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How widespread is bullying by senior staff. in schools & colleges...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by JohnRSS, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. and are the unions doing enough to combat abuse in the workplace? The forums here suggest to bullying is commonplace, and Employment Tribunal reports indicate that bullying/harassment cases are on the rise. Many teachers seem to believe they are powerless to take a stand against bullies, for fear of reprisals. How widespread is the problem? PMs are as welcome as public postings, as I am keen to raise this more publicly if there is evidence of widespread bullying. (Confidentiality assured for PMs)
     
  2. and are the unions doing enough to combat abuse in the workplace? The forums here suggest to bullying is commonplace, and Employment Tribunal reports indicate that bullying/harassment cases are on the rise. Many teachers seem to believe they are powerless to take a stand against bullies, for fear of reprisals. How widespread is the problem? PMs are as welcome as public postings, as I am keen to raise this more publicly if there is evidence of widespread bullying. (Confidentiality assured for PMs)
     
  3. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan New commenter

    yep, the fear of reprisal is common. i think that the way the day is organsised is prohibitive in allowing staff to air concerns and nip things in the bud quickly. it can be so hard to get hold of people for private chats,
     
  4. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    These forums are but a small sample of the numbers of teachers employed. Yet look back over the past few years of postings and see how many incidences there have been here, alone and how the theme of impotence in the face of a corrupted system of accountability is common.
    I have PMd you my experience of the ways in which regulators within the teaching profession neglect to accept responsibility their roles, acquiesce with bullying senior leaders and even collude with them to cover up the abuse.
    I urge you, in your role, to take practical steps to encourage unions to work together to support a few, strong exemplar cases to court which result in 7-figure pay-outs for the victims, to discourage local authorities form acting like News International. I further urge lobbying for involvement in the creation of the prescribed regulator to replace the GTC, to ensure the former will act for individuals bringing complaints of professional misconduct without the bias or influence that is currently endemic. The GTC, as it is, fails in this role as it is subject to influence by pressure brought to bear by local authorities. Happy to evidence this assertion, if you wish.
     
  5. I am not even sure that some management teams realise that their behaviour is bullying. But management with very little management experience or knowledge is always going to cause problems, especially management who put staff last
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    This is indeed the issue.
     
  7. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I agree with both of you. However, ignorance of the law is no defence. School leaders have both a legal and professional responsibility to ensure they do not engage in bullying behaviour, either directly or vicariously.
     
  8. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I don't think it's an ignorance of the law but more an ignorance of that their behaviour has that affect on others.
     
  9. I was in the teaching profession from 1976 to 2009 and, from observations, I would say that bullying was not just widespread but endemic. In times such as these, when jobs are hard to find, or even hang on to, bullies thrive.
     
  10. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Until I was forced out of my work place, I was bullied by the HT, along with everyone else in school bar one brown-nosed, obsequious (and ****) teacher. When I tried to highlight this to HR, ALL other staff refused to back me, afraid of reprisals and of losing their job as I had done. Colleagues still there hate it and are trying to find other employment. What made it worse was that Ch of Govs knew of the bullying (as he, himself, was 'manipulated'), but still backed the HT. HR knew/know what the HT was/is like and STILL backed her. They refused to take my accusations seriously, and dismissed my Regional Union rep as a trouble maker. It was MUCH easier all round to get rid of me than go through the palaver of removing a HT. The system is <u>grossly</u> flawed.
     
  11. Few senior staff have any idea of how to manage people. They may have been given a little training in assertiveness (which is classified as management training) but, if they have, it is a case of a little knowledge being dangerous because they mistake aggression for assertiveness. This type of behaviour is probably the only example of management that they have come across. These managers know how to talk the talk; theyreally have no clue how to put it into practise or have no real desire to do so. Perhaps it is because they are not able to bully the pupils so they have to bully the staff. It is the only way to prove to themselves that they are effective.
     
  12. In addition to all the above: many school leaders and teachers have grown up in an era when thatcherite bullcr@p about was peddled as truth ie 'managers must be allowed to manage' and 'unions = stalinist dictators out to break our country'. Consequently many SLT genuinely think being an **** is clever person management, many teachers are frightened to stand up for themselves for fear of reprisals, most teachers fail to act cooperatively for the greater good of the whole and unions are desperate for pro-active reps on the ground.
    O for a new dawn of active union membership.
     
  13. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    *snap*
     
  14. Only difference in my situation was that staff other than HT didn't bully me but come the investigation no-one put their head above the parapet with me. So it was easier to get rid of me than HT.. I agree the system is totally flawed. I just left the fire and have had relative respite in a frying pan, with the occasional roasting back in the fire - courtesy of new HT. And so it will remain until there is a mass tipping point and fears of reprisal are removed.
     
  15. Rockchick2112

    Rockchick2112 New commenter

    Couldn't agree more with rohirrim and jellycowfish! It's tragic that it's so difficult to tackle bullying by senior staff in schools, as ultimately children's education will suffer- if staff feel intimidated by management, then it's impossible to foster a culture of openness where staff feel they are welcome to put forward ideas for improving the school.
     
  16. QFE

    QFE New commenter

    It is only since leaving teaching and returning to the 'real' world that I have realised just how sh*te the large majority of SMT are (with some notable exceptions). The shock of working for a firm as a junior manager were you are valued and alowed to do things your way as long as it gets the job done has been a revelation and an inspiration of Biblical proportions...
    ... if only I had been alowed to do that in school...... I'd probably still be there.
     
  17. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Sadly, you are not alone. If you can stick with it and start looking for another job as soon as poss, it would be far better than leaving first. In the mean time, log the instances, keep out of the way as far as poss, and if there is ever a meeting with the HT, try and get a colleague to come in with you, In the meantime, change unions. Is there anyone who can give you some idea of the best union where you are? Good luck and start applying. If your HT wants rid of you, he/she'll write you an excellent ref. I tried to stand up to my HT and am now out of a job - like you, experienced and expensive, and it's nigh on impossible to find another job.
     
  18. Thanks for your reply. I will definitely start looking for another job as soon as next Jobscene comes out but as we know jobs are few and far between. I think I can ignore the playground antics to some extent but have always had such good relationships at work before. There have been a few good teachers who have left for the same reason in last couple of years. Before this happened I was under the illusion that we were protected from victimisation in the workplace. How wrong was I!
     

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