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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. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    Yes I was bullied and in the end I resigned. Had suicidal thoughts at times. Very low self esteem confidence was completely knocked.
  2. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Yes, bullying in teaching is endemic.

    A lot of it stems from the ridiculous and widely discredited system of expected progress, Ofsted, league tables etc.

    I sense that unions are aware of the issues, but to a large extent seem powerless to do anything.

    Here are some questions that should be answered.

    How much is being paid out in settlements, complete with gagging clauses?

    When will the reality of working in academies, including monies being paid out in settlements, but also, staff turnover, formal or informal capability, bullying, complaints etc be exposed?

    When will the practices of bullying head teachers (including absurd capability and disciplinary procedures) be recognised for what they are and these head teachers effectively sanctioned for such behaviour?
  3. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    "...made to feel so ill you ended up off with stress..."


    At the time I was working in two schools and had some major issues in my personal life, each one of which on its own could easily have seen me go off with stress, but it wasn't until the head teacher in one school branded me falsely as inadequate after a sequence of unpleasant and unprofessional actions including blatant lying, that I finally succumbed to the stress of it all.

    What shocked me was the depths to which this head teacher stooped in order to get their way, and how the Chair of Governors meekly accepted their lies, despite the fact that iI had been at the school for ten years and had evidence that disproved what they were saying - they had even put me up to UPS2 during the period in question, hardly compatible with alleged gradings of inadequate!

    It made me feel completely and utterly worthless, and ashamed to be letting down my other school, who could not have been more supportive throughout. In the end I did not contest redundancy but I notified the LEA of the headteacher's actions, making it clear that I did not accept the allegations made. Although supported by the NUT at regional level and encouraged to raise a formal grievance against the head, their actions had left me without the emotional strength to do so - and I was also concerned that doing so would damage the school of which I had previously had such good memories.

  4. Rhossili32

    Rhossili32 New commenter

    Belle - this sounds all too familiar. This is a great thread; TES we hope you're listening.... I will be leaving at the end of the year after fighting back for too long in a workplace that simply does not know how to manage human beings, only cogs in their machine.
  5. pixel

    pixel New commenter

    Thank you all for sharing. I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel knowing I am not alone.
  6. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    The Headteachers are getting away with because of the gagging clauses. It's a disgrace.

    The thing is the unrealistic targets now being set is basically a bullys charter. For example refuse to do extra intervention (in your own time) and you are immediately labelled a troublemaker. Suddenly it is found you haven't done something right and you are disciplined for it. The pressure builds up until you crack and either resign or go off sick.
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    As so many of us have found out the hard way, when it comes to saving money, school managers will stop at nothing!
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I can't help thinking that a good solicitor could expose all this scandal.

    At the moment too many lives are being ruined by these bullies.
    sandrabarrett and TailwindTurner like this.
  9. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Even if you are not bullied, the combined effect of SLT expecting you to be a performing monkey at any time with a Learning Walk which is subjectively judged, a bad judgement possibly leading to capability, and badly behaved children telling you to _____ _____ with the school doing jack about it is enough to drive many to stress. Myself included.
  10. encava

    encava New commenter

    Currently working on my settlement for an exit in July. Bullied, tricked, betrayed etc etc. 24 years in the job and forced out by one insignificant man who became head by default. So sad for the students who are being left in the lurch. Severe depression
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

  12. Me too.

    I too was bullied out of my job more than once. On one occasion a gag order was a part of my compromise agreement. But then, rather foolishly I think, after I was unfairly dismissed from my next job and took them to tribunal... they talked about the content of my previous CA in open court... so now I can talk about anything I like. They breached the confidentiality!

    I took a CA because it was too complicated to challenge them, my son was at the school and I just wanted to move on rather then make things difficult for him. When I found myself in similar circumstances again, after standing up for others who were being bullied... well I didn't fall apart... I got angry!

    I know that the levels of stress can be debilitating, and I know that it can eat away at self confidence but I honestly believe that the only way to manage the situation and survive is to fight back. Don't rely on unions... rely on yourself. Manage your situation yourself and instruct your union, they work for you.

    Can you imagine what would happen if every teacher pushed out by management brought a case against their former employer through the tribunal court... I know that the system has changed since I challenged my former employer... but I would gladly have paid a couple of hundred quid to bring them to justice. And the tribunal court is designed to accomodate self representation, the panel actually assiste the lay person in matters of law.

    Think teachers need to get a lot more savvy about their emoloyment rights and start making that known in the workplace. I sometimes think that teachers fall too easily into the role of 'naughty school child'... they get told off and just go home and cry. I don't think bankers, doctors, engineers or architects do that... I think they get some professional advice and make sure they are treated equitably by their employer.

    By the way... as a handful of you know, I post quite regularly under another name. Bushpruner is quite easily recognisable as me in real life. Sometimes I choose to post as myself, the woman who took her former employer to tribunal and won.

    I have become aware that some, who do know both my TES names, have taken the liberty of telling new posters in difficulty who I am and linking both the names, I assume as a way of assuring them that I may be able to help them. I would ask that if you are privvy to this knowledge, which was shared with a few in confidence, remains a confidence. Given that this name is so easily identifiable as me in real life I should think that it would be something only I should have the choice to reveal. Many thanks.
  13. whodareswins

    whodareswins New commenter

    Doesn't just apply to teachers,support staff as well. Still recovering 2 years down the line, now classed as having a disability illness. Been to hell and back would be a understatement, still not good physically and mentally.
  14. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Completely agree notrustleft - I have seen it happen to teachers, and am now seeing it happening to support staff. I wish you all the best for a better future
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  15. thenorris

    thenorris New commenter

    I was bullied by my Headteacher. She took my marking which the school CIP said was "disgusting". (Apparently all diagrams should be as good as they are in the Art lessons, despite the child having dyspraxia, but oh well).

    She took the worst behaved student in Yr 8 and photocopied it. My marking was then checked by the staff who had to say why my marking was inadequate. Blatant public humiliation, but I was worried about taking the matter further. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    One of the problems was that we had to mark in green and I have difficulties seeing in that colour, an issue I raised around six times in department meetings, yet nothing was done.

    So I took another job. My HoD quickly realised that he didn't want me and so everytime my classes became noisy he would stand outside and watch me teach, very off putting.

    I was then placed on a "support program". I'm glad that he came in to see me teach for only two minutes at a time and then grade me, as this is obviously a fair and reasonable way to treat someone.

    Eventually I went off sick with stress and went down the supply route, which suited me fine.

    Now I am at a crossroads. Financially I am sound. My maternity contract is up, my supply agency is more than happy to take me back and I am happy to work for them as they treat me very well. I have a baby on the way in May, yet I find myself not bothering to look for a teaching job. I've simply had enough of the stress and working for idiots.

    Luckily my current school is reasonable. But I am not sure if I want to stay there if they ask me to stay.

    What to do next?
  16. dht46

    dht46 New commenter

    It seems that part of what they are looking for in headteachers now is the ability to intimidate and bully staff into submission or to leave. We need to expose this as although I am sure it does exist in other professions at least at the end of the day they can go home and forget about it, but as teachers we are expected to go home and carry on working so the pressure never stops.

    Those who have posted on this thread are only a few of the hundreds that are trying to do a good job in the face of unbearable, unrealistic pressure. Two of my sisters also work in schools where the head is a bully and the staff are either scared to speak out or are sucking up to the head so as not to be the one getting bullied, we all need to get together to stop this.

    We need this thread to get as many posts as possible in the hope that eventually we can get support for a campaign against bullying in schools. This is not only so that teachers can be happy but also for the pupils, how can it be good for them to be taught in schools where staff are so stressed and scared that they begin to not be able to think straight?

    The only thing that keeps me going at the moment is knowing that I am not the only one and the hope that by starting this campaign we can get something done about it.

    I love teaching children and it is a very rewarding job but only when we are allowed to do our job in a productive atmosphere, where we are valued as professionals.

    I know that all the children I have taught have made good progress and have enjoyed having me as their teacher, I know am a good teacher, the powers that be are trying to convince me otherwise and are trying to make me leave but I am determined that I am not going without a fight.

    Please help me in my fight by joining this thread and showing just how many teachers and pupils are being affected by this.
  17. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    You are certainly not alone.

    You are right that people should not go without a fight. I am fairly sure that my time will come fairly soon. In the meantime I will do the best for my kids but not for the box tickers.

    Good luck!
  18. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    Just read the statistics online. Google 'UK teacher suicide rates' and you will have a choice of stories. The one from channel 4 is quite disturbing. In 2009, 63 primary and secondary teachers completed suicide. Teachers are easy pray....intelligent, but also sensitive, caring and conscientious. Do the maths.
  19. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    The way to expose this scandal is to stop the unions from drawing up weak compromise agreements that always seem to have a gagging order.
  20. MineField

    MineField New commenter

    It happened to me. It seemed to start around about the time when there was a 2 hour teacher training evening, and I questioned why we were just putting up displays rather than receiving teacher training (I did do as I was told in the end). I then stood up against SLT for a work colleague who was being bullied - big mistake in one sense, but even in hindsight I would do it again. I couldn't bring myself to stand by and do nothing. I then didn't attend a meeting on my day off - I'd been to others on my days off, when I could make it, but on that particular day I couldn't and contractually I didn't have to be in work on that day. I tried to discuss the issue with my Head numerous times before the meeting, to find a work around, or some kind of compromise, but he wouldn't listen. This was the last straw for my Head, who then made up a health and safety issue about me, and told me he was going to make sure I never worked with children again. This was the last straw for me as well - I did not want to carry on working for a boss who seemed a very unhinged character, so I left.

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