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Capability Procedures

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by zgentry, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. I am being taken down the capability procedure route, with my first formal hearing on Friday, but have had no written action plan with targets or how I am going to be supported to achieve these targets given to me. All I have had is a few meetings with my line manager, telling me that I am no good at my job and generally giving me the 3rd degree. I have never been told that I was having an informal meeting before capabilities were taken out. I feel that I am being bullied and the way I am being spoken to is horrendous. I have had a lot of personal issues to deal with as well and it is as if they are turning the screws at my most vulnerable time. They have put down that I am not meeting deadlines, and not giving accurate data, which I rely on other people to provide. I have phone my union last week and have had no response from them, apart from when I have made anogther call and was told an email has gone out to their reps to see if there is anyone available. Do they have to give me an informal hearing with an actiion plan and tell me how they are going to support me before they take me down the formal stage? Any help would be appreciated
  2. Contact the regional or of necessary national HQ of your union and persist in seeking the help you have paid your subs for. If they refuse to help, ask where to send an invoice for the subs you have paid - if they aren't helping you they've taken your money under false pretences.
    In the absence of union help try contacting a no win, no fees law firm and see if you can raise some help that way.
    My instincts suggest its not going to go well if you agree to meetings unrepresented - someone with authority over you seems to be in a rush.
    You should also have copies of your contract, and of the school / LAs code of conduct and capabilty procedure at your disposal before the interview. Your rep (union or legal) should be asking for these, formally in writing.
    If you feel you are being bullied, you'll need to prove it to get any redress, which means making a log of incidents and getting witnesses who are prepared to come forward.
    It's important in your case to be able to demonstrate that you haven't been given targets, so pull together the evidence that shows this. Also be very specific about the language and tone used when your manager has been unpleasant to you, document this in your log and be prepared to ask if this is normal practice for all managers in the school.
  3. As ogw says, go to regional or even national level with the union. You have paid your subs, help is not optional.
    <u>Do not agree to any meeting without representation.</u> The next time the issue of any meeting arises, tell the ht, Hod, etc. that you will not attend any meeting without union representation.
    In the meantime be very careful as to who you speak at school (or even outside school) and what you say. Try to collect evidence as to who, when, etc. gave you inaccurate data which you passed on; or which deadlines you may have missed and why.
    However, the key is really the union. Good luck and let us know what is happening, if you can.
  4. You have a right to ask for a meeting to be rescheduled so you can be represented. DO NOT attend any meeting without a union rep, as the HT will probably have someone from HR on their side.
    Have you ever been given a list of what you are failing to do? If not, how are you to know what you are responding to? You are entitled to this information so you can plan your defence.
    Go through your dept meeting minutes. Is there anything there you were asked for.
    You mentionned data you needed from other people. Is it not fully available on SIMS / School network (like all ours is). If not, have you followed up your request with repeated emails? As these can be tracked it is worth doing all correspondence this way.
    Make a list of the issues you have with the HoD and be able to substantiate why you feel you are a victim of bullying. Make sure it is water tight if you want to make a counter complaint.
    Good luck
  5. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    All the others are right ... don't go anywhere near the meeting without a union rep. They've all offered very good advice about what paperwork you need and records etc.

    The only thing I would like to add is that, believe it or not, the purpose of the Capability procedure is to help you get up to speed. So don't accept a target unless you feel confident that you can meet it or that they will give you the help you need to achieve it. So if they set a target for you to have all assessments for Y7 complete by a certain date make sure the date is realistic (don't accept 'everyone else can') and if you have any problem with the assessments and how they should be marked etc then ask for the help, your HOD could appoint someone within the department to help you out, not do the work for you, but guide you if you are feeling anxious or unsure.

    The head of department should have appointed a mentor for you, it can be someone within the dept or outside, that should be someone who can advise and listen to you. If you feel that your HOD is speaking with you inappropriately you can always ask for your mentor to attend meetings with your HOD. They might not witness their rants but it might stop them and give you the chance to communicate properly.

    I've seen capability used as a way to add extra pressure and 'get rid' of staff that don't fit in, but the paperwork insists that it is there to help... so make it help! Remind them during meetings that it is meant to be helping you get up to speed not to hit you with a big stick. Even if your HOD is a bit of a tyrant you might find that the head teacher does not want his school to look so unreasonable in front of HR and your union.

    I'd advise you to be honest and possibly even arrive at the first meeting with your own action points to offer to the meeting. Think of which areas you feel you have most difficulty and work out what would help you improve. If you bring these to the meeting it makes you look like the most reasonable person in the world who wants to improve. If you resist the process it will be you who loses out in the end.

    Hope it all works out for you.

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