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disciplinary and intimidation at Independent school for NUT representative

Discussion in 'Independent' started by cocothedog, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. cocothedog

    cocothedog New commenter

    I work in perhaps the largest company in the country that teaches autistic children and is funded at great expense by the LEAs.
    It was quite a pleasant company to work for when I first joined 5 years ago but since that time the company has been taken over by an American Venture Capital bank. The Bankers have been in to see where costs can be cut and a greater profit made for the benefit of their American shareholders. This has had an impact on our work and conditions. We no longer recieve DSP, there is a policy of zero budgeting and there is now an unpleasant atmosphere as a couple of new appointments have been made at Deputy and Assistant Head level to 'soften up' the teaching staff and to get more 'value' out of them. This of course means ignoring the workload agreements.
    I am the NUT representative at the school, in the past I have attended NUT training during school time without a problem. Now we are not even allowed to meet as an NUT group on the school premises.
    The Assistant Head and Deputy Head ( not a teacher, but an NVQ care worker without any teaching qualifications) have been trying to get me on a disciplinary for 18 months and last year I put in a greivance complaint against the Assistant Head that was not upheld. There was an argument last week about DSP in a staff meeting when I complained that there were no sanctions taken against 'spitting' children and this could impact on staff if they became sick as a result of this and the Deputy Head was enraged that I bought the subject up.
    Well that is the background. I have been told to attend a disciplinary hearing on 9/2/2011 because I did not give sufficient evidence that I attended an interview on 4/1/2011. The interview was arranged during the Xmas hols and I did not fill in a 'Leave of Absence form' beforehand. There was no letter to invite me to interview as it was arranged over the phone. I did not take the job as it was not right for me. I explained all this to the Head of the school but the Deputy insisted on documentation. I contacted the school where I went for interview and requested they sent me a letter which they duly did but it did not state clearly the date of the interview.
    The Deputy Head said that this was not sufficient. I said that I gave my word that I attended an interview on the day inquestion, it was the only day that an interview was possible given that schools were closed over Xmas (this was a LEA school) and that he had recieved a letter saying that I had attended the interview. I said that as I was not going to get paid for attending the interview I was not going to go to any more trouble trying to obtain proof of attending and that he should have more trust in his staff. I also pointed out that there was nothing organised for staff to do on 4/1/2011 the first day back and there were no children in residence at that time so there was no teaching. I have to fulfill all my teaching obligations and catch up in my own time for any time I am away from school. I will state clearly here that I attended the interview during school time on 4/1/2011.
    When I recieved the letter informing me of the disciplinary hearing, I went to see the Deputy Head and said it was an over reaction on his behalf and what could we do to end the matter for the good of the school. He was quite adament that the hearing was to go ahead. On the Disciplinary panel there is the Deputy Head, the Assistant Head, these are the two 'attack dogs' hired to get extra value from the staff and the Head of Care (who has displayed anti teacher attitudes in the past) who is best friends with the Deputy Head. I do not think that they are neutral and independent but out to get the NUT representative that has been standing up for the teachers.
    Well that is the basics of the story, I have let my Union know and they are attending the Hearing with me and afterwards we are going to the local Community Centre for an NUT meeting that had been arranged for that day (a coincidence?)
    I would be interested to hear any advice or comments anybody has on this matter as prepare my defence.
    Thanks for reading
     
  2. cocothedog

    cocothedog New commenter

    I work in perhaps the largest company in the country that teaches autistic children and is funded at great expense by the LEAs.
    It was quite a pleasant company to work for when I first joined 5 years ago but since that time the company has been taken over by an American Venture Capital bank. The Bankers have been in to see where costs can be cut and a greater profit made for the benefit of their American shareholders. This has had an impact on our work and conditions. We no longer recieve DSP, there is a policy of zero budgeting and there is now an unpleasant atmosphere as a couple of new appointments have been made at Deputy and Assistant Head level to 'soften up' the teaching staff and to get more 'value' out of them. This of course means ignoring the workload agreements.
    I am the NUT representative at the school, in the past I have attended NUT training during school time without a problem. Now we are not even allowed to meet as an NUT group on the school premises.
    The Assistant Head and Deputy Head ( not a teacher, but an NVQ care worker without any teaching qualifications) have been trying to get me on a disciplinary for 18 months and last year I put in a greivance complaint against the Assistant Head that was not upheld. There was an argument last week about DSP in a staff meeting when I complained that there were no sanctions taken against 'spitting' children and this could impact on staff if they became sick as a result of this and the Deputy Head was enraged that I bought the subject up.
    Well that is the background. I have been told to attend a disciplinary hearing on 9/2/2011 because I did not give sufficient evidence that I attended an interview on 4/1/2011. The interview was arranged during the Xmas hols and I did not fill in a 'Leave of Absence form' beforehand. There was no letter to invite me to interview as it was arranged over the phone. I did not take the job as it was not right for me. I explained all this to the Head of the school but the Deputy insisted on documentation. I contacted the school where I went for interview and requested they sent me a letter which they duly did but it did not state clearly the date of the interview.
    The Deputy Head said that this was not sufficient. I said that I gave my word that I attended an interview on the day inquestion, it was the only day that an interview was possible given that schools were closed over Xmas (this was a LEA school) and that he had recieved a letter saying that I had attended the interview. I said that as I was not going to get paid for attending the interview I was not going to go to any more trouble trying to obtain proof of attending and that he should have more trust in his staff. I also pointed out that there was nothing organised for staff to do on 4/1/2011 the first day back and there were no children in residence at that time so there was no teaching. I have to fulfill all my teaching obligations and catch up in my own time for any time I am away from school. I will state clearly here that I attended the interview during school time on 4/1/2011.
    When I recieved the letter informing me of the disciplinary hearing, I went to see the Deputy Head and said it was an over reaction on his behalf and what could we do to end the matter for the good of the school. He was quite adament that the hearing was to go ahead. On the Disciplinary panel there is the Deputy Head, the Assistant Head, these are the two 'attack dogs' hired to get extra value from the staff and the Head of Care (who has displayed anti teacher attitudes in the past) who is best friends with the Deputy Head. I do not think that they are neutral and independent but out to get the NUT representative that has been standing up for the teachers.
    Well that is the basics of the story, I have let my Union know and they are attending the Hearing with me and afterwards we are going to the local Community Centre for an NUT meeting that had been arranged for that day (a coincidence?)
    I would be interested to hear any advice or comments anybody has on this matter as prepare my defence.
    Thanks for reading
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Sorry that you are in a difficult position.
    However, this is a regional NUT affair, not really anything that we can give advice on here. I am pleased that you have got them involved.
    Best wishes


    ____________________________________________________________



    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.



    The TES Careers Advice
    service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and
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    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 Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.



    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.



    Look forward to seeing you!





     
  4. Seconded. I'm a NUTter, and they won't let you down over stuff like this. Go big, get everyone involved.
     
  5. Surely you could just ask the Deputy Head to ring and speak to someone at the school? it would take 2 minutes and everything would be cleared up??
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I hope things are going OK - and very sorry to hear you are having a pants time. I agree with you totally that union representatives are often the target of what I personally consider as petty trivial bum smacking that possibly seeks to 'bring you into line' or else cause you as much distress as possible you resign; this is where the teaching profession often mirrors the playground in my opinion. This does not have to be the case - unions would prefer peaceful conversions with schools that avoid animosity. Best wishes
     
  7. How did the meeting go? Do you need any support or are your Union providing the full and legal support that may have been needed?
     

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