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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by whyme, May 19, 2011.

  1. I was off sick for two weeks and had not seen the students. I was notified by email that I was having an observation on my return to school with a class I had not taught and did not know if they were doing the work set. My HOD even said to them that it was unfair but they insisted that it was going ahead and that the HOD should 'keep out of it' as it was none of her business.
    They claimed that it was an unsatisfactory lesson - two students talking, one student they considered was 'unchallenged', they reckoned the homework would take over an hour - when I showed them on the board what was invoved and why it would only take 10 minutes to do, they said 'oh didn't know that'. then they held up a piece of paper - which was for the students to name the relevant areas. They said 'what is this and what does it have to do with the lesson?'. I told them that it was linked to the starter activity (they had not been there for that) and it was to reinforce what we had done and whether they could relate the images to the names etc. I also completed all the lesson = even the plenary.
    My HOD complained saying no way was it unsatisfactory and was told 'you have nothing to do with her, you don't ask how she is doing, or ask anyone observing her how she is doing'.
    That was September - in November, I was called to the Head's office and was told that as a result of <u>the</u> observation, they were putting me on informal cababilities and I would be assisted by my HOD for planning of observations, an AST specialising in my subject, and the local LEA management team.
    Puzzling really, how could the head tell me a few months before that I was a good teacher and then, as I put in a grievance because of discrimination (long story) that all of a sudden, I am the bad guy and find that I am being penalised.
    In addition, how could the HOD assist me with my planning, when told to 'have nothing to do with me'.
    Just wondered - can they do that? Give you an observation two months prior and no further observations and then tell you two months after the observation that they are putting you on informal cababilities. I thought that in order to assess you for cababilities that they would have to have had a few poor observations.
    As the situation has not improved in terms of the discrimination and the treatment I am getting from other members of staff since I raised the grievance with the Governors, I don't know how I stand. I know that as this is continual acts of discrimination, that I can go to the ET now, as I could use today's date as the last act. However, I do not know if what they did in terms of the informal capabilities can be raised at a tribunal or not.
    Anyone keyed up on capabilities and what the correct way is i.e. can they put you on informal for just ONE observation.
    I suppose I could understand ifI had several observations and they had all been unsatisfactory - but this was the first unsatisfactory I had got in all the 6 years that I have been there.
    Any knowledge of the capability procedure and the right way to do things will be much apprecited. I don't want him to get away with what he is doing to me or to other teachers etc.
  2. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I can offer advice on the discrimination, but it depends on how willing you are to fight and whether you have the means to support yourself if it doesn't work out.
  3. What do you mean by that? I thought that Tribunals were free.
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    The tribunal might be.... but being without a job at all can be expensive.
  5. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Thanks-that's what I meant!
    If you want to know what your chance of success is then take all your paperwork to an employment solicitor that specialises in disability discrimination.
  6. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Get out and get a new job. This sounds like a nightmare in waiting!
  7. What does your union say? I suppose you contacted them at this point...?
  8. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan New commenter

    they should have given you a letter with targets relating to the issues?
    also, i was put on the informal stage last year, and their reasons for were vague they said they had no evidnece to show me, but had been gathering evidence. do your best to get off the 1st stage, ive been on capability, and the pressure of it resulted in me being off sick for 3 months, the head was insistent that she was doing it all to mke me a better teacher in the long run, but in my opinion, it was all part of a plan to make me leave/ dismiss me. i chose to hand my notice in after my return after absence, so i gotta stop thinking bitter and negative and get applying for jobs
  9. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    Yes they can. All that needs to happen for a teacher to be put on capability is that there are concerns about their performance. It need not be a lesson observation at all. I guess there would need to be some evidence.
    Your school should have a policy on capability procedures - if you're an LEA school it will probably be your LEA's policy. You have a right to see this policy.
    I'm a little confused about something:
    What has happened since then - that was 6 months ago. Most people would either have been taken off the procedure or moved on to the formal stage by now.
  10. Alarm bells are ringing for me here. You seem pretty certain that this has all started as a result of the grievance that you put in. This seems a complete set up to get you out the door because of what you did. You will never be able to prove that that is what is really going on.

    Phone the union's head office now, and ask their advice. Tell them about the grievance as well. I think your best bet is to insist that that observation was completely unfair and ask for a do-over to prove you can do it.
  11. Moved onto formal capabilities, then made redundant. Fighting it through tribunal now.
  12. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Please say you are with a union!!
  13. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    I can advise on discrimination and tribunals too.
    PM me if you wish.
  14. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    If you can prove that, then you are likely to have grounds for harassment. Who is supporting you for the tribunal.
  15. I was warned by friends that I should watch my back and they were right. My HOD fought on my behalf saying that it was not fair what they were doing and was basically told to keep out of it as it was nothing to do with him etc. He was not allowed to give me a reference either...I stupidly told the head that he was giving me a reference.
    Doing it all by myself now...got out of the union and got my fees back...never trust them again...5 years of telling them that I was being bullied and they never did anything and then when it came to grievance told ...I asked for a solicitor experienced in discrimination and was told that they did not have one...lying through their teeth....so doing it all on my own...getting on OK so far.
    Union rep (regional) told me that I could wait until the grievance was sorted before going to ET and then 6th rep tellimg me, despite continual discrimination, that I could not submit a claim form...the grievance meetings had still been going on a year later...that is how seriously the union took my complaints...only settled it after claim accepted.
    ET judge told the other side that my complaints were not light(can't remember what he said now) as it was obvious that this was a big problem as I had over 19 pages of complaints....the solicitor was trying to get everyone off the list and just leaving the school....obviously did not know me!
    Can't really talk much about what it all entailed as still going on through ET but once sorted will let you know the outcome.

  16. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Check your household insurance. I got a fantastic solicitor and barrister that way (didn't take the one that insurance recommended) and they were higher rated then the LEA ones by a long way.
  17. What's the legal situation about a head informing a HoD that they can't give a reference? This doesn't sound right to me. In my last school, the head monitored references very carefully and references had to be checked and approved by the head, which surprised me.
  18. My HOD was told that he was not to supply me with a reference....it does go on.

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