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Discriminatory concerns about support plan

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by whatsabunny, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter


    I have been put on an "informal support plan" to start tomorrow and I have some huge concerns regarding this.

    First concern: I was observed with the same group twice (a very vile group I only see once a week) and this has triggered the plan. Between the first and second observation I made huge progress. They literally said my (after my second observation) planning is great it's only behaviour and expectations they're checking. Considering the progress I made from one lesson to the next I believe (backed up by my union) I should be allowed more time to improve, instead of jumping to a support plan. I literally improved on every single point, including behaviour, but given the nature of the group they are impossible to win over with just one lesson between these observations.

    Second concern: the support plan is to last 3 weeks by the policy HOWEVER I am part time and only work 2 days at the school. They have not taken this into account and say the plan is to still last 3 weeks (which according to my union is discriminatory and unfair)

    Third concern: I have requested a meeting with my rep and with the appropriate member of SLT to discuss the plan. This request has been completely ignored and not responded to. This is to discuss all the points above and to discuss the reasonable adjustments that were supposed to be put in place for me due to some health concerns.

    Fourth concern: I was denied a pay rise this year due to not being able to prove progress of the students. I had a lot of health issues and some compassionate leave due to a home trauma. These were all disclosed to school at an early stage and according to policies/unions/laws (I'm not sure exactly what but I know it's somewhere!) that if the lack of progress is a result of ill health then a pay rise should be automatically awarded. I had a very tough year last year in terms of health and personally, all of which were disclosed to the school before the first half term. My union have discussed with me a lack of their duty of care and are determined to come into school and ensure they are improving this.

    It has actually been suggested to me (from people within the school) that due to the department being overstaffed and myself having a disability I am being targeted. I have passed this on to my union, who will be contacting the school very shortly to arrange a meeting again to discuss all of the concerns raised, as their first ask for a meeting was ignored. The meeting for my support plan was after the union first contacted the school.

    Any thoughts on how to move forward?
  2. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    Put simply, refuse to have anything to do with a support plan, including observations, etc, until your pre-requisites have been fulfilled. Such as the meeting with union present etc and all of your concerns openly aired. The meeting must be minuted. Ask the union to demand that you will not proceed with any form of support until these requirements have been met and discussed openly.

    This does all sound very sinister, and knowing full well how schools operate today, you have every reason to be highly sceptical of their true intentions.

    And for your own sanity, start looking elsewhere for work.
  3. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This is the best advice you could possibly receive. Sounds like they want you gone.
  4. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    Don't go through with this. How lovely of your school to do this less than 3 weeks before Xmas! See your GP and take stock of the situation with some time off. You mention your health, your school are aware of this and don't seem to care. You need to look after yourself. The fact you have shown 'improvements' and they are adamant about a 'support plan' would get my alarm bells ringing. This won't be good for your health and I fear they want you out but only you will know for sure.
    agathamorse and (deleted member) like this.
  5. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    My union is contacting Wednesday to ask about this meeting. He has suggested that because my issues were with behaviour to complete the lesson Wednesday as it will show my best practice and give some ammunition as to why I shouldn't be on this plan.
    They did knock me down an awful lot and I was actually worried I wouldn't get another job due to my health issues and apparently my incapability to teach! Having met with my union they were fully on my side and confirmed I'm not paranoid so I am now actively searching for new work :).
    They want me gone because they are over staffed and can't be bothered with me! They hired 4 new members of staff despite only one teacher leaving and one going on maternity.
    They've conviniently changed the plan since our discussion to ensure one of my observations includes my awful group. I have been warned by my union that this is a sign they do want me gone :(.
    I am keeping my eye out for new work!
  6. MissMultitask

    MissMultitask New commenter

    This does not bode well. For what its worth you could self refer to occ health re disability BUT make sure you get your ducks in a row. Take evidence and make sure you ask to see the report BEFORE it is sent to the school to check accuracy etc.
    You WILL get another job, listen to union advice.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You work for idiots. There seems to be a lot of them about in the profession now.

    It shouldn't happen but it is far from uncommon now and no-one's really bothered about it.

    Take them for every penny you can get out of them.

    Good luck.
  8. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    If the plan is informal, getting a union involved ratchets up the process and it will quickly escalate to formal
    Piranha and Pomza like this.
  9. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    The union are there to ensure processes have been followed correctly. Surely it makes sense for them to be there for the best interest of everyone.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  11. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    Thanks for the giggle!!
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    They have put me on a 3 week support plan. That is 8 days based on how many days I work (plus an inset in there). It doesn't get much quicker than that in honesty. There are other concerns that means my union are supporting me :) so it's important they do come for a visit.

    Also I tried self referring to occupational health and got told to go to the doctors. Very supportive school I work for!!

    The support plan consists of:
    Multiple observations
    Multiple book scrutinies
    Me organising to watch someone in my PPA time..

    That is literally the plan
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Get applying for other jobs.

    If you tell your HT you’ll go of your own will, they might ease off a little...
  14. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Do your health issues come under a disability under the EQ2010 or could they if they health issues continue or are likely to continue for more than a year?

    Have you been sent to OH? If not then ask for a referral.

    If you have then were any Reasonable Adjustments (RA) recommended by OH and if so were they implemented?
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Absolute and dangerous Rubbish.

    You NEED Union involvement as soon as any Disciplinary or Capability process rears its head. Asking for Union involvement once it has gone formal is far too late.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Very supportive......

    If you tried to self refer then make sure it was in writing and that you have made a copy, if not try again but this time in writing (email) and refer in the email to your first attempt, make sure you get a reply via email.

    Being observed and checked up on is not supportive.

    You definitely need Union involvement here esp as
    a) They are proposing to judge you by your planning and assessment (obs and book checks) and
    b) are taking away your time for planning and assessment.

    On the other hand, if there is any discrimination going on then the proposed plan could actually be further ammunition in any legal proceedings against the school.
    agathamorse and FrankWolley like this.
  17. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Depends on whether you have a case and/or are willing to fight, this is what they appear to be after and by doing this it will just make it more and more likely that this will happen to the next teacher in the firing line.
  18. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    sorry you are having a hard time but this
    is certainly not true!

    However, on the whole you just need to leave."support plans" are basically just a way of telling you you are not wanted.
    Flanks likes this.
  19. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    It is under the disability act and reasonably adjudments were put in place but not followed and as a result I have been suffering. They are actually breaking the law in the way they have treated me, according to my union, which is why they are keen to get involved.

    I also have in writing that I asked to be referred to occupational health and they didn't send me as well. Another one to print for my rep when he comes in. I have enough in writing to show they are being discriminatory towards part time (asking me to do work on my days off including setting deadlines on Wednesday evening for Friday when I work Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and wednesday full day).
    The rep also came in to negotiate my part time timetable as a reasonable adjustment and explained driving makes things worse, but I am driving between sites on two of my 3 working days and over my breaks as well. So they're concerned my needs aren't being met at all. I've got an appointment next week and I am leaving at lunch on Wednesday with permission, which means they are unable to observe me so changed the days instead as a result.
    So a 3 week plan for a full time teacher would be 15 days and I have 8 days to show improvement before it is formal and they are ignoring requests for union representation :( so my rep is chasing it to ensure he gets in ASAP to discuss
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    You could have just put this part in, the advice would be the same.

    Any school that uses PM to deny pay progression under the circumstances that you described is not one that you should be working in.

    This may be hypocritical of me, because I stayed twice after not passing (though I did 'pass' all 16 lesson observations and 16 marking scrutinies over those two years) PM and being denied pay progression.
    A lot of our staff did. Most of them overcame the inertia and moved on - as a rep, I kept in touch with at least 14 of them. Each one of them had a much better time at a different school.

    RE: support plan (as supportive as the hangman's noose around the condemned man's neck, as my Div Sec once said to the head during a union meeting to support a member), get the rep to meet SLT and delay the start of the plan until it has been justified, in writing, why you will receive effectively less time than anyone else.
    Still, I think that most of this may be pi55ing in the wind. Not many people come back from the confidence knock of these support plans - very rarely if it becomes a formal plan. Never in the case of capability.

    I'd be looking elsewhere, if I were you.

    Advice on that, given that it is difficult to find PT jobs is to go a little old-school.

    We have an over-reliance on the TES Jobs pages. We set on two part-time staff members in our science dept - we were not advertising for jobs either time.

    A fortuitously timed CV ended up on the right persons desk.

    Make some enquiries at other schools in the area - even if they aren't advertising.

    Best of luck with everything, don't let the ******** grind ya down, as they say.

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