lot of this sounds highly irregular. In your school, there shold be somebody who deals with NQTs specifically. As far as I am aware, as an NQT you are not a part of the performance management. However, your observations should be connected to those passing the NQT year. If you are not coping then support should mean exactly that. Observations are only supportive if the person doing them A) knows what they are doing & B) is not using it as a punitave tool. ( I get the impression that this is what is happening.
    Your first port of call is to find out what their obligations are to you as an NQT ( I get the impression that you do not know what these are); Secondly whan you have this information, you will be in a position of power, because you & your union will be able to judge whether the school is meeting thier obligation or just paying lip service to it; Thirdly when you go back to see your Head armed with your knowledge you will be in a position to ask "What are you going to do to support me?"
    Lots of observations are soul destroying especially when the negatives are continually highlighted. You/your Union should insist that you see lessons across all of the spectrum - satisfactory to outstanding- using the new criteria & have it explained so that you have some idea of how to emulate these. Also maybe some team teaching in your subject area & perhaps some team planning using the student data so that you are able to ensure that progress is being made.
    Obviously if your attendence is an issue then the Head is in a position to highlight this & quite rightly so, but again it should not be used as a stick to beat you with. Two 2 week stints -to me- is not excessive
    With regard to advertising your job, you need to see what is in your contract. It may say that your post is subject to your having passed the probationary year. However, the fact that he has told you that it is being advertised is a very clear indication of his plans. You ought to seek Union advice about this as a matter of urgency.
    I hope that all goes well.
     
  9. Ps when you go to the Head armed with your information- the shock on his face is likely to be one which will stay with you for a very long time. Ask him to hold the look so that you can take a photo together.
    On a serious note make sure that any interactions that you have are copied to your union rep & that any meetings you are asked to attend are attended with a Union rep or another individual. i am mindful to suggest that this is not your HOD, simply because, you have stated that the HOD was unaware when you spoke to them. You do not know what interactions may have passed between the HOD & SLT since you made them (HOD) aware of what has happened. This may sound a little suspicious but you are seeking to hold on to your job; I am sure that the HOD wants to keep thiers as such the quest for income maintainence can make for strange bed ellows!
     
  10. Hello
    If I were you, I would read Tbob's advice( not the photo). Also I would take it one step further. Ask your Union if there are grounds for a grievience? There is nothing like the smell of investigation to help Head teachers reconsider their actions. In my experience, they become quite willing to discuss things in a much more reasonable manner.
    You are doing what your Head expects you to do - panicking! Don't give them the satisfaction. When you go back, go in on a mission - to save yourself! Ensure that you have all of the information that you need & ask the right questions -namely "what have you done for me lately?" If it transpires that they have not been doing what the NQT/Probationary period requires then I am sure that the attitude is likely to be very different. Observing you out of sight certainly is not it. Tbob made some good suggestions
    However, unless you actually know what that is then you are going to be well & truely stuffed!!
    Have you got a good school rep? if not by pass them go to region & ask. When they give you the information you can go to your school rep (don't tell them that you consulted region first) with your information - if they are coy about helping ask them if they can recommend someone at region or the district who can help you. Get going though the clock is ticking
    Good luck
     

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