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'Compulsory' CPD research project?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by MagisterArtium, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    I am a second year teacher who completed their NQT year with 8 others. At the end of our NQT we were offered the chance to complete a research project. It was voluntary and there was a stipend of £500 on completion. None of us took up the offer, mainly due the the fact that in previous years there were also 30 credits at Masters level available which were no longer offered. I'm already studying for a p/t MA and decided it wasn' t in my interests to take on anymore work.
    On Wednesday we were all asked to attend a meeting with the NQT co-ordinator and CPD go-ordinator. We were told that as 2nd year teachers we were all going to be completing a research project for the school. We were told that is was compulsory CPD and when we enquired about the £500, were told we would not be paid.We were also told that it would be very difficult for any of us to pass through threshold (in my case, three years) if we were not to do a project like this, and it's in our best interests to carry out the project. We will not be given any additional free periods and will be expected to complete the project work during our PPAs and own time.
    Needless to say, we're all very unhappy about the situation.
    Can CPD be made compulsory for a group of qualified teachers? None of us have any capability procedures in place, there are no concerns about our ability to teach - we have all been graded as good or outstanding in NQT year and in our first obs this year.
    Both my HoD and another HoD have said they are not happy with members of their faculties being forced into CPD.
    On questioning the NQT co-ordinator about workload issues she told me the school was, and I quote, ''going to make you work for your money''.
    We proceeded to ask for union input and the NASUWT, NUT and ATL reps are all meeting with the Head on Monday to voice our concerns. They are also going to be arguing against compulsory CPD, especially as no other teachers in the school are being told they have to carry out a research project.
    What are people's views? Would you be willing to go along with this if you were in the same position?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Hi all,
    I am a second year teacher who completed their NQT year with 8 others. At the end of our NQT we were offered the chance to complete a research project. It was voluntary and there was a stipend of £500 on completion. None of us took up the offer, mainly due the the fact that in previous years there were also 30 credits at Masters level available which were no longer offered. I'm already studying for a p/t MA and decided it wasn' t in my interests to take on anymore work.
    On Wednesday we were all asked to attend a meeting with the NQT co-ordinator and CPD go-ordinator. We were told that as 2nd year teachers we were all going to be completing a research project for the school. We were told that is was compulsory CPD and when we enquired about the £500, were told we would not be paid.We were also told that it would be very difficult for any of us to pass through threshold (in my case, three years) if we were not to do a project like this, and it's in our best interests to carry out the project. We will not be given any additional free periods and will be expected to complete the project work during our PPAs and own time.
    Needless to say, we're all very unhappy about the situation.
    Can CPD be made compulsory for a group of qualified teachers? None of us have any capability procedures in place, there are no concerns about our ability to teach - we have all been graded as good or outstanding in NQT year and in our first obs this year.
    Both my HoD and another HoD have said they are not happy with members of their faculties being forced into CPD.
    On questioning the NQT co-ordinator about workload issues she told me the school was, and I quote, ''going to make you work for your money''.
    We proceeded to ask for union input and the NASUWT, NUT and ATL reps are all meeting with the Head on Monday to voice our concerns. They are also going to be arguing against compulsory CPD, especially as no other teachers in the school are being told they have to carry out a research project.
    What are people's views? Would you be willing to go along with this if you were in the same position?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  3. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    You have two ways to approach this, either keep your mouths shut, hope it goes away and if it doesn't then produce the least you can. Or secondly, as you seem to be, make it clear that you are not happy and explain to the head that replacing you all over the next 2 years will be very expensive and creating bad feeling within 8 staff and most of the faculties is not how to maintain good morale amongst the whole staff. On top of this, what about other staff who actually might want to do this? They have handled this badly.
     
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    The unions should also ask by what right the NQT co-ordinator thinks she can behave like this. For one thing, it is not for her to have anything to do with people who are no longer NQTs; for another, it might be a good move also to ask to see her qualifications for deciding what other people have to do to earn their money. She sounds as if she could do with being brought down a peg or six.
    Research project, my a***!!. You're there to get on with the teaching. Good luck.
     
  5. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I'm guessing that their internal documentation for the project would have your name on it... and therefore you can request to see all the school's documentation relating to the project under the data protection act.
    Call me cynical but is anyone else wondering where that £4000 has gone... the money that was originally offered to eight young teachers starting out in their careers? Ask for the documents and call their bluff... get the external union reps involved NOW and make sure they don't pull a fast one on you.
    When you have the documents... or when you have asked the questions about where the funding has gone... preferably with a recording device upon your person or through an email... copied to several people... perhaps even the head of children's and young people's services in the area... You might find they are not so very insistent.

    By the way.. just before you start digging I would write a short email to the management to clarify what you have been told. Put it all down and ask them to confirm you have understood the situation correctly... particularly the bit about not making threashold.

    It's so weird isn't it... when you're a kid at school all the teachers are always telling you how to do things the right way... and you know some of them are really trying to help you... but you instinctively know some of them are just bossy... bitchy... bullying cows. But even then it never crosses your mind that when you're all grown up and joining a profession which claims to be a part of the caring professions... that they still behave in what can only be described as utterly unprofessional!... bossy... Bitchy... bullying.
     
  6. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    And remimd them of the impact such a task would have on your energy levels and time available for day to day school committment.
    Seriously this sounds to me like someone going off half *** on a power trip. Union definitely the way to go.
    Good luck!
     
  7. I am so relieved to read your post! I am in a very similar situation and I was so sure it was unique to my school. Last year NQTs where told they would have further support in their second year and have a series of meetings regarding this support.
    However in the first meeting it because clear this support was actually a research project each of us where expected to do over the year. This involved five two hour meetings (additional time that no other staff member had to go to) over the year where lecturers have come in to talk to us about projects ( think back to university and poor lecturers reading off powerpoints in a monotone voice for 2 hours). Three of this meetings happened before Christmas. We have been told we have to come up 'impressive' research that will be published to all staff and we will have to present our findings to inform others teaching :(
    My feelings were just overwhelmedness. Our head isn't reasonable or approachable and everyone seems to march to his tune and do anything under the sun to keep him happy.
    I felt completely thrown into this project I never knowlingly agreed to do, giving 10 hours additional to meetings (never mind actual time spent on the project). I felt there was no structure given to us. just an assumption that fresh out of uni we could do research with the aid of terrible lectures. There has been no additional money etc offered for this. Anyways I was very unhappy with all of this, however it had not been mentioned much in Dec and I had hoped it was going to be forgotten. However having just recieved an email out of the blue from the SLT member coordinating this 'support' requesting my proposal and methodolgy in writing to allow him to discuss it with the head I have again started panicing!

    Is there anyway I can get out of this and spend my time more productively? So glad Im not alone with this!
     
  8. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Have you contacted your union?
     
  9. emids77

    emids77 New commenter

    After I joined my new school as an NQT I was told it was compulsory to do a Masters offered by the school.
    I felt this year wasn't right for me and sought more advice from my union rep.
    It turns out that unless they give you the appropriate extra PPA they can't make projects/Masters etc compulsory.
    My school is fantastic and the SLT good, so I was a bit worried about 'rocking the boat', but after explaining my thoughts on time/lesson planning etc and also that I knew I didn't 'have' to, I was told I didn't have to do it. As you are already doing a Masters anyway I imagine that might be sufficient for threshold?
    I don't think they can make you do it, but I guess try and say no in the most polite and constructive way possible!
     

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