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How easy it is to ruin a life.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ilovepoppies, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    We cannot be sure of this though. These forums are not a true way to measure such a thing at all.

    I think it can be very easy to ruin a life, particularly within teaching of all places. It can be extremely hostile, moreso than many other jobs.

    There is a growing trend in my opinion of things being run in an extremely cold fashion. HTs no longer HTs but managers, image first, people second mentality.

    With an allegation of course there has to be action taken, but you do read more and more of bad HTs and SMTs.
     
  2. I am no 'legal eagle', Leaves, but my solicitor explained that the police do not have to give anyone a reason as to why they are being questioned, and that have to inform you within a reasonable time why you have been arrested or detained for questioning, which can be 'stretched' to, I think, three days.
     
  3. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    According to my Criminal Litigation manual, s28 PACE provides that a suspect must be told of the fact of his arrest and the grounds for it, either at the time or as soon as is practicable afterwards. My tutor explained that the only reason this should be delayed is when, for example, the person is incapable because of drink or drugs.
    So have I understood this correctly, then, that you still don't know why you have been repeatedly arrested? Have they not charged you with anything?
    Sorry, I am only asking out of sheer nosiness (hands up!). Of course don't answer if you prefer not to. I just keep coming back to the incredulity of it all!
    Criminal Law/Lit is not my area at all. I happen to be doing it at the moment, but only because they are hoops I have to jump through.
     
  4. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    According to HMRC, you would only pay tax on amounts over £30,000.
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/guidance/redundancy-factsheet.pdf
    That is the same for a CA payout - tax-free up to £30,000.
    Will you pursue a complaint relating to malicious allegations/false imprisonment? Make sure any CA does not deprive you of that right! If they've done that to you, they should be locked up!
     
  5. casper

    casper New commenter

    Yep, you need to check out the legal situation. If you wanted to take legal matters further relating to any wrongful arrest malicious allegations as outlined by GL a CA may prevent you from doing this. There are also time limits by which you can do this, so you may need further advice here.

    At last it looks as if there is end in sight, but best to check this information.

    Take care
     
  6. casper

    casper New commenter

    How are you today Poppy?
     
  7. Leaves: I have only been formally arrested once, just recently when I was 'invited' to answer further questions on a Fridy evening, which i declined to do wiithout the Union solicitor being present. On the three previous occasions, I was told that if I did not go along voluntarily, I would be arrested. neither I, nor my solicitor, has been able to find out the specific nature of the 'offences' alleged by the school; all we have been told directly is that these allegations have nothing to do with school students. From the questions asked during the 'interviews', my solicitor thinks that it has something to do with misappropriation of school resources, but not much more than that.
    I am leaving all negotiation with the Union legal people, so that they can work out all the angles. As has been pointed out, a CA would proclude any further legal action, so I cannot see them agreeing to it. The plan seems to be to get the school to cough up the redundancy money and then take up the matters of any false alllegations, after the Tribunal. As well, on the advice of my solicitor, I have co-operated with the police all along, she thinks that they have acted outside the framework of PACE, and she has made objections t
     
  8. I'm no legal eagle either but wikipedia can be helpful : In the United Kingdom a person must be told that he is under arrest, and "told in simple, non-technical language that he could understand, the essential legal and factual grounds for his arrest".
    I'm astonished that a school can suspend a teacher without giving any information about the reasons why. However, sooner or later they must give reasons because they can't pursue any formal action otherwise. Natural justice requires that any accusations are put in writing with sufficient time for the accused to prepare a defence.
    I never took much notice of school politics and management issues when I was working as a supply teacher and I only started reading the TES forum when supply work was rapidly drying up. I wanted to see if it was the same for others. Reading what it's like now for many career teachers makes sense of some of the things I heard and saw in schools. The whole atmosphere of a school could change within a year, for instance going back after a year into a staff room of a school where I'd spent two terms and finding hushed voices and watchful expressions where previously it had been a lively and friendly atmosphere. People were afraid. One teacher told me they all felt watched and monitored even on their break times. Part of the staff room was now sectioned off for admin purposes and the Head's PA was constantly in and out. The teacher I was covering I'd known previously as a bright and hard-working NQT but as soon as I entered her classroom I could see there were problems. That school has now moved to Academy status and completely dropped this teacher's subject as an exam option which makes me wonder if she was targeted.
    The ultimate purpose no doubt is to drive down the cost of state education by replacing expensive older teachers with younger or unqualified staff. It might even work in the sense that the same standard of education can be provided with cheaper staff who have fewer employment rights and less pension provision. But it's being achieved through a dishonest and brutal process.
     
  9. i have to go with darkness on this. The issues on the forum are the very tip of an ice berg. How many situations are there of people just leaving their jobs without comment- or they completely break down. We don't know the half of what goes on. It strikes me that Hillsborough ( although not teaching) was a large number of victims- all in one place- hundreds more witnesses, all the families and a whole city supporting them, yet it took 23 years to challenge the version put out successfully. There will another 96 victims somewhere who do not have witnesses and families and cities supporting them. That is how it is- Shame it got into teaching.
     
  10. ilovepoppies

    ilovepoppies New commenter

    Hi Casper, I'm very tearful and shaky and have an overwhelming urge to shave my hair off! The letter regarding my 'behaviour' has crushed me further. I still don't know any details at all, other than a serious allegation has been made. I will get round to replying to all the lovely pms & thank you all again for the fantastic support.
    Poppy x
     
  11. (just seen the end bit of the message was missing).
    As well, on the advice of my solicitor, I have co-operated with the police all along, she thinks that they have acted outside the framework of PACE, and she has made objections to the local Superintendant and the CPS.
    As far as I understand it, if you are charged by the police, you have to be told with what. If you go before a magistrate, details for the charge and supporting evidence has to be stated in the presence of the accused and their representative. This is why we think (hope) that this case is going nowhere.
    Schools just seem to make it up as they go along; no rules of evidence, controlling potential witnesses, the lot. My solicitor maintains that you are better of dealing with a criminal charge than with schools' disciplinary procedures, as the former has set rules, which have to be observed at some point.

     
  12. Poppy, so sorry that you're having a bad time again. Please spend your time and energy doing anything that will help resolve this ghastly situation before worrying about replying to pms! Have you phoned and e-mailed your union this afternoon? Do they know you've had this letter? If not, leave an answerphone message if there's no reply at this time and e-mail to ask them to contact you on Monday morning.
    We're all thinking about you. Best wishes.
     
  13. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Your solicitor sounds like mine: "First things first!"
    There ARE strict rules about disciplinary procedures which, if flouted, can result in a judgment that a dismissal was unfair for procedural reasons, even if it might have succeeded on substance. My school, too, engaged in precisely the kind of abuses you list: leading witnesses, scaffolding statements, destruction/fabrcation of evidence.
    Stay strong, jennybrice. I know how awfully distressing it is when it's acute (I still react when I am actively engaged with it) but I am sure it will not be long before you can look back and laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all and the crass stupidity of your former colleagues.
     
  14. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Poppy, thinking of you too. HOuserabbit's posts are always sensitive and sensible. Make sure that everything you have is now with your union and try to find something enjoyable to do this weekend. I used to find a walk somewhere quiet was helpful to me.
     
  15. I hope you can manage to ry and relax a little, this weekend, Poppy. Easier said, I know. Just hand everythign to your union to handle; don't even read it or look at it. What the school sends you is not only to inform, but intimidate you.
    Leaves: 'First things first' is how it is being played, as you said. It is not anything to do with my former colleagues, I hope, anyway. Until the last couple of years that i was there, my school was a really nice place, with very mutually supportive staff, many of whom had been there for decades; I was there for seventeen years. Everything changed when the old Head retired, and a new Head came in. She played in quiet for a while, and then she squeezed out the sitting DH, and replaced him with her own toady. A familiar story then unfolded: change of SMT, older, more expensive staff pushed out and/or made redundant, while some middle-management were over-promoted to 'associate HTs, binding them to her.
     
  16. Absolutely true. I read this forum and never post as I am grateful for the happy but stressed time I have at school. I love working there and leadership is fair but expects high standards. Many of us work in such schools. I support fellow tes users that do not have the same work environment as I do and hope that you don't give up on teaching but turn your back on poor leadership and bad practice.
     
  17. Absolutely true. I read this forum and never post as I am grateful for the happy but stressed time I have at school. I love working there and leadership is fair but expects high standards. Many of us work in such schools. I support fellow tes users that do not have the same work environment as I do and hope that you don't give up on teaching but turn your back on poor leadership and bad practice.
     
  18. Being arrested and being charged are two different things. You can be arrested on suspicion of having committed an offence but you must be told what the alleged offence is. I find it difficult to understand how you could be unaware of what the allegation is if, as you say, you have now been arrested. Obviously if someone is charged with an offence the nature of the offence is what forms the wording of the charge. The set rules do not 'have to be observed at some point', they have to be observed at every point.
    Formal disciplinary procedures in a school will have to follow the established procedure which should be available to all staff. Poppy's union rep can get a copy of her school's procedures and the ACAS guidance notes can be downloaded. Suspension is seen as a 'neutral act' and the NUT recommend that no-one is suspended without an investigation unless there is good reason for wanting the teacher to be out of the school during this stage. After investigation there should be a letter setting out the grounds for possible disciplinary action and inviting the teacher to a meeting along with their union rep. If the grounds are not set out clearly then this could be a reason to refuse to attend any meeting until the grounds are made clear.
    Teachers are easy targets for accusations and in the past they would support each other. There seems to be more fragmentation now.
     
  19. Ha, they might do in cloud cuckoo land.
     
  20. Poppy, I hope you're ok today. Take care.
     

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