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boss not marking books! Help how do I handle it?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by gib1982, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. gib1982

    gib1982 New commenter


    I have recently changed jobs to become a HOD (new to the role) I worked previously in an outstanding school and my marking was always fine never any problems rated outstanding twice. In consecutive ofsted inspections. Since the new job I had some personal stuff going on and got behind by a coulple of weeks in my marking I went to my boss ( upper middle management position but not SLT) to tell her and she seemed supportive but basically two weeks later threw me under a bus at appraisal time. I grinned an bore it as I was behind but did feel that I was punished for asking for help. Anyway it's now a year later and due to another teacher leaving this year she is teaching half of her timetable in my subject and I am required to monitor her work. We are pending ofsted and so she (as upper middle management) has asked to review all year 9 books I duely ensure all my year 9 teachers leave them in the relevant place and in doing so notice her classes are missing. I go to the class to carry them along and discover they are not marked since the start of the year. My SLT link hates her (they had a horrid personal issue a few years ago) and so I feel like i am betraying her to say anything but I don't feel comfortable raising it with her ( or even know if I should) I have since been denied my pay increment to UPS2 because of my marking being behind in the last appraisal cycle ( despite making over a 10% improvement on GCSEs performance since last years results. ) what should I do?
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Throw her to this lot:

  3. gib1982

    gib1982 New commenter

    Do you think so? We do get on relatively well and I am worried if I don't raise it with her myself I will be labeled a poor manager. Rock and hard place :(
  4. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Part of me says ignore it to maintain peace. Part of me agrees with Folkfan.
  5. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You are line managing her in your subject. She isn't marking her books - that's a breach of her daily role. You need to raise it with her constructively and ask why. And it sounds to me as though there are some nasty personal issues in the place that are obscuring professional obligation. They need to get over it.
    solvacrime likes this.
  6. gib1982

    gib1982 New commenter

    Yeah I agree on the personal issues but don't think they are going to disappear in time for me to deal with the issue. How should I raise the issue - technically she is my superior? I thought about sending an email but seems cowardly.
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    She had no qualms about hauling you over the coals. I would reciprocate the favour.
    FolkFan likes this.
  8. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    No one is 'superior' if they haven't fulfilled basic expectation.

    I would, in a friendly manner, approach it by asking if she's OK, as you've noticed that eh year 9 x subject books haven't been marked in a while, and that you know she's usually conscientious thought something might be up…
  9. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Completely agree with Daisyslot.

    I wouldn't send an email - that could be misinterpreted, or simply not read!!
    solvacrime likes this.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Firstly, how has your intensive marking policy affected attainment?

    Secondly, see if her not marking books has had any obvious effect on attainment

    A change to your marking policy might save you all some aggravation

    I would be inclined to ignore the marking issue with your colleague, but keep it for when you need it!

    Being behind in marking should not deny you progression to UPS2. We are adults, the process should be much more holistic than that

    There may have been an improvement in GCSEs, but that may not have been down to you. Besides, pay progression should not be determined by such simplistic measures
    solvacrime likes this.
  11. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I think you need to be careful here. For a minute put aside all the personal stuff, and what happened last year and consider the situation as it is.

    Unless I am reading it wrong there are 2 monitoring issues here.

    1 - you are the HoD. When it comes to monitoring your department , whatever other roles she fulfills, she must comply with your requests as a member of your teaching team so, if you are doing a book scrutiny, you are well within your rights to smile sweetly, ask her for her books and feedback in exactly the same way you would with all of vyour team.

    2 if she has been asked in her SLT role to conduct a book scrutiny across year 9 , you have done exactly the right thing in ensuring that your teachers have provided her with the year 9 books but if hers are missing from her review I really wouldn't get involved in 'shopping' her to the HT or member of SLT.

    Personally I would take the moral high ground, given time these sorts usually get found out, and stirring up the politics may backfire on you.
  12. gib1982

    gib1982 New commenter

    The rise in attainment was definitely due to me as I taught 6 out of 8 classes the other two classes were the only classes which detracted from the data. I am not being arrogant here it's just the facts. In the data analysis meeting they said my performance on results was outstanding plus they told me this was the reason for not allowing my increment. I work in an academy and they are free to use what ever measure they like there is nothing to stop them. To be fair I was behind so that is not the issue I don't deny I was behind my point is the person who is supposed to support and help those who are struggling and who is in the process of critiqing the marking of others is not only behind but has not marked since the start of the year. It is not acceptable practice and we are due ofsted if they come in it will be my department who lets the side down if this is picked up.

    It seems very hypocritical not to mention poor practice in addition to that if I say something I am probably going to suffer for it - she is senior to me and if I say nothing I will be knowingly allowing unsatisfactory work.
  13. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Report back to her in her role as SLT and say that you have done the book review and there are some classes whose books you have not been given to check - then just name the classes (she will know they are hers). Say if she has any of those classes could she get the books to you by the end of the week so you can complete the review. This way you're giving her time to get it sorted. If they don't turn up fully marked then you may have to complete the review and say that these particular classes' books have not been marked - give her the review and make sure you keep a copy. You can if you so choose email the review, and copy it up the food chain...
    solvacrime, HelenREMfan and Ladykaza like this.
  14. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    In that case, as HoD call in your team's books for a departmental book scrutiny - after all you need to be confident should Ofsted call. If she gives you the books and they're not correctly marked you will need to raise it with her in the first place, as you would with any other teacher.

    If she gives you grief about the feedback, or refuses to give you the books you go straight to your line manager ( or the next person up if it's her) and, in a very professional manner, explain the difficulty you are having. Keep it professional, reasonable and fairly applied and they should not be able to hold anything against you. You are, after all , doing your job.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  15. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Actually in this situation her school role is irrelevant and you are in charge of ensuring books are marked. If it was anyone else how would you approach the problem? Dont let the behaviour of others effect your management style particularly if it would seem like retribution.

    Use an arm round the shoulder, humour and empathy...as you know how it feels.
  16. PEmonkey

    PEmonkey New commenter

    Do your job. At the end of the day that's why you're there. What would you have done if it were anyone else's books?
    solvacrime likes this.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    It is not quite that simple

    One of the problems in schools at the moment is that people just don't understand data
    bombaysapphire and stmha like this.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    ***** has a point: Play along for now and pull out the aces when the time's right.
    stmha likes this.
  19. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    what Vince means in plain English..you get to blackmail them to do all your marking for a whole year, while you top up the sun tan and go for Swedish massages at 3.01pm
  20. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Just to clarify from your post, the SLT member (your line manager) has taken over from a colleague that has left the school until a new permanent teacher is recruited? It seems apparent from this, that you are the 'lead' teacher for this group and therefore the responsiblity for marking and assessments falls down to you. I appreciate that as a HOD, you do have a 'heavy workload', but so does the SLT member. Can you not come to the agreement that you share the marking/ assessments etc? It only seems fair!
    Also, in terms of recruitment, what is your status on this? Have you employed a new teacher yet? Are they available to start before January 2015 (if they are not currently employed)? That might solve problems for you!!

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