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Dear Theo: Is this a breach of contract?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by gaguy, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. I am currently teaching in a private school, a job and place I love.
    The contract I signed was for four months and it says that I have until the 1st of June to apply for the permanent position in September. I started at the very end of February.
    On Friday, the Headteacher told me that a person they interviewed before I came emailed one of the governors,saying he/ she will be willing to start in September at the school. ( apparently this person could not resign from his/her current position for a February start). Hence, the governors have decided to appoint him/ her for the permanent position. The Headteacher said it was nothing to do with my teaching or me, as everybody likes me at the school and he only had excellent feedback from the pupils and that the decision is not his as he is to leave at the end of June.
    It seems all really shady to me. I can't tell anybody about this yet ( it is very hard as every day, teachers ask me if I still enjoy the place and want to stay next year) as the Head wants to tell my department himself . I know it is an independent school and they can do what they want, but I am wondering if it is all legal. My contract says I can reapply and now I can't as they found someone else ( maybe a friend of one of the governors????......) .The Head was actually very nice and told me he only found out the night before and he wanted to let me know asap so that I can find something else , that he would give me an excellent reference.... From our conversation, I feel that he wanted to let me know whilst the governors would have let me wait and hope.
    I am so disappointed. I know I do a good job, I get on well with the staff, the children like my lesson ( and obviously learn) yet my job is being given to someone else who may be related to one of the governors. I know that in state school, they can't do it ( on application form it always ask if we know or are related to a governor) and private school can do what they want.
    So my question is this one again:
    Is it a breach of contract not to give me a chance to apply? I am not planning on suing the school, I just want to know. I have not even met any of the governors so find it hard to swallow that they decide they found someone better than me.
    Thank you for your reply Theo.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    What a horrid situation you are in!
    And I will add that not many independent schools would treat their staff like this.
    I do not know if this is a breach of contract. I'm not a legal eagle, just picked up things from being a Head.
    I suggest that you go and see the Bursar or Business manger, with a photocopy of your contract, and ask what happens now since you seem to have a contractual right to apply for this post, but cannot as it has been given to someone else. Ask him/her if you should contact your union about this. Say that you don't want to cause any problems for the school, but you don't understand how it can say one thing in your contract yet give the post to someone without you being given a fair chance to apply for it.
    Don't be aggressive, be puzzled and upset.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Moving onto Leadship seminar is Sunday 15th May.
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!
  3. Thank you for your quick reply, I will do as you advised. The talk with the head was only seven minutes as I had a lesson straight after and I did not want to cry in front of him and the children, so I just took everything in, only managing a few " I am disappointed".
    Hopefully tomorrow I will have another chance to talk to the head about it all and the bursar ( I don't think he knows about it yet either).
    I will let you know how things go, thank you again for your advice.
    Kind regards.

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