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Capability Procedures - can anyone give any light on this matter?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sgt_jawilson, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. If anyone else has any thoughts on this, could you let me know. Not sure what to do!
  2. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I think there are several issue here that need to be clarified:
    • Is the head who took the school into special measures still in post? If so, why? If not, isnt' the new one supposed to support staff?
    • "So the LEA and Ofsted want to take .." Since when has it been their decision? And what is wrong with "satisfactory"? This obsession that Ofsted has the "satisfactory" means what Ofsted says it means needs to be challenged in a court.
    • So the head has given you two weeks. Very generous of her, and based on a lesson observation that was good with outstanding features. Under what policy? Time to get the union in.
    I think the head is hiding behind the local authority and Ofsted and you need union advice. It sickens me that people trying to do a decent job are treated like this.
  3. I would also suggest getting in touch with your union and don't attend any meetings without them being present. Also I would be questioning why a meeting was arranged for 7.30 in the morning! What a start to the day!
  4. My first question would be what support is being offered to you? If the school believe you are not meeting their expectations (how good with outstanding elements isn't meeting their expectations is unbelievable, but a whole other issue) they have a responsibility to support you to make improvements in whatever area they feel you are lacking. I definitely think the union needs to be involved, but in the meantime it is worth getting more information that you can pass on to the union when you do manage to have a conversation with someone.
    I think you need to get some answers from the head for the following (if you haven't been given this info already):

    - Written feedback for the lesson to show in which areas you are 'underperforming'
    - Have you been placed on informal capability procedure? If not, what is the 2 week period about?
    - If you are on informal capability, what support are they going to provide (and importantly) WHEN, seeing as they have only 2 weeks to support you to make said improvements?
    - Do you have targets to meet and if so, what are they and (again) what support/time you are going to be given to meet these (observing other staff etc)?
    - How will this be assessed at the end of 2 weeks?
    - What happens if you are deemed to not 'pass' at the end of 2 weeks?

    I would also check out some guidance on capability such as:


    and decide of they have followed the procedures properly (it sounds to me that they haven't).

    If I was you I would consider taking some time off while you get the advice you need and possibly put some questions to your head via email, as 2 weeks is such a short time, that you may be getting towards the middle of that period before you know exactly what is going on. It's not an ideal solution, but might be better to tackle this fully armed with the information you need.

    It all sounds dubious to me and union involvement is definitely needed. Good luck with it and hope that you find your way through it all.
  5. Stupid Google Chrome won't do paragraphing!
  6. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    I suspect it's not a "whole other issue", but is actually the key issue.

    The OP's face doesn't fit with the new regime (or perhaps even the old regime and now they're getting their chance to act on it?), and so he/she is going to be removed.

    Two choices then.. Either note down everything, gather evidence of unfair treatment, unrealistic expectations, etc. in preparation for the ultimate court case (which as a fellow professional is what I'd hope many colleagues will do).

    Or do your very best to get out ASAP, either into a better teaching job or out of the profession completely (which is what I expect I'd do as taking the moral high ground stance is incredible stressful and I don't think I could survive it.

    So, IMHO, step up the finding another job process!
  7. plinth

    plinth New commenter

    this is sadly familiar. Of course, its so "easy" to put in an outstanding perfromance when being watched by the person who has treatened you with capabiliy! Yes, get union involved.Asolutely. I was suprised to discover how stict the rules are. The school has to provide support. You have to be given reasonable lentghs of time to improve (I was told 12 weeks). All this before anything like formal procedings can start. Having said all that, I chose to quit. I hope to get a new job, but decided that we dont know how long we will be on the planet, and it simply wasnt worth being made ill, which is what was happening to me.
  8. As others have indicated, here we go again. Do also call Teacher Support Network for a bit of moral support. This sort of scenario is becoming increasingly and alarmingly frequent, but it still comes as a shock when you're at the receiving end, even more so if you're an older teacher who has been regarded as a good solid teacher over many years by a variety of different observers. Nothing to do with being expensive, of course. Is the school's budget in defecit, by any chance?
    I hope not to sound flippant, because this is so very serious, but it's also so familiar. Good luck and try to keep calm and focussed. Then get the hell out of there.
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    Well, those 9 have been rated as inadequate. I would expect "something" to happen, even if it is short of capability.
  10. Until it's you, it's all to easy to judge and assume that these observers are right. Try taking the stance 'There but for the grace of God, go I'.
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    I am not judging, I am answering the question asked. The poster asked "can they put 9 teachers on capability?". My answer was, if 9 (75% of the total) had been rated as inadequate, something is likely to be done.
  12. Many thanks for the advice from everyone on here. I am keeping a very careful eye on my headteacher. She is absolutely useless and is trying every means possible to cover her back. I actually think I have the grounds for bullying, but need to contact my union about this. I am the only teacher in the whole school that have supported extra curricular activity (even at weekends!) and feel completely betrayed. I do, however, thank everyone for their advice on the TES website!
  13. Found out that after half term I will be put on informal capability. Feel completely deflated! I'm contacting my union about this, but I need to know if you can get out of this (can you get off informal capability before formal capability apparently starts in September (which I have been told will happen otherwise!))

    Have applied for 20 jobs and had 1 interview - I am trying to do something about it! Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  14. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Yes, you can - get out asap!
  15. you must be a nervous wreck - I'd get to the doctor's asap.
  16. Myself and 2 colleagues were put on informal capability mid March - we were presented with no evidence and data shows that our children have made at least the same progress as other teachers. Personally, I was given a 6-page 'action plan' which included being 'consistently good' in lesson obs. The 'support' is non-existent. It was clear that the Head wants to use us as scapegoats for being in special measures for 2 years!! (Head still there though ...) I had a complete breakdown and have decide to take early retirement - another colleague has just resigned and been told not to return after half-term (but will be paid until August). The third teacher still is fighting but cries every day because she is being, so clearly, victimised.
    We all have used our local union rep but she is very weak - she advised resignation!
    It is clear that this is happening to a lot of teachers - and it is also clear that it is happening unfairly. From September it will become even easier for heads to have a 'staff clear-out'.
    I hold onto the knowledge that there are good, supportive heads out there who understand that a successful school operates by having a great team of teachers who feel appreciated and supported - that is how our previous head operated and we got good to outstanding from the previous OFSTED.
    It is really hard to fight this so my advice is get out and restore your self-confidence. I WILL continue teaching in some way or another because I know that I am a good teacher.
    Save yourself!!!!
  17. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    If you can show that your results are the same why don't you support each other and file a joint grievance? As you are retiring you have nothing to lose and I'm sure the one left behind would value it even if you did a grievance on your own.
  18. We are planning our grievance but Union rep thinks we should do this individually.
    We also have a VERY strong case for breach of confidentiality which I have alerted regional about.
  19. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Glad to hear that. If you think the rep is weak get a new one. I wasnt happy with mine and went higher. Hope it works out, but at least when you are enjoying your retirement you know that this will be on the head's record.
  20. I was strongly advised by my union that issues classed as bullying must have a collective grievance to have any impact in law and for the union to take any action. I would also be wary of individual grievances because others can pull out or draw back and leave one person as ring leader. If you don't seem supported by others, you won't have a case. these matters have all sorts of catch 22's. The rule of thumb is act collectively and as a united front.

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