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Formal Capability

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by gwilleysingh, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. gwilleysingh

    gwilleysingh New commenter

    Hi everybody,

    I just wanted to talk about the situation I am facing at school at the moment; I am on stage 2 of the above and I expect it to go to the next stage. Nothing is ever good enough and I have had 1 lesson observation this week and have another one next week. My plans are scrutinized each week and I am offered criticism which is classed as 'support'.
    My union is involved but the school obviously want me out. Needless to say I am over 40 and female...

    Any advice please?
    lardylegs likes this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Leave as soon as possible - as you say they want you out.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    i'm glad to hear your union is involved as that means you'll get better advice (due to better knowledge of your circumstances) than could ever be given here.

    Phrases like stage 2 must refer to the specific policy for your school so I can't judge that but as a general principle unions will go along with the process until it gets too toxic and/or damaging for future employment prospects and there are these options
    • Fight it to the bitter end (dismissal)
      Only worth doing if there's a clear breach of the school's policy and even then the psychological damage can make it a pointless activity.
    • Settlement agreement
      If the school is on shaky ground legally or doesn't want to go through the hassle of the full process then the union might be able to negotiate a favourable one.
    • Resign now
      At least references will look better, the dogs will probably be called off and you can work until Easter in a relatively relaxed fashion.
    All the best. The next school could well be a much better place to be in.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    On balance, I would agree that the best move is to go. You can fight against capability, but its exhausting. Even if you win, they can just start the whole process again about something else.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You can never beat capability - it's started for only one reason - they want to remove that teacher.
  6. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    You need to listen to the Unions advice.

    You should be represented by someone from the Regional head office, not the local rep.
  7. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    I can’t offer any advice as I’m just before the formal stage
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    How would you go about getting references in this situation when your either hovering at informal level and formal? What's the best strategy?
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Exactly why I've had to move twice now because I was out in informal capability. Sooner or later they'll have you on it again. There's no way to avoid all the spurious things like parental complaints, a few books being meaninglessly marked (or worse pupils must respond which is your fault if they don't) or pupils who don't like you for enforcing the rules lying about you in 'pupil voice' surveys.

    There needs to be something introduced to make capability only as a complete last resort or if it's initiated SLT actually have to be supportive and once passed there should be a block on capability for a long period IMO. What's the point saying someone has passed it only to be threatened with it again within a year? You either can do the job or you can't. Presumably when you passed your NQT year and/or got the job they deemed you as being great at the job.
    Mrsmumbles, TEA2111, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It's surprising to hear you are already into formal capability, if your union are involved. They generally try to get the teacher out before it reaches the formal stage.
    If you are stage two (whatever that means) of formal, then you certainly need to get out very quickly.
    lardylegs, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  11. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    Again just to add here, as everyone is saying the union try to get you out of the situation quickly, is it advisable to the OP to then sort of a reference themselves. So to approach the HT in person or contact HR?

    What would be peoples advice in this situation. What if the union are slow to help and correspond on this side of things?

    I'm sure that the OP is looking to exit (or considering) this as an option.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  12. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    What about in situations where its not a capability meeting but trying to sort a resolution out getting a reference?
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You are repeatedly putting this question out, and the answer is the same-this sort of thing ought to be done with Union advice.
    You cannot negotiate your own reference if your card is marked. It is not a possible conversation, since it is your ticket to the future and you need to be guaranteed of the result. If you are in a situation where you have reason to doubt getting a good reference, you are hardly in a place where you can go and ask for one in person.
    A face to face conversation at this stage is no guarantee of anything, (and without seeming to take sides, can also be difficult for a HT) but a formal agreement through a third party is. It is precisely this sort of representation for which you pay your subs.
  14. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    And what happens if the union decide to try and get a reference with no agreement? The reason I posted was to try and get advice about my situation in private because it's not quite the same thing.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Get people you trust to observe you too. See what they say,. Say nothing about this to those out to get you.
    2 Ask people you trust if you can observe them to get ideas. Again - say nothing to those out to get you
    3 Look closely at what the supposed weaknesses are. Improve them fast.
    4 Change your tact and 'play the game' of following advice, being seen to listen, and doing things better
    5 Also quietly look to leave - but do it with a smile. Look to your Union more :)
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  16. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I cannot agree with the advice given here - if the word "formal" is being used or is on the horizon, the only sensible advice is to pursue a clean exit.
    mothergoose2013 and pepper5 like this.
  17. renegade29

    renegade29 New commenter


    Advice that suggests you fight a formal capability proceeding is questionable.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmm...not necessarily true in my experience. Going for both options at the same time beats just going for an exit approach. Its called - 'keeping them sweet' .

    I recall a teacher constantly being observed as 'failing' and on a 'formal plan'. She quietly improved and planned her exit at the sane time. She got the best results in the school that year. They begged her to stay because of her great results. And at that very moment she left with great references. :p:p:p
  19. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    Maybe the word they were looking for is to defend themselves through it?
  20. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    Whilst this is highly admired stuff, it doesn't always work out for people. The emotional battle and constant stress makes it seem like trying to climb Mount Everest.

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