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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Rosieett, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Rosieett

    Rosieett New commenter

    I had one inadequate lesson recently mainly due to subject choice not allowing scope for children to show what they can do. Most of my lessons before that one were judged as satisfactory with good features. I've just been put on informal support which is pre competency support. I'm devastated. Not so long ago when feeding back to me about a lesson, he said that there were no weak teachers at the school, so why is he doing this? He mentioned about learning objectives and success criteria being problems across the school, but why pick on me? My children's books are just as good or better than those in other classes and my children are achieving the required level. I don't see how I'm any worse than the other teachers, other than that last inadequate lesson. It seems so unfair and I feel extremely upset about it. I haven't been set any targets yet. I really don't deserve to go on procedures. Thank you in advance for any comments.
  2. Is it actual informal capability you have been put on, or just some "support" that follows an inadequate lesson and they have been ridiculously heavy-handed by threatening you with capability?
    Either way, I'm guessing you were told this week - just before end of term? Yes, been there too [​IMG]
    I do know you must be really upset but try not to let this ruin your break. It is entirely possible that nothing will come of this, your next lesson will be fine (as you say, the children's books are fine and they are learning and progressing) and the silly slt will hassle somebody else, but do involve your union to keep them in the picture.
    Honestly, try not to worry too much over Easter, I think this is really unfair but hopefully it won't lead to capability x
  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I know this isn't helpful, but you're not alone. A HT who acts like this is probably inadequate as a human being (at least in my experience) and trying to cover his backside for Ofsted, the god he worships. Setting targets is - again as far as I'm concerned - a tactic used by the clueless.
    If you're in a union, involve it, but try not to let this ruin your Easter break.
  4. Spot on! The HT cannot be seen to do nothing about an inadequate teacher and need things down on paper to prove they are following precedures and offering 'support'. Try not to worry. Have a good rest and go back with a fighting spirit- get some good lessons under your belt and they will soon leave you alone.
  5. Hi Rosieett,

    I have been a primary teacher for 12 years and a tutor of teaching assistant courses for the last 5. Still do a bit of primary supply.

    I have always had 'good' lessons and some satisfactory ones. At my last SEN school I was asked to do demo lessons to support/modelled to staff by an inspector.
    At my current job the college management is so incompletent it is beyond a joke, so I have n respect fr their iniatives but work my socksoff for the learners . I had a recent observation which was judged as satisfactory. However, the feedback she gave was deadful (and she was unprofessional to, suprise, surprise) about my lesson plans, learner are confused by paperwork I do not devise ect ect

    However, my own evaluation was that the lesson was very good , after all I have 17 years to reflect on this person had none (it was not even her subject area-she was just trained in observing staff generally). Very puzzling!! So apparently she can observe a Science teacher and give accurate feedback on a subject she knows nowt about. If it was that simple anyone could do it.

    Any way, believe it or not (that's how I felt) after 17 years of turning down promotions that had been offered to me by head after head (but I refused as a single parent to take on any more work load, plus I just wanted to teach!!!!) I was been hounded like a criminal . Offered training in pencil sharpening courses on the back of one satisfactory lesson. What ever the issues were of that day -do management not realise it was one lesson out of thousands of successful ones.

    What the real issue is, is that OFSTED will re inspect schools within a year if their graded at satisfactory because it is seen as coasting and so the heads do not want this- particularly as their management will be called into question of: developing staff, resources, PPA, work load for teachers, behaviour policy, leadership structures ect, ect.

    My manager was acting as if I'd killed some one. I told her the issues identified were minor, easily rectified and that the lesson was after all satisfactory . All of which was true. Most of the problems identified were as a result of knock on effect of poor management and I told them so- professionally.
    The result was silence.

    Don't be bullied.
    It is one lesson.
    Reflect and learn.
    Stay confident in your ability.
    Seek union advice. I did as well as legal advice on suing them for deflamation of professional character, equality breech (they didn't re inspect them/observe the senior management team who were judged as satisfactory by our last OFSTED,no) .Hypocrites and cowards pick on just the hard working teacher/tutor.
    It is not supportive or professional to judge some one incompetent after one poor lesson-these so call professionals/experts should re observe maybe two more lessons. If one is incompetent wouldn't this also show up in other areas, books, results, parental complaints, informal obs as head monitors school ect.

    A fearful head because they have no confidence real in the management of the school will panic and claim capability. The others professional heads will ignore OFSTED and teach. support colleges in a demanding profession.If a teacher is not performing to their ability ask them why? What have we done? What can we do to support? Is there temporary health, personal problems or simple a bad day, stress or exhaustion?
    Enjoy the break. Come back fighting. Enjoy the kids, prove em wrong.

  6. I doubt that the school's policy has anything called "pre informal capability". In a sense all teachers will be at that stage since the first stage is invaribaly the informal stage. It is supposed to be identification of an area for development and the provision of the approriate support.
    Get a copy of the school's procedure.
    Try to observe other lessons from teachers identified as good or outstanding.
    Keep a chronology of events coprising the following info: date, factual description of event/instance/comment and your comments.
    Don't worry.
  7. Rosieett

    Rosieett New commenter

    Thank you for your replies and support. I can't go through with this. I'm finding it all too much and don't think I can go through it. How can I perform knowing I could be dismissed any time soon? I'm feeling so depressed and don't feel like going back after the holidays. I don't want my reputation to be destroyed just because my head's agegist and wants rid of me. He's often bragged that he got rid of an older teacher at his last school! All this has been sprung on me suddenly without warning and because ofsted will come in soon. I don't know whether to quit now, before I'm destroyed. I don't have a great deal of faith in my 'support' teacher. How can half an hour's lesson observation destroy 30 years of teaching? I didn't do anything dire in the lesson!
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    This kind of story is becoming more and more common. Just because you do the odd inadequate lesson does not make you an inadequate despite what various slt think. This culture has to stop.
  9. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Contact your union (regional office) on Monday. I have had excellent (and not at all militant) advice and support on issues of bullying/unreasonable behaviour. Even someone to give you an objective view from 'outside' can be useful.
  10. Totally agree. A highly experienced teacher at my school was recently graded inadequate during our ofsted inspection. The teacher was devastated (being that he is one of the most experienced and highly regarded teachers in our school). He was given an explanation for this grading and discovered that he had not taught the class in the manner that the ofsted inspector was looking for; one man's opinion. The teacher asked if he could be observed again, the following day, with a view to having the grading changed. He was observed the next day and he taught his class to the exact specification that the ofsted inspector set and he was graded good. It made no sense what-so-ever and was a ridiculous example of the ludicrous nature of ofsted inspections. The teacher did this so that the overall teaching standard in the school would not be graded poorly (we are a small school). Since the ofsted inspection the teacher has gone back to teaching the way he has done for over 20 years and his students are thriving, as always. Yes, this culture has to stop!
  11. Rosieett

    Rosieett New commenter

    I don't know whether could change my methods at the drop of a hat. I think that's the problem. There are so many new ideas which are considered better and more effective. My children progress and their levels are improving, so I don't knwo what the fuss is about. I think they're worried about the ofsted inspection which is happening soon. I can understand that, but I can't be a robot or a clone. I can't be exactly the same as someone else. I just feel devastated. I've contacted my union. The other problem is that the school seems to favour some teachers more than others - because they're younger, go to the pub etc. I have a family and can't do most of what they do. One of the observers invited all the teachers, except me to her house for the weekend, so I think I'm battling against things other than the so called 'objective' lesson observation.
  12. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    And how many of these new ideas amount to anything in the long run?
    And they don't care who they hurt as long as they get through that.
    Good. Nor should you be.
    And form a clique.
    And just exactly why should you? You're there to teach, not to socialise.
    Looks like you had a lucky escape.
    This is why you are right to seek union advice. It sickens me that this kind of thing can happen.
  13. Ruthless! It happened to me it was all part of a bigger plan. I resigned as I could not take the stress. They have ruined my self esteem and my career. I no longer teach. They have continued to bully and push people out almost 2 years later ( i am still in touch with a lot of colleauges) they are still at it, recently I have heard of one who was 'Outstanding' being pushed to the brink. How do they sleep at night? Sorry i dont have much advice except dont let them make you think you are no good or at fault it is them who are useless!
  14. Reading so many similar stories on here is making me more and more convinced that it's time to take some decisive national action against what is a absolute scandal. A colleague was recently hauled through an informal then formal capability process on the basis of 2 observed lessons being judged either satisfactory or inadequate, even though his official PM lesson was good. The capability process involved more and more observations, all only ever satisfactory or inadequate. Other lessons seen by experienced colleagues were judged as good but counted for nothing as they were outside the "process". After every observation he made sure to put in place anything that was deemed lacking for the next lesson, only to be marked down for something else. It was blatantly clear to all of us in the department that this was part of a wider move to get rid of people who for one reason or another they don't want in the school. This man was a popular and respected teacher, had great feedback from students and parents and was thoroughly hardworking and professional.Not to mention over 20 years experience...Too old? Too independent minded? Surplus to requirements? We all know that the new OFSTED criteria are a load of subjective nonsense which can be far too easily manipulated to give the required judgements. What is horrifying is that on the basis of a few subjective judgements someone's career, and very possibly their physical and mental well-being can be destroyed. Since this process this once proud and confident man has felt compelled to resign from a job he loved, and been suffering frequent panic attacks. His marriage is breaking up and his classes have been deprived of a brilliant teacher. THIS HAS TO STOP!
  15. Sad to read about all this but in some ways I am in the same predicament. The school has a new head who started last September. It?s his first post so he started by conducting what has seemed like his own personal OFSTED. To say many of the staff in school are unhappy would be an understatement. I?m now 56 and have never had anything but good and positive feedback on observed lessons. However since the start of the year it?s been a different story and I am now in what one poster has described as ?pre-informal capability.? This is how it?s panned out over the past months

    September 2011
    Maths lesson observed by maths advisor SIP. Received e-mail from head on Friday night, which said he had been meaning to talk to me but hadn?t managed it. Said there were concerns about teaching of maths in year 4. Feedback was with head and advisor. I was told lesson was poor and unsatisfactory. Feedback verbal only. No written feedback given.

    September 2011
    Head observed maths lesson said it was satisfactory. Feedback verbal only. No written feedback given.

    November 2011
    Head observed maths lesson Feedback from head was that it was inadequate - said that was three inadequates in a row now. I did remind him that he had told me the last one was satisfactory but he said it was 'borderline'. Was told that HR would be called in for a meeting with me to 'help' me. Head said he didn't want to go down the road of capability procedure.

    November 2011
    Asked head if he could spare me a couple of minutes when I saw him when I went to sign in this morning. Told him I had been feeling extremely anxious all weekend and could he please tell me which points I needed to address. It came down to the differentiation. I said I was asking for his help and asked about HR. He said that as I?d asked for his help that wouldn?t be necessary but that they had asked him to monitor staff who were ?underperforming?.

    December 2011
    Maths lesson observed by head. Feedback on this was good and he gave it a satisfactory. Feedback verbal only. No written feedback given.

    February 2012
    Head and lit co-ord came in during a guided reading session to observe. One group finished reading and I gave them laptops to carry on with some creative writing. Unfortunately they couldn?t get onto the network and I spent quite a bit of time trying to sort that out. Head later gave me feedback on the session and said that is was very good to start with but that because I?d spent time trying to sort out the computers I wasn?t teaching. He also said that the group he talked to hadn?t got an objective for their reading and that because of that, even though the children were engaged and on task the lesson was inadequate. He said that perhaps I should watch someone else doing a reading session. Feedback verbal only. Was given a photocopy of the notes he made in lesson.

    March 2012
    Was told by head at the end of his morning staff meeting that he wanted to talk to me after school, as I needed to be observed again. The upshot of my meeting with him was that he put me on capability procedure. But he said it wasn?t - it's more like support.

    He told me I was a 'liability' if OFSTED came in and observe me (the school wouldn?t get a satisfactory because of me) and I 'need help'. He and the assistant head are going 'help' me and there are to be two more observations, one maths and one guided reading - If I don't get the right number of boxes he's then going to start real capability procedures. He says it's nothing personal and that he has to think of the children and their learning. He says I'm an experienced and good teacher, which I pointed out rather contradicted what he was saying but then he said he only had the evidence to go on. He said he thought I was deliberately unwilling to teach the way he wants. I did say that I haven?t been teaching all this time not to know that it?s about the kids learning and I?ve managed to do that up to date. He said that I could have been putting on a ?performance? when he observed the ?satisfactory? lesson.

    March 2012
    After a weekend of worrying about what he had said on Friday I decided to ask him for clarification this morning. He said that he spoke to the deputy head after he had seen me on Friday and that he is going to put me on a five-week trial (capability without it being capability he said) at the end of which, if I haven?t ?improved?, he will start capability. He is going to come up with targets that I need to improve on and then one a week will be focused on. He said that I should come up with targets that I think I need to improve on. He said that he will be contacting HR to let them know what is going to happen.

    March 2012
    Observed this morning during a guided reading session, first by the RE co-ordinator and then by the Literacy TLR (they were in separately). Noted the Lit LTR texting on her phone during the time she was in observing.

    March 2012
    Head gave me feedback on the observed guided reading lesson after school. He said observers thought it was a satisfactory lesson and had deliberated over whether it crossed into good for nearly ten minutes. Head then went on to say that he?s putting me on 6 weeks of ?management support? that will consist of me having to meet targets each week. He said that if I didn?t pass these 6 weeks then he will start informal and then formal capability procedures. He said this was as result of 3 poor observations (2 maths and 1 guided reading). I said that he had told me it was 4 and reminded him that he had downgraded the first maths he had observed from satisfactory to borderline and then inadequate, he denied doing that. He said I was the only teacher who was inadequate and that if OFSTED gave me a poor lesson observation then he would be judged in the same way. He said that he would do one more maths observation at the end of the 6 weeks and that he would do it with someone else, mentioning the maths advisor and SIP.

    March 2012
    Maths lesson was observed by Ofsted inspector. He told teaching assistant at the end that she was very good and in fact the whole lesson was very good. In a subsequent meeting with the head I was told that the OFSTED viewed lesson was satisfactory and that he would be starting his six week ?management support? for me after the Easter break.

    I?ve been anxious about this for months and feel the game?s being made up as it goes along. I am now on medication for anxiety and due to go back to the doctors next week but am unsure what to do if I am offered a sick note (I work three days a week and have been at this school for three years so am not sure how much sick leave I am entitled to). As I intend to resign and leave at the end of this year to take my chances on supply. Should I go off on sick if the doctor advises or stick it out until July? If I resign now could the head terminate my contract at Spring Bank?
  16. Dear jonati...., I was so sorry to read your post. you seem to have gone to hell and back; and that this has been going on since september. It is no wonder you are at your wits end and upset. I would def go to your doctor. The pressure you must be under is intolerable. I agree that they seem to be moving the goal posts all the time. Personally, as I said, get to your doctor and he will advise some time off (if not only to reflect on things). I wish you well and please ring your union.
  17. Satisfactory seems to be about the best you can get now they have narrowed the parameters. Other members of staff who have received satisfactory (and that's the vast majority) have not been put through the same thing that I've been threatened with. I can't work out how all my previous observations by inspectors and heads over the years have been judged good (with elements of outstanding) and then suddenly this year I have become inadequate. What I am worried about now is that the head will try and get rid of me if I am off with a doctor's sick note for the remainder of the year. Unfortunately I'm not sure if I can face going back after the break as my confidence in my own abilities is now virtually nil.
  18. Rosieett

    Rosieett New commenter

    So sorry to hear about how your head's been treating you. It's unbelievable! I know exactly how you feel because I'm now on medication but feel sick every time I think about going back after the hols. What does your union say about all of this? Your union rep can write a letter to your head in order to arrange a meeting to sort out the mess. The only thing keeping me going is the thought that yes, I am a good teacher and how dare they say I'm not! I'm going to fight this. Targets should be achievable. How can a teacher who was once successful become unsuccessful?
  19. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    I am so sorry you are going through this. It seems that the older more experienced teachers no longer respected. I know my days are numbered. I have already handed my resignation and will leave at the end of this year. I just cant face the tick box subjective obs anymore. I know I am a good teacher and so are you. If you cant face going back, don't at the most there are only 12 weeks till the end of the year. I resigned and the powerful SLT have left me alone.
  20. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Every day I thank my lucky stars that I no longer teach in the UK prep school system. The bullying I suffered at the hands of an incompetent HT and jealous HOD was simply appalling. A disciplinary that observed not one of the required protocols
    tipped me over the edge, despite my being off with stress. The HT forged documents for my file to attempt to cover his back, and the HOD and her coterie bullied me out with their exclusion games and immature snubbing. Now back in my homeland. I work in a brilliant school where my results are simply outstanding, the kids and I have a mutual admiration society, and the head stops me every day to tell me how highly regarded I am in the school. The contrast couldn't be more marked. A useless head leads to a school where silly, ignorant and petty individuals rule.

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