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Do I have to do what the Headteacher says?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by squashua, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. squashua

    squashua Occasional commenter

    I am currently in the process of bringing a discrimination tribunal against my Headteacher. This is only slightly relevant but helps with context.
    I was very ill last year and off work for a while. This was initially in response to a miscarriage but then became work-related when the Head refused to do various things to make life manageable.
    Things still aren't great and my new job description - I am on leadership - is totally unmanageable. I have raised this as an issue but he just says 'it's the role' and implies that there is no limit on the hours he can get me to work.
    One of my jobs as part of my role is to organise a very large event, that takes months to put together. I had some support from office staff but the great majority of the organisation falls to me. I want it to be at a time of year that is most manageable for me in terms of workload, and actually suits the event best. The Head wants it to be at another time: my busiest. I have explained that it is unmangeable for my workload...but I suspect that's part of the point!
    Given that the event is completely delegated to me as part of my role, and given that it affects nobody but me when it is - and in fact, my choice of time would be easiest for everyone as we will all have lighter timetables and workload - do I have to go with his choice of date instead of mine?
    I suspect that the answer is yes, but it will significantly impact on my work and my teaching if I do. And probably my health but - again - I suspect that is the point.
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Others will be able to give you the legal answer to your question.... But - if the answer is 'yes' - maybe the "solution" for you is not to plan it (at least not completely) but wait until cancelling it (or postponing it) is no longer an option, then go sick due to the stress. Your HT will then either have to face up to the lack of organisation or do the work themselves...

    NB I am assuming your days at this school are numbered, at least if the HT remains...this is implicit, I'd say, in your post....
    stmha and snowyhead like this.
  3. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    There will come a time, in the not too distant future, when no decent teacher will want to move onto the upper pay scale or head towards leadership because of the stress, work overload and fragility that comes with the territory. Schools are already finding it difficult to recruit and keep decent head teachers and this situation is filtering down the ranks and working it's way through the bottom too.

    Organising a huge event is an administrative task that should be carried out by office staff, perhaps overseen by the OP. Utilising trained teachers in this way is just bonkers, not least because it's poor value for tax payers' money. It's like asking a senior registrar on a surgical ward to file patient notes and changes the beds.

    Write to your MP and Nicky Morgan/Nick Gibb.
    stmha likes this.
  4. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Ultimately if you are directed to do something by your HT you have to comply as it could be seen as misconduct.

    However, if the tribunal is against the HT and the school/academy that does bring a different slant on the issue. Is there a whistleblowing element in your tribunal?

    If there is, then the treatment you are receiving could be a detriment for making a protected disclosure in accordance with s.2 PIDA 1998 and s.47B ERA 1996.

    Are you getting legal advice or are you litigating the tribunal yourself?
    FolkFan likes this.
  5. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    How have you leaped from a discrimination claim to whistleblowing? The OP has given no indication whatsoever that this also involves whistleblowing!

    If the OP thinks she may be being victimised for bringing a discrimination claim, there is provision in EqA 2010 for that.
    monicabilongame likes this.

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