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Can I be denied interview- Am I being unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by RonaldMcDonald, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. RonaldMcDonald

    RonaldMcDonald New commenter

    I am in my 4th year at my secondary academy. I have been for two interviews this year, one before christmas for a HoD role, and one 2 weeks ago for a Teacher role.

    2 weeks ago, I was successful, but they were unable to offer me the role as they said my employer ticked some things on my reference that 'required improvement'. This is two weeks after the head told me they had upgraded my teaching internally to grade 1 outstanding.

    My head phoned them, and they then offered me a role starting in April, but I had applied for the one starting in September as I wasn't prepared to leave my two GCSE year 11 groups 4 weeks before their exams.

    Now my current line manager and Head Teacher are saying things like they don't want me missing any more days for interview because of my year 11 groups, as apparently I have already missed '10 year 11 lessons this year'.

    I have to miss half an hour for a consultation to have a wisdom tooth removed next week. I have had 2 sick days in 4 years, and two days off this year for an NVPQML course I am on.

    My year 11 results are outstanding, my two groups have both achieved results in Mocks this week that would exceed expectations if they were to replicate in the summer (they will do better). I feel like they are ready to throw me under the bus just for wanting to leave...and to think I was sad to be leaving (when I thought I could)...more fool me.

    I have seen roles, including a 'STEM Leader' role that I feel I have a good skills match for and would put me in a leadership role, which is my aim, but I feel like if I apply I will be denied the opportunity to leave, and punished for trying.

    I don't know where to turn. I requested to see the reference by email to business manager, 1 week later still no response.

    I feel like they want to keep me here for my results, whilst the leaders around me take the credit for it, and meanwhile I cannot apply for the leadership/career advancement roles that I think I am both ready for and would allow me to have a greater impact, which is my ambition.

    If I can't do anything, what do I do now? I applied unsuccessfully for HoD here last year, a permanent TLR for 2nd of department is open to interest right now, but I feel I am ready for more and this is not right. But if I have to stay at my current role I might as well apply...but then they will ask, rightly, how committed I really am to that.

    Stuck between a rock and a hard place, feel like giving up and becoming a supply teacher so I can pay my mortgage, but this I so greatly enjoy the continuity of a permanent role and the impact this can have.
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    why did you turn this down? False sense of being indispensable? Of course you can leave your year 11 classes at Easter!

    yes I think you can be refused further leave for interviews if you have turned a job down, having gone for the interview.,
    DYNAMO67, Flanks and agathamorse like this.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    There is very little teaching time after Easter so leaving at Easter, syllabus covered, good mock results in the bag, conscience clear.

    My suspicion is that you are not sure if you want to move.
    welshwoman, mothorchid and phlogiston like this.
  4. RonaldMcDonald

    RonaldMcDonald New commenter

    Well, to answer your questions the mocks were last week, the interview the week before. The role I applied for started in September, but they gave that to other candidate when my reference fell short of their requirements. When it was fixed, the best they could offer me was April- and I never intended to leave in April, I wanted to see this year through, for me as much as them as I wanted to see the results of three years teaching through to end, as well as do right by the other group I taught for a year. So same question if anyone has any views?
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I think the OP needs to contact his Union re: both his school's reference (which seems to have cost him a post for September) and being allowed to go to interviews. They could, for example, look to see if similar restrictions are made on all staff members, or whether this is a form of discrimination.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    no, they can't stop you going for interviews, they don't need to pay you those days though
  7. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    I'm not sure that is entirely true - even unpaid leave is discretionary, isn't it? (Certain statutory rights aside)
  8. SundaeTrifle

    SundaeTrifle Occasional commenter

    Put in job applications for all the jobs you want to go for and then put in requests for time off for interviews as they arise. Take one thing at a time.

    You can’t attend interview days if your head won’t allow you the time off. If you are refused time off to attend an interview for a job you want then speak to the school inviting you to the interview about your circumstances. If they are keen on you from your application they may make some alternative arrangements to meet with you.
    agathamorse and Corvuscorax like this.
  9. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Whatever you do don't think Supply Teaching is a reliable source of income. It might tide you over, and you have an advantage offering a STEM subject, but even so...

    If you have savings and can manage without earnings for a few months, by all means hand in your notice for Summer, apply for jobs, do Supply in September if you have to.
  10. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    Sorry but this is incorrect and the consequences of going for an interview without permission from your school can be very serious. You must have permission to attend interviews, whilst you would hope that most heads would be reasonable, they are well within their rights to refuse. This has been discussed many times on TES.
  11. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    I'm probably very old fashioned but how can you go to HoD without being a 2nd in department first? 4 years experience to be Head of Department doesn't seem enough to me. But then everyone in our department has over 20 year's experience.

    Why not go for 2nd in department? As you do that job you learn more about being HoD. At the moment you have no practical experience of role and you only have experience in one school.
  12. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Some years ago, I was looking to change schools and I sent my CV around to the selected few I liked. I was asked for a "chat" one afternoon, after school has finished for the day. I spent six very happy years there, and look back on it fondly. I only left because we moved out of the area.
    So if there is somewhere you really want to work, perhaps ask if you can come and see them one afternoon?
    SundaeTrifle and agathamorse like this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you had been successful two weeks ago, you'd have made a sideways move to a classteacher role.
    Now your school, who clearly think well of you, have opened up a permanent TLR for 2nd in dep, but you don't want it?

    I understand you feeling like you are ready for more, but you were planning a role as classteacher with your lastest application...so a 2nd in dept is a step up that is more than you would have had. I'd go for it, unless you think there are others in school who would be far more likely to get it than you. It isn't forever, you can always move on after a year or so.
    jlishman2158, IanG and agathamorse like this.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    They can't stop OP going for interview in their own time but they don't have to allow time off during directed time, even if unpaid.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If the reference is untrue/unfair, then I think it is possible to sue for any damages. Proving what those damages are may prove tricky. Regarding the interviews, I am not sure what can be done if the discrimination if not down to a protected characteristic. And to demonstrate discrimination, I think you would need to show that another teacher with a similar absence record had been treated differently.
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    This is incorrect.

    Please be careful about making statements on matters on which you may not be as well informed as you seem to think that you are.

    In directed time, you are directed.

    What you do out of this is clearly your own business, but most schools would find it hard to provide an after-school class for a teaching observation as part of the interview.

    You have to ask permission to go to any interview in directed time, the norm is to grant this, and as paid leave.

    But there are I believe only two situations where you have a right to leave for interview. One is if it is written into your contract or part of an agreement within the MAT, LA, etc. Very very unlikely.

    And secondly if you are under redundancy notice.

    Normally your request will be granted, and even in schools, the majority, where there is no written entitlement to any paid days for interviews, most headteachers will allow you to go to more than three interviews, with one proviso: that the timing is not bad for pupils or for the school.

    A headteacher may and can decide that it is not reasonable for you to be absent for an interview because of the specific need of the school to have you there teaching.

    I now await an "applications and interviews expert" telling you to just pull a sickie.

    Don't. Please don't.

    Best wishes

  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I have very unfortunatly in the past been under the misapprehension that a school can force me to be present when I have requested a leave of absence.

    They can't


    They don't own you

    Its up to you whether you accept a school denying you permission or not.

    I bitterly regret times when I have attended school as I have been instructed to, when for my own peace of mind I should have refused.

    yes they can refuse to pay you, discipline you. sack you, what ever,

    But in the end, in my life, none of that would have mattered, but the days I missed did and do matter, and a job is just a job, and you have many in your life, and in the end it really doesn't matter what happens between you and some head years ago, who you can no longer even picture in your mind.

    But some days you can never get back ever. And are far more important than a mere job.

    So no, a school cannot force you to do anything, and I will never make that mistake again.
    phatsals likes this.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    *** Sigh ***

  19. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    So. You can do whatever you like ... and the school can discipline or sack you accordingly.

    I’m not sure you’ve quite grasped what the OP was asking.

    So, you agree that the OP can be denied permission to go for an interview and if they act otherwise they could face serious consequences eg disciplinary or being sacked.
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Just because something is your personal experience does not make it factually or legally accurate advice for other people.

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