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Feel uneasy - meeting with HT - can I ask a colleague to attend it with me?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by computer2000, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. computer2000

    computer2000 New commenter

    Hi. I have a meeting with my HT - we are a big school and I rarely see him, talk to him..Last year had a stressful year, had some time off due to stress etc. I would like to ask to cut hours etc. It is a big step for me to talk about it - worried to go from full time to part time. Can I ask a colleague to come with me ( to attend it as a supportive friend?) or will it be perceived " odd"? Thank you.
     
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Go with your gut. Be honest.

    "I have something to ask you and I feel a bit apprehensive so I'd like to bring a colleague. It's nothing awful. Nothing wrong. Just that I've got a bit worked up about it. Thank you SOOOOO much."
     
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Yes, of course it will be OK ! I am sure that your Head will understand entirely, and be perfectly willing.

    Do make sure that you go in feeling as confident as possible by preparing properly. Think of what you are going to be asking for, say that you can see that it could cause some problems for the school (list them), but that these problems could be overcome by X Y and Z. That way you are presenting a solution and not just a problem.

    Best wishes

    .
     
  4. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    So have I understood that this is a meeting requested by you, to discuss a change of hours?

    Everyone now has the right to request what is known as 'flexible working'. However, there is a statutory framework in which this sits. You make the request in writing; the HT must respond to your request according to the guidance.

    Here is a link to ACAS Guidance about making requests for flexible working. I am also tagging @TheoGriff as I know she has written very good guidance on here previously about how to do it.

    You may be able to avoid having the meeting at all, if you follow the guidance!
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I fear I disagree. Always best to start with a face-to-face. Keep it low-key. You risk getting his/her back up by going straight to hard copy.

    It smacks of not trusting them or treating them like a bully. I know that I'd be disappointed (as HT) that you hadn't just come to me for a chat first.

    BUT, if the HT has a reputation as a total ass (and you haven't implied this), you could skip the meeting and go directly to letter/email. Otherwise don't worry. You have every right to ask. Just do as TheoGriff says and anticipate the problems and have some solutions.
     
  7. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Good advice, @grumpydogwoman. I was thinking of giving the OP information that she had a right to ask and the HT had a duty to deal with the request according to the guidance.

    It's sensible advice for the OP to go to the HT informally and discuss the intention to make a request for flexible working, if s/he has a good relationship with the staff. The HT could perhaps suggest the kinds of problems the OP might want to give thought to beforehand.
     
  8. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    If the Head requested the meeting and you intend to raise the ft/pt issue, absolutely bring a colleague, as there is quite probably an agenda. Sorry for the pessimism but Heads requesting a meeting with you rarely means good news (and I speak from experience!)
    If YOU requested it, taking in a colleague actually seems a little heavy handed but if you feel better for it, you could just state that its such an important issue to you you need the colleague for 'support.'
     

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