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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by fudgeface, Nov 5, 2017.
Two words of advice only: Get Out
Are you able to give me any more information Ianokia? Did you get signed off and go for a settlement?
I can't believe that I've got a whole week to go until my meeting. I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the support I have had from the union and will be contacting them tomorrow to see what's what.
I can't believe my career could be at an end
Your career is not at an end but it is apparent that school have got you or rather your pay and pension in their sights. It's not personal but it is very cruel to use this process to make you jump. Make sure you have really good union backing if you're going to fight it - you need nerves of steel. At the end of the day it is your choice but beware of the process as posters have said it is designed to get rid of staff quickly. I jumped before I was pushed very bruised by the whole process but at the end of the day I am still in teaching and appreciated by my current school. So much has changed since the dark days of capability threats. Wishing you the best xx
Thank you so much menhir. My nerves are all over the place. Some days strong, other days/lessons I think I'm going to throw up.
Was observed by one of SLTs cronies yesterday and am wondering whether it is even worth bothering to ask for fedback
Fighting it may or may not work. You are the only person who can judge whether if you meet all the targets, they will say "Hey fudgeface, we like you really" or invent a whole load more targets that are harder to get.
I was fortunate to be old enough to grab some pension and take matters into my own hands. If they get you on capability, the consequences for your career can be significant. At the moment you have ways of side stepping these.
I have had 2 experiences of support plans with different head teachers. The first was when I was teaching a new subject to a different age group than I was trained for. Totally out of my depth and drowning.
The HT put me on an informal support plan to improve subject knowledge and classroom practice. It was a very good plan with lots of "smart" targets and lots of support. After 6 weeks I asked to remain on it for another 4 because it was so helpful. At the end of the 10 weeks I passed with flying colours and everyone was happy.
My second experience was a year or so ago. My results were good but that HT (not the same as the first one) disagreed. I was UPS with a TLR and she set up an informal support plan that was so vague and poorly defined that I had no idea how I was progressing. Pretty much every HoD and UPS teacher was on one. My line manager told me I had passed it, the HT over-ruled him and said I had failed.
The minute they said "capability" I packed up my things and went off with WRS. I was a mess...angry, depressed, cried constantly, lost 25lbs in 4 weeks, planned to end my life. Good friends and family and an amazing GP helped and I got the union to negotiate a SA.
I am now in a new school, leading a whole school improvement programme, leading staff CPD and feel extremely valued. I still have wobbles - I barely slept after the HT did his first learning walk, thinking I was terrible and about to be back on a plan. Instead he said it was a great lesson and would I lead some CPD on differentiation!
So there is light at the end of the tunnel but it depends on your SLT. If you feel they want you out, go but on your terms. You will find success somewhere else and you will be so much happier for it.
Just another clear sign of the Head's intention to get rid of you, playing mind games. Postponing the meeting for a whole week is a part of the softening up process. Probably your union will not be able to much to alter the outcome. The school is throwing you out of the plane, all the union might be able to do is give you some sort of parachute to soften the bump when you hit the ground. For the sake of your health, sanity, and future career, it is better to get out on the best terms you can win. I know it is capitulating but the Head might more lenient, give you a reasonable settlement and a reference, if you make it easier for him to 'get you off the bus'.
Can you elaborate on these?
Wasn't signed off... I worked right to the end so I wasn't giving them any chance to say ''oh well look he was weak'' [not how I view it but it would be how they would]...
But I left with what was agreed yes.
I want to elaborate on what I said before
Unfortunately, this is the worst ever period in the history of the UK for the status and well-being of teachers; we have literally reached rock-bottom, and therefore we all need to know the risks out there and stay one step ahead of the "game" (as it has become a very unfair games with devastating personal consequences).
My NUT officer told me that she has been hearing about support plans and capabilities all over the region, whereas it used to be a very rare occurrence indeed. She knows of one person who was given 19 points for improvement, which was obviously deliberately impossible to achieve.
They are being mainly used to bully people into submission (as was my case, so I got out, quick), or to bully people out of a job entirely, and often those people who are on the upper pay scale who cost the school the most money.
They are having a terrible impact on the mental health of teachers, and most of the time it is completely undeserved.
My advice to you is to get out on the best terms possible. It is not the end of your career, but it is probably the end of your time at that school. There are still decent schools out there with no blame culture, but they are increasingly rare.
Please stay one step ahead of the game and make the first move.
Baxterbasics - thank you for your frank reply. I'm still waiting on union support at regional level which is disappointing. A couple of trusted colleagues have been very supportive but I still don't really know how I'm going to play this.
What worries me is that if they get rid of me it will impact on Year 11 anyway because a new teacher won't know the kids and they will be resentful at having to get to know a new teacher etc
With all due respect, you shouldn't worry about the effects on Y11(or another class). Get out with as much as you can - any problems are the school's, not yours.
That's my problem though, Frank, I have always gone above and beyond for my kids
What I was trying to say was:
if you beat the capabilty this time, will they just come back with harder targets in a couple of months or will they realise they've got a good teacher and leave you alone?
Only you can answer this for your school.
I jumped before I was pushed in my situation. Threats about exam results that had not even been sat by the students. I escaped and so glad I did. They broke me and now I am free from the shackles of school. I have been offered other school jobs but I have said no. Going to pursue other avenues and see what happens. Have gained my energy back and have time to do the things that I want to do. Best of luck fudgeface.
Echoing this quote as an experienced teacher beyond their 20s. All advice with Union is 100% accurate. Photocopy everything and store all emails and minutes away from the school site.
A lot of us do that, in different ways, though. We prepare 'special' lessons, we offer catch up sessions for exams, we organise trips to broaden and deepen the education of our pupils etc.
But, the bottom line is, if your HT makes it impossible for you to continue, it is NOT your choice.
I have to say, in those circumstances, I might well hope it all goes t*ts up if you leave, and the HT gets hell from the parents and, maybe OfSTED. Karma...
Like it, Frank. I'm still not quite sure which path I'm going to go down. My school rep has been great and thinks the whole thing is dreadful. I sometimes think ***k it I'm going to fight. Other times it is that I just want to stay under the duvet and hide from the world.
Thank you for your message September. May I ask what "avenues" you are following?
That is the difference between the way teachers and some SMTs see education: with the latter, it is all about the money.