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Ever been bullied or made to feel so ill you ended up off with stress or resigned? Please read.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dht46, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. leah35

    leah35 New commenter

    A few years ago I was bullied until my health suffered, over a child protection issue. The HT refused to contact Social Services, even though we'd had a twilight session about CP that same week! The twilight session was part of new training after the Victoria Climbie case so I knew I was right about procedure. After he refused to follow procedure I anonymously contacted the CP team at the LEA and they told me that I would have to 'go over his head'. I didn't want to do that so gave him the opportunity to do the right thing. He made my life hell and Occupational Health and my union were useless. In the end I left teaching as I wasn't prepared to ruin my health for a good salary. When I worked out my hourly rate based on the work I actually did I was barely above the minimum wage for my hourly rate. I now do supply teaching. I thought I may go back to it full time and that the system would get better, but it seems to have got a lot worse. It's no longer a job you can do as a life-long career. I'm just so lucky that I have a lovely, supportive husband and that I don't HAVE to work full time.
    install, sandrabarrett and alyj like this.
  2. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    That is soooo sad. I am sorry to read this.
    install and sandrabarrett like this.
  3. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I am with you 100%.

    I get quite cross when the press reports how people are leaving teaching in droves but never really seem to want to report on the reason. They talk about stress not why teachers are stressed.

    Stressed as a result of bullying in the school environment, staff on staff, head on staff.

    We must do something.
    install, sandrabarrett and alyj like this.
  4. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    We do not want a campaign for bullying in schools, that is too general. We need a campaign to Stop bullying of teachers in school
    cazzmusic1, install, Xericist and 4 others like this.
  5. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I could have written this!.. The selling of the souls went on in my school. What people, who were once my friends did to gain promotion simply because I would not support a member of staff who was quite mean to their team. The head took umbrage to this and boy did she make me suffer as did the minions that sold their souls. I did have to withdraw from the situation, but it was a life saving, eye opening journey.

    We must get this going.
  6. amethyst303

    amethyst303 New commenter

    I have been bullied both in the UK and overseas. At home I spoke to a union rep who tried to get me to take things further but this would have made my life even worse than it already was. He was an 'ear' and very sympathetic, since he had dealt with a few complaints about the set-up at the particular establishment where I worked. Many people were tipped over the edge: I left before it happened to me.
    Abroad, I voiced my concerns about a child to the head. I had been approached by three other members of staff regarding the welfare of a particular student. The head discussed my conversation with herself to the parents and things were turned on their head - I was out to make trouble and was making this child not want to come to school! Overseas, there are no unions. I had a fantastic Irish GP who spent hours with me, gave me the numbers of local psychologists and a prescription for tranquillizers if I needed them: I resorted to neither as her wise words were enough, plus HTP5 from the health shop took the edge off my anxiety.
    I was bullied two more times in overseas schools. People know they can get away with it as there are no bodies to turn to for legal advice like a union, unless you take out a private investigation, which is a tad drastic and expensive.
    I was never actually bullied at school myself and am saddened and disgusted that adults in the profession treat each other in this way more and more, so it seems. Needless to say, I am no longer teaching and am hoping to work part-time in a supermarket!
    Alice K, install and sandrabarrett like this.
  7. KB2015

    KB2015 New commenter

    I am currently in the situation where going to work actually makes me feel sick. It's affecting my health. I am lucky that I am only working on a maternity contract and it has lead to me leaving at half-term. Reading this thread has actually made me feel better because at least I know I have an easier out than others.

    Every time I go into work not only is behaviour shocking but there is no support available. I am commonly told bad behaviour is due to my teaching even though these students have continuous behaviour issues with different teachers. I feel like SLT are burying their head in the sand and passing the buck.

    I just keep reminding myself that I only have 8 days left and then I am free but I am lucky that I can do that. No-one should have to put up with working in such an environment where they are made to feel worthless but by the looks of this thread it is happening across the board.
  8. alyj

    alyj New commenter


    My story is so similar to so many of you. It breaks my heart. I would not want any of my children to join this once noble and compassionate profession at the present time.

    So, next step?

    I'm using past inspirational role models to guide me. I suggest uniting with parents, children and other professionals who can see the effect constant Government change is having upon the mental and physical health of all those working in schools and with young people.

    I am saddened and outraged to see the total carnage left on the staffroom floor and corridors of schools up and down this country of ours. Of past and present colleagues, students, teacher's families and friends all being ordered to jump higher, jump faster, jump backwards.

    The key question is, what are we going to do about it?

    Can we collectively take the government (Academy Trusts/LEA etc) to court for failing in their responsibility to us, for a gross lack of care of duty?

    Happy teachers= Happy children
    Happy children= Happy teachers

    Yes, every child matters, but so does that child's teacher too.
    And that teacher's family.
    And...You get the picture?

    This is the time. This is the reality. This is our chance to make ourselves heard.

    How? What? When? Where? Who?
    Alice K, install and sandrabarrett like this.
  9. muddyjudiff

    muddyjudiff New commenter

    You are so articulate and so right. I'm in an unhappy situation now and trying to negotiate an exit.
  10. sjh65

    sjh65 New commenter

    I was bullied by my head when I worked part-time. She insisted I come into work on my days off but I refused because I couldn't afford the childcare for my pre-school kids. It all became quite nasty and she ended up spreading false rumours about me to other staff who also turned against me. My union were no help at all but the teacher support service were brilliant.

    I was seriously ill with depression and anxiety - six months off work and probably another year at least before I felt properly well. Now I work in a lovely school and have had no problems.

    The head took early retirement but couldn't help interfering in school affairs and trying to undermine the new head. I think everyone saw her for what she was in the end and the governors wrote to her effectively banning her from the school.
  11. isotonic

    isotonic Occasional commenter

    I was in a similar situation where the workload meant I had very little family/social time - despite working flat out it was never enough - I felt I was in the wrong and SLT in particular the head and one of the SLT team made matters worse- so much so that I began questioning if this was the right career for me.

    The best advice I can give is - take action - speak to people - I was fortunate to have a supportive family who got me to book an appointment with the Doctor - thankfully he recognised that I was stressed due to the job and signed me off for two weeks with strict instructions of not checking my work emails! Safe to say it was what I needed and it ended with the 2 week easter break so giving me in total 4 weeks away from the stress and worries of turning up at school, being observed and all the never ending marking etc.

    Now I am in another school and it is like chalk and cheese - so much better - staff are all great and workload pressure is gentle

    Looking back if I can pass on advice to anyone suffering at work then I would say this ' if on Sunday evenings you are dreading going to work, you start panicking and suffer anxiety, then you are in the wrong job' change things ASAP!
  12. The A Team

    The A Team New commenter

    It happened to a friend of mine - twice! She is an outstanding teacher and has since risen to the ranks of SENCO and now a deputy head. This behaviour is widespread snd needs addressing!
  13. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Over the last few years I have been increasingly convinced that there are some that go into teaching because they were bullied in school and see the job as an opportunity to reek havoc on others lives now that they are adults. It is shocking. I was at the stage where I was seriously considering becoming a train driver or security guard: anything that minimised contact with other people - my constantly sore feel would not let me take up security guarding in a shop.:D.
    I feel good now and am still in teaching. You have to do what is good for you:D
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Yes the Sunday health test is a really good one:D. I used to start to feel ill on Sunday afternoon by the evening, I would have lost my voice. I realised that it was work.

    The thing is, so many of us remain in a stressful situation because we feel guilty and concerned about the repercussions - we need to start to look after ourselves, love ourselves more and accept that when work starts to affect our health we need to step away from it so that we can make informed decisions about our futures from a distance.:):D.
    corgie11, install and Mrsmumbles like this.
  15. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Count me in. Sadly I have been in the same situation.

    the sad thing is that at first people not in the environment treated me as if it was something that I was doing wrong to be treated in such a way as the behaviour was so unreasonable.

    It has been mentioned before and is an ongoing problem but no one seems to want to tackle it. We had 60 teachers leave one year, followed by a large number of settlement agreements, followed by ACAS interventions and we still have the same person in charge.

    The trustees or borough seem oblivious as the bullying continues.

    I was off for 6 months with stress.

    I hope that you are ok now.
    Lara mfl 05 and Mrsmumbles like this.
  16. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    That is awful. I hope you are ok now. We had a member of staff who reported that she was feeling suicidal, all they did was lean on her more. It was awful. I hope you are in a better place health wise now,
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    I did a similar thing re the bullying. What a big mistake. It was turned around and those who reported it were accused of bullying. It then grew into all sorts of unreasonable accusations against me, I was isolated, and they tried to squeeze me out by creating jobs for some and leaving me out. I took time off work, when I returned, new members of staff did not speak to me as the bullying continued to spread rumours about me, it was awful, But it made me realise that if in my absence these bullies are still not happy and need to spread rumours then they are sad and vindictive people. Those who side with them are weak and just looking to feather their nests. Sorry to sound harsh but that is how it is.
  18. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Yes, TES should do an article about bullying peer to peer - amongst staff in school.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Yes but they too are bullied out of the workplace which is why there is such a high turnover of teachers in some schools and a shortage. the new, not just young are not staying in the profession for very long.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Are your union supporting you? Make sure that they school are sticking to the sickness policy procedures. Check if you return to work, does the procedure start again if you can sustain your attendance. OH is a good port of call. The school has a duty of care to you and it appears that they are trying to get out any responsibility that they have.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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