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Bullying by HT - to whom do I report them?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by medbaebe, May 12, 2011.

  1. I have been a regular reader and sometime contributor, but I have got another user name for this because I do not want to put myself in a position where I could be identified.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">I have reason to believe that I am being bullied by my HT. There are a number of issues that have arisen, which for the above mentioned reason I&rsquo;d rather not divulge. This has been happening since the end of last academic year, and I have been keeping a detailed log of what has been happening, as well as copies of emails from the HT etc. </font> <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">My union has been informed in order to make them aware, and the advice I got at the time, as I did not want to pursue anything at that stage was to maintain a log, which I have done. </font> <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">However, I am now at the point where I feel I need to report the HT for this, because it is unacceptable and quite frankly I am not prepared to take the BS any more. </font> <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">The school is very small, and we do not have the departmental or pastoral set up you would find in a larger school. In addition, the governing body is unlikely to be supportive because there is a long standing personal and professional relationship between the HT and the chair of governors. Speaking to the DepHT about this is also not going to be effective, as the DepHT will be included within the complaint. </font> <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">My question is, who do I report the HT to? </font>Med x

  2. Thank you very much. I shall sort out contacting my local rep and taking things from there. I'll make sure that I have the log and all supporting evidence with me so that we have something to work with.

  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    You don't have the support of the C of G, the HT or the DepHT. What outcome are you hoping for? It is extremely unlikely the HT will lose their job and so you would continue to work for them under very strained conditions. Unless you have enough evidence to take them to a tribunal if things get worse and you have to leave, I'd think carefully about this.
    Your HR dept should have someone you can report bullying to and that might be a better route to take. Realistically though HR is likely to back the Head.
  4. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    DO report, even if unlikely to get the desired result. If it happens to anyone else then SOMEONE may wake up.
    Also, try regional union rep if local one isn't too helpful. I've encountered this before, with regional being far better.
    Good luck. Stick with it! Bullying HTs need to sorted.
  5. Thank you for you advice. Torey, I am not the first person that this has happened to and as a staff, we can see it happening time and time again. The only outcome I want at this stage is to indicate that the HTs behaviour is unacceptable and that they can be called to account for it. (To be honest, I would like to see their face as they realise that what they are doing is not professional, acceptable nor appropriate, and that someone is prepared to stand up in the correct forum and say so) However, I realise that there are implications, and this is something that I will need to speak to the union about and take their advice, and advice from other sources should the situation arise.
    Med x
  6. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    I would urge against it. Complaining about the Head is a nuclear option. Your life at school will be made all the more unpleasant and your chances of an excellent reference will plummet.
    The fact you are even considering making a complaint as an individual when the DHT is part of the complaint and you know the CoG will side with head is ludicrous. The look on the Head's face a) won't last long b) won't pay your bills.
    Remember to take the Union advice with a healthy dose of salt. They can be brilliant! On the other hand, sometimes they like to fight and you could just be a "casualty" in a bigger battle with the Head.
    Be careful and read a little more on these forums about those who complained and what happened to them.
    It isn't right, it isn't fair, but that doesn't alter the fact that the power lies with the Head in most cases. Bear this in mind.
  7. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I agree with reading though these forums to see what happens to those who stand up to bullying heads. Capability proceedings is usually a common one. HR knew about my head and did nothing. It cost them in the end, but you have to have the proof to back up what you are saying in a court.
  8. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Not for the first time on these forums I urge you, as others before you, to heed this sound advice.

    In an ideal world bullying Heads could bve successfully challenged. The reality, as you have already discovered at the level of Governors, is that blind eyes can and will be turned. Slopey shouldered LEA officers will also back the Head against you, even if privately they know the Head's a bully. Even a few months ago I would have urged a misconduct complaint direct to the GTC, but now I kbow that LEAs can successfully apply pressure to thge GTC to drop the complaint. Independent regulatory bvody? Yeah, right.

    If you do decide to complain, first take advicefrom Public Concern at Work ( www.pcaw.org.uk). You are covered in law from victimisation as a consequence of complaining, but only if you follow the right procedures.

    Union? Well-meaning but, in my experience, not really on the ball where bullying is concerned. You need to work with a specialist harassment lawyer. If you are lucky you can persuade your union to work with one. If not ytou are looking at around £50,000 to take a bullying claim to court.

    Sorry to be blunt but this is the reality yiu face. Best advice is to look for a new job pronto and then to write a detailed account of the bullying to the CoG in your resignation letter and copy it to the Director of Children's Services.
  9. An ex-colleague formally complained about the Head; she lost her job, her reference, her livelihood.
    Your Head has a log on you, everything you have said & to whom, done & with whom, not done when asked by him/her, done badly, poor lessons, etc, etc. Your Head holds all the aces. Colleagues who profess to help/support you will be reporting back to the Head. Your Head will come out fighting against you, he/she has to, their livelihood, pension, quality of life depends upon it. The LEA will support the Head, as will the school & governors. Pause a moment and ask yourself a simple question, why has no-one else done what you propose to do? Unions will be supportive but will take the pragmatic view, as will everyone else. The Head & you cannot remain in the school, so one has to go! It will not be the Head. And as for seeing the look on the Head's face, it may not be that which you expect/hope for. It may be jubiliation because your Head knows what the outcome will eventually be. As for standing up and being counted, so that one day someone else MAY realise what is going on, don't be such a mug.

  10. Keep a diary, log all incidents with witnesses. Keep every piece of paper in order. Get the advice from an employment lawyer. You should be able to get this from your union, but don't bank on it. If you have no luck, find your own. The money spent on a solicitor at this stage is worth every penny. However, you should involve your union if you wish to take out a grievance. I believe that if you ever want to make a claim in an employment tribunal, you have to have gone through a grievance procedure first. You also must think about your future. Do you really want to work with this kind of manager? I'd start to look for another job now.
  11. A friend of mine, who is a union rep, once said to me that it's "nigh on impossible to remove a Head." Nuff said.
  12. Thank you so much for your advice, I shall take it all on board. I am very aware that I will need a reference from them at some point. In addition, I am aware that it will be much easier for my HT etc to make life difficult for me at some point in the future and I do not really want to be labelled as a trouble maker etc, which I know is also a likely outcome of any action. I will continue to keep a log of any further incidents, and copies of relevant paperwork, probably more for my own peace of mind. I fully understand the fact that the LEA is likely to side with the HT, and that although someone may have plenty of evidence, taking on an HT could result in professional suicide. (And that sucks!)
    You have to be a certain sort of person to be comfortable with treating people in such a way they feel negatively about things, I'm glad I'm not one of them
    Med x
  13. Xericist

    Xericist New commenter

    There is some good advice here. But also some misapprehensions. The LAW clearly states that employees have legal entitlements - and not being bullied is enshrined in employment law and other legislation. It is actually not difficult to remove a bullying HT if you are in a LA school because Local Authorities cannot afford to be taken to Employement Tribunals because THEYare the employer. You do need experienced advice - log and if possible corroborate everything. Talk to your union rep or Regional Office if the rep doesn't have much training. It's more a question of how to progress this, rather than "IF". For evil to triumph it's only necessary for good people to do nothing.
  14. I have some news on this front, I have successfully gained another post. Pastures new and all that.
    Thank you again for your advice, very much appreciated at a time when I would have quite happily, in polite terms, exploded about things.

    Med x
  15. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    I am afraid you are the one with the misapprehension. There is a huge gulf between what the law provides for and what the law achieves. "Bullying" is not easy to prove.
    I disagree. It is extremely difficult to remove a bullying HT.
    Experience from posters here would suggest it is very much about the "if".
    Nice saying, but it doesn't pay the wages or protect the mental health of the person involved.

    Congratulations! Very pleased to hear this.

  16. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Well done, onwards and upwards!
  17. A good result!

    With bullying, fighting is hard and its always important to look at the bigger picture as you clearly did.

    That said, it is important to do the evidence gathering thing in parallel with an escape strategy as for many who are bullied, getting out without suffering detriment gets more difficult as bullying goes on.

    For people who are realising that they are being bullied, like i have said elsewhere before, it is very important to learn all you can about how workplace bullying operates before you obviously become a threat to your bully (and their henchmen). There is a strategy which involves becoming less useful to your bully without directly threatening them with exposure which can both take the heat of while still avoiding the victimisation phase of bullying. By adopting this strategy, people can regain control, maintain / regain self esteem and educate others to recognise what they have recognised. Group grievances have a much better chance of making a difference.

    Finally, depending on circumstances, it might be worth people who are getting out, considering offering future assistance to the union to support colleagues who are left behind future bullying claims. The management of the school would not know what was written and so long as there was a caveat which required agreement on the level of support that was being offered it could be effective. Unions should in my opinion be actively asking people for exit disclosures especially from people who are moving on to avoid being targets as well as those who are leaving because of direct bullying. Just a thought -- If the bullies know that the unions are collecting evidence from people over whom the bully no longer has control, then they will be less inclined to bully in the first place.

    A bit muddled but there is potential i think. - Any takers?
  18. QFE

    QFE New commenter

    totally agree about exit disclosures; once is unfortunate, twice is a coincidence, three times and it's enemy action...
  19. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Med, I am thrilled for you! It couldn't be better. Well done, you!
  20. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I think the best advice that I can give is get another job and make any complaint during your notice period. Everyone is right... if you make a grievance now you will be out on your ear before you can draw breath... happened to me. The only other option open to you is to find a way to depersonalize the complaint... read the council code of conduct from cover to cover and make a list of all the breeches of that code then, with the support of your union, try and bring a 'whistle blowing' complaint against your head... the rules mean that you should be protected throughout the process. They will probably redeploy you to another school but that's probably not a bad thing. Good luck!

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