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Formal Capability

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

  1. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    @sbkrobson gives the correct answer in #13 but I would also like to state this
    "It is getting nearly impossible for a Head to ruin your future employment chances"

    The schools that remove staff by varying stages of capability will be well known to surrounding schools, so it will be seen as forces beyond your control leading to your removal and no reflection on your ability as a teacher.

    Of course, if there are half-a-dozen wonderful candidates then such will definitely count against you but do such HR dreams exist anymore?
  2. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    I think the big thing here is if you are due to be put on/ formal capability you must have your union involved. They are the ones on your side, and you pay them to represent you. As for the references if you are on informal capability it doesn’t have to be legally mentioned. Formal capability does have to given as it is the schools legal duty to declare this.

    References the union will negotiate an agreed reference this means it will crucially day no safeguarding issues and doesn’t cover absence if wrs.
    If you don’t have a agreed reference then you are fair game so to speak.

    I can’t pm You or you me, but I would say get the union involved you need them and listen to their advice. Capability is the kiss of death and more common then you think. Nothing I have read anywhere has been a success. I’m sure people do survive it, however is the school worth robbing you for your life ! I think that sometimes you have to think I don’t fit, and that’s the reality. Learning curve. I’m absolutely not happy about my situation but I am not going to let the nastards grind me down, my life is worth more then that.

    Ask away and I’m listening the edusupportteam are good to speak too not about the system etc but how you are feeling. Union is the ones for support..... you must involve them.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and install like this.
  3. crazycatloveruk

    crazycatloveruk New commenter

    Hi just out of interest, in an agreed reference, can you agree to not have your absence days mentioned if it was related to WRS?

  4. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    As for absence I'm not sure how it works. If it's to do with work related stress why would they wish to mention that when its stress caused by the workplace? The whole agreed reference thing sounds quite complex.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    If the employer is asked how many days you had off during a certain period? The employer must provide accurate information. So they must state the correct number of days OR decline to answer that particular question.

    An agreed reference will usually be purely factual and somewhat brief. That would be issued regardless of what the potential employer might ask. You want a full reference? Write it yourself and ask the employer to agree it. They may choose to do so or to amend it and then you'd have to decide whether it continues to meet your needs.


    A full reference offers much more of a description of your skills, capabilities, and key accomplishments, to really give your potential employer a flavour of the impact you have within a business.

    Full reference requires a greater level of detail and are less frequent than factual references. However, you can try and negotiate for a full reference, and some employers may well give one to you.

    If your employer does give you a full reference, they are under a legal duty to make sure they are accurate and not misleading to your future employer. This is why employers tend to stick to factual references, as there is no margin for erro
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    If the number of days of absence was due to a characteristic covered under the EA 2010 eg disability/depression would the employer be allowed to state the number of days of absence?

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    The processes for recruiting, promoting and if necessary removing teachers are archaic. The whole system needs a massive overhaul. Why don't we have CVs rather than application forms? Why don't we have proper management training to run our departments effectively? Why do good teachers become 'too expensive' because schools can't see a way of utilising their knowledge to make the whole organisation more effective? If a business was run the way in the way an average school is, it would shut down in a week.
  8. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    I was told they can not discriminate about time off and shouldn’t ask. It’s a chance you take I guess.
    Agreed reference maybe complicated but it’s essential. I don’t know what I’m doing ..... I just know formal capability is the kiss of death to my career. So what do you do. For me I am thinking what type of school, if supply and even out of teaching completely. My sanity is worth more then this.

    I even have thought stay and fit it but what’s the point, none has had anything positive to say about capability.maybe it wasn’t a legal requirement be better but it has to be declared
  9. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    About 3 years ago the NUT had a battle with North Yorkshire regarding listing number of day absent on agreed references. Up until that point it was standard practice to list the total amount of days absent on a set reference form. I think the argument was around the Equality Act 2010, but I may be wrong. The upshot was the number of days absent was replaced with simply 'Information relating to the individuals sickness absence record will be made available on request, which we would normally expect following the offer of employment'.

    Not sure if things have changed again?
    Sundaytrekker and agathamorse like this.
  10. missaitchwhelan

    missaitchwhelan New commenter

    If it's got to the formal stage then my advice would be to ask the union to get you a workable reference and resign. Once they have you there it is impossible to get back from in the same school. However, get a job in another school, the change of management can be all the change you need. There is light in the tunnel.
    Mwakenya, agathamorse and Presleygirl like this.
  11. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    Thank you it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. OH declared me fit for a phased return so in no mans land again
    Mrsmumbles and agathamorse like this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You go back on a phased return and let it be known that you're looking elsewhere. Drop a few hints.

    They then agree that's a good idea and you start the conversation. Or the union does. Usually (not always, not gonna lie) that'll be enough to get you off the hook. They will focus their energies on replacing you and they'll be happy to supply a fair reference to speed you on your way. The scrutiny will lessen. Usually.
    Mrsmumbles and agathamorse like this.
  13. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Snap. I also started the union involvement and negotiated exit while on informal ‘support you by stamping on your face’ plan. Predictably, the school made it go to formal AFTER I returned from work related stress leave. They’d shoved me into formal befoer that as well, after I’d passed the initial support plan. Then WRS leave, when they magnanimously withdrew me from formal stage, then back to work interview, where I was told I’d be back on it if I stayed in the next academic year! This whole, system is appalling. I’m surprised there are any teachers leafy, to be honest. I’ve lost all faith in formal school jobs within the school chkuture. This is how they wear and break down good teachers, because anyone with a good brain and integrity is horrified that such double standards and vindictiveness can be legal in a job which revolves so much around (now proven to be unimportant) areas such as children and the idea of a community. This lit don’t care about that anymore; they’ve got pretty website shots of happy kids grinning at young, photogenic and earnest-looking teachers instead and reckon that’s good enough. Oh how I love the Tories.
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Please start looking for new jobs within or outside teaching on the days outside of school. Currently, you can provide a reference, so I’d use that. If they argue that they do not need to pay you any settlement cash if you DO secure a job, politely tell them where to put that, enlist union rep help and negotiate a smaller but still fair payout. Focus on a other place, even if it’s a short term contract.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    i don't just blame the Tories, I think that it is Human Nature to try and keep your head down in this climate of fear.
    This means that Teacher's chosen for "microscopic scrutiny" are isolated and vulnerable.
    When the State Education system collapses due to Teacher Shortages then maybe the situation will improve.
    I am not holding my breath though.
    Like the Teachers in New Zealand we should "band together" and rebel at the constant BS.
    Mrsmumbles and agathamorse like this.
  16. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    @tenpast7 "Like the Teachers in New Zealand we should "band together" and rebel at the constant BS".... How do we begin to gain momentum so that teachers will band together? Who do we turn to? Our local MPs?

    I also think that this problem has got out of hand since the academisation of LEA schools. There are too many young, inexperienced SMT/heads that have not spent enough time teaching in the classroom.
    tenpast7 and agathamorse like this.
  17. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I'm not @Mrsmumbles (was a union rep though) but can I answer them anyway?
    1. Yes you can go to a formal support plan, IF the school policy allows that. Union involvement is only relevant if the policy has been misapplied and the Rep could point this out and make sure the policy is followed correctly.
    2. The back to work interview is standard in most schools, it is part of making sure that the absent teacher can come back gradually in your case. It should be supportive (as in helpful) and additionally the rep should be able to accompany you. It is meant to make sure you can fit back in and won't be off sick again for the same reasons. If you can't face this interview then you can't face the work and need to see the doctor again.
    The Head's email is not necessarily sinister or playing power games. If the return is organised properly then day 1 should be an opportunity to present and discuss the likely timetable with the phased return over the next few weeks. So arriving with no idea is not the challenge that it seems.

    You do have union support and the main thing that will be preying on the Head's mind (assuming malice) is that if any mistakes are made then the school will be in a very poor position should it come to appeal. So the HT has to do it properly by the relevant policies which will help you.

    However your health comes first so don't hesitate to revisit the doctor and run over possibilities there.

    All the best.
    agathamorse and TEA2111 like this.
  18. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    The Head will certainly recognise you from this section, probably not to your benefit. Suggest you report your post and get this section pulled.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  19. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Thank you!! I have done as you suggested. But out of interest, what difference would it make if the Head can identify me/someone?
  20. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Your reply is very much appreciated....thank you! I'm pleased that I can have my union rep with me at the first meeting...that's of comfort.

    One question not answered though: can I ask for planning to be sent to me?
    agathamorse likes this.

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