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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by notreallyme75, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Possibly random question.
    Can one take out a grievance against a head after they’ve left? The damage left in their wake is massive.
  2. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    I guess it depends on the nature of the grievance.
    If it is criminal behaviour you should report it to the police, if it involves a safe guarding issue for students then to the local authority child protection team.
    If the grievance is between yourself and the head - you will have to tread carefully and in such a way that the head has no negative influences over the next phase of your life - references etc.
    If others are affected you could send a letter to the lead governor addressing your concerns - however I would assume it is very much upto other staff to address their issues.It is a very difficult question to answer, I can assume this has affected you or someone you know a lot - the question I would ask is how much does it affect the next phase of your life and what do you want to get out of the grievance.
    From personal experience I have faced this scenario a number of times and the resolution has been very unsatisfactory, however in all cases I have been able to move on. I have found that if I deal with the scenario in a calm measured fashion then I have tended to move on far more easily.
    Best of luck on how you choose to tackle this situation.
    FormosaRed likes this.
  3. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    I really appreciate the reply.
    It has affected me and many other members of staff. Believe it could go on to affect the future of the school because of how things have been spun to the governors and deformation of character.
    It is not criminal or safeguarding, although that was something that was looked at.
    I knew whatever happened that it would not be easy, I am concerned about the future of the school and also her credibility in the role she has gone on to.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    You need to look at the Grievance Policy - it does usually have a timeline eg last 3 months , last 6 months.

    Have you involved the Unions? And why now ? Does the 'damage' show irregularities for example that have only come to light? I would tread very carefully and let the Union take the lead on this.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  5. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Grievances need to be linked to/ within current employment.

    I’d ask:
    How is the legacy left your business?
    How are you assessing this and do you have the skills and the right to?
    What is your desired outcome? To attribute certain negativities to her?

    Often existing staff, particularly Heads, have all sorts of narratives linked to them. It’s because the facts can’t be checked with the leaving staff member. I’ve seen it written and inferred in Ofsted reports.

    Her credibility in her new role is her business and that of the context she has gone to. She will have obtained the role on merit and subject to selection process.

    To try to impact on her future sounds bitter and vindictive.

    I think you just need to do your best to move on. Channel your energies in a more positive way. If things have been ‘spun’, the truth will out. If characters have been defamed, then prove by actions that this is not the truth.

    The time to raise concern was when she was there. The grievance could then be fairly investigated. Have the courage of your convictions at the time it matters.

    She may have left as she was surrounded by people she knew did not like her? She may have cited this to new employer.

    If it’s whistleblowing, then follow that policy, however again needs to be done at the time of concern.
    VeronicAmb, Pomza and install like this.
  6. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    I think because now they’ve left more and more is coming to light. My character has been completely wrecked, my reputation. All because I knew too much and stood up to her. More and more staff are coming out and saying something now. They only left in December. I guess now because the damage is so widespread and will possibly affect the future of the school.
  7. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your reply, I have already gone down the whistleblowing route.
    I’m not meaning to sound bitter and vindictive, I just think the role she’s gone on to requires people to have a certain level of credibility... can’t really say more just that the entire education profession needs the right people in the right places! But you’re right, not for me to decide. I really did just wonder that’s all.
  8. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I know it seems impossible at the moment but it is best to move on and not bother with the grievance. It probably won't achieve anything and will cause you buckets of stress plus a less than satisfactory reference when the time comes.

    I was in a similar situation last year and could have got my HT into serious trouble, I was very close to taking legal action. However I just told myself to focus on the future and not spend anytime thinking about an incompetent psychopathic HT.

    If it really bothers you then have a meeting with the chair of governors and raise your concerns with evidence. You have probably thought about applying the whistle blowing policy but again- dodgy ground.

    The union probably will advise you to leave it. They don't like the hassle of grievances.
  9. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Also I tried to raise a grievance at the time. I was advised by my union to leave it as they were leaving.
    install likes this.
  10. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    I cannot speculate on what has happened. However, in my personal experience I did have a savage disagreement with a senior member of staff. My viewpoint was and still is shared by the majority of teaching staff who have expressed their views everyday frequentally. However, not one of these staff fully backed me up. The neutral HR person who came in to discuss and resolve the issue clearly attempted to bait me.
    What I have learn't is that all is certainly not fair in love and war , I was dealing with an idiot whose seniority protected him.
    You will have to think very carefully how you approach this - you must be prepared for an unsatisfactory conclusion if you pursue this. You will have to present your case in a calm logical manner and be aware of any potential attempts at being baited. You also have to think about the mental and physical impact on you. You, your friends and your family are better judges of your character and what you stand for. Please don't give some a@Shole the satisfaction of believing that they have some insight into the flaws of your character.
    notreallyme75 likes this.
  11. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Yes this is the impression I got!
    I have been very much just getting on and trying to do the right thing and show people the real me... the truth has already started to come out which is helping very much. I suspect you are right and time will sort this.
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    And is the new head taking the lead on this?

    If an investigation is needed it might be better that you keep out of it imho. The important thing will be to keep professional and measured. Perhaps you and others should see their Union also.

    I wouldn't stick my neck out tbh and would now start afresh with the new head in place and/or look to leave with a good reference from the new head.
    Pomza likes this.
  13. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Yes I’ve learnt through all this that HR people are not neutral!
    QueenieBianca likes this.
  14. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    All of that is a very good point... I could speak to the new head about this, I haven’t. My union are involved already.
    I know I just need to keep quiet and move on really. Just seems wrong that people get away with things they really really shouldn’t.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    My take on this-

    I am not sure that 'you' should be the one to speak to your new head tbh. I personally would not speak to your new head about it. Let the new head come to their own conclusions. Who knows - others may come and complain.

    I suspect your new head will want 'you' in your role not to bring problems to their door. But to lead the school forward and support them. This is a new start and a fresh beginning - and so a line needs to be drawn between the old head and this one. So let the new head blame the old head - not 'you' should it get to that point.

    Your 'new head' needs to know that you are loyal, trustworthy and a team player. So my advice is to keep your cards close to your chest. But do not be taken in either. And do not become a gossip. If someone comes to you regarding the old head, tell them to see the new one and discuss it no more.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  16. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Would your grievance be against the previous head or would it be against the governing body. Were they not overseeing her as they should have been? What is their responsibility in all this? Were they aware of what she was doing? If so why didn't they do anything or if not then why not?
    notreallyme75 and install like this.
  17. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    I have also considered this course of action. I do not believe they were aware of what she was doing but there were clues there, they should have asked questions and they didn’t.
  18. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Then it sounds like they have something to answer to. But also ask yourself what outcome do you want from the grievance. Is it that you want measures putting in place to prevent it happening again, further/appropriate training for governors, an apology? It may be that what you want is for the governors to write to the then heads new employer with further information highlighting what they have discovered during the grievance investigation. If you were to submit a grievance you are usually asked what outcome you want during the initial interview and you could state that this is what you want but you might not get it. From what you say though it does seem unfair that she has gone onto a higher position when she has apparently / allegedly been irresponsible in her head teachers post.
    The head who was the subject of my grievance had moved on by the time I submitted it. Also to a higher position with a different LA. But my stance was that she acted on behalf of the employer so they were ultimately responsible. They denied this, as they would do, and it is yet to be heard at tribunal.

    Also consider What is the risk to your position in the school and to your career if you do submit a grievance?
  19. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Those staff will not back you when it comes to the crunch. They’re only saying things now - and it’s easy to when someone has gone. Where were they when you were standing up to her? Demonstrate your true character through your actions now- that will stand for more than how you’ve been presented to be. It’s hard but keep going. Smile and move forward as positively as you can. She has gone so no more impact on you/ your school.
    install, Pomza and notreallyme75 like this.
  20. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    I agree - our system does need the right people, in the right places. Credibility is important.

    It may be that the new place is the right place for her? Sometimes schools are not a match? Sometimes HTs move on as they too notice the flaws and can’t impact positively enough on these? Maybe something happened in the background to influence her decision to move on? I guess if it’s not the right place and she is not credible, then they will need to do something about it. It’s too late for the context she has left- raising things now will come back to bite you only. You don’t want that for you.

    As per other advice, demonstrate to the new HT that you’re a positive part of the future of the school. She is the past; leave her there and try to think no more of her. As has been said by another, the new HT will work from where they assess the baseline to be. If it’s as you say, they’ll need all the support they can get- be that person.
    Pomza and notreallyme75 like this.

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