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Bullying by HT

Discussion in 'Governors' started by g_dragon, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. I am CoG at a primary school, where we have a recently appointed interim HT. I have this week received two phone calls from staff saying that the HT has been bullying them since her arrival. One teacher has spoken to me on behalf of other members of staff, as they thought it would be better than me receiving several phone calls from them individually. This bullying behaviour has also been mentioned to me by the school secretary, who has already started to look for another job. The staff have asked me not to discuss with anyone, as they do not feel that they want to make a formal complaint at this point. It's taken a lot of courage for these teachers to phone me directly, and I have respected their request to keep this confidential. I have suggested they keep a log of incidents, and take some advice from their union. As I understand it, my hands are tied unless they make a formal complaint.
    I am concerned about the HTs behaviour, as she has started to display an aggressive attitude to me aswell when I challenge her - which is my role. She seems to take this personally and react as if I have questioned her ability to do the job. There is no question that she is an effective HT when it comes to raising standards, but now I am wondering what the price of this will be?
    The GB need to consider extending the HT contract in the next couple of weeks. If we extend, I know that staff will look for other jobs, but officially we have no reason not to extend.
    Have I done the right thing so far - and is there anything else I need to do, or can do without acting inappropriately? I have read a lot of posts on here where it's assumed the CoG would never support a teacher rather than the HT but I like to think that I don't fall into that camp and would treat any complaints seriously and objectively.

     
  2. I am CoG at a primary school, where we have a recently appointed interim HT. I have this week received two phone calls from staff saying that the HT has been bullying them since her arrival. One teacher has spoken to me on behalf of other members of staff, as they thought it would be better than me receiving several phone calls from them individually. This bullying behaviour has also been mentioned to me by the school secretary, who has already started to look for another job. The staff have asked me not to discuss with anyone, as they do not feel that they want to make a formal complaint at this point. It's taken a lot of courage for these teachers to phone me directly, and I have respected their request to keep this confidential. I have suggested they keep a log of incidents, and take some advice from their union. As I understand it, my hands are tied unless they make a formal complaint.
    I am concerned about the HTs behaviour, as she has started to display an aggressive attitude to me aswell when I challenge her - which is my role. She seems to take this personally and react as if I have questioned her ability to do the job. There is no question that she is an effective HT when it comes to raising standards, but now I am wondering what the price of this will be?
    The GB need to consider extending the HT contract in the next couple of weeks. If we extend, I know that staff will look for other jobs, but officially we have no reason not to extend.
    Have I done the right thing so far - and is there anything else I need to do, or can do without acting inappropriately? I have read a lot of posts on here where it's assumed the CoG would never support a teacher rather than the HT but I like to think that I don't fall into that camp and would treat any complaints seriously and objectively.

     
  3. I speak as a HT.
    I think you need to confront the HT about her attitude and behaviour to you. I think you should not mention anything about unhappy staff as they have already gone outside "the system" by contacting you direct.
    Depending on the contract arrangement you have with this person it could a totally acceptable stance to simply decide not to extend the contract. If you were "forced" to give a reason you could cite her attitude to yourself and say that the siuation has not been a success and thank you and goodbye. Take advice from your LA HR people, perhaps.
    Your point on the price of progress is key, I think.
     
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    So not a new poster then?
     
  5. Read lots.
    Never posted before. Therefore a new poster. Clue is in the p word
     
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Pedant?
     
  7. Ditto that.
    Your hands are a bit tied unless you get a formal complaint, have you explained that to the teachers concerned?
    As to HT's attitude to you, I have had issues with my CoG in the past and it, wrongly, might make me a bit defensive when dealing with a new one. The critical friend relationship needs time to work itself out. I now get on fantastically with my CoG and the relationship is productive, even in conflict.
    Finally there is a hint of assumption here that the HT IS bullying, are you sure it isn't just ruffling feathers and resistance to change? Perhaps interpersonal skills need some work on HT's part? I don't know the details so you may be fairly certain about the bullying in which case you do need to challenge her behaviour towards you...perhap emphasising that you hope this is not how she talks to her team?
    Your teachers need to be reassured that they will be safe and that you will act if they complain, then they might make things official.

    Good Luck


     

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