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Informal capability advise

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by estevan, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. estevan

    estevan New commenter

    I have been informed by my headteacher that I am to be placed on informal capability. I haven’t had a meeting yet.
    My question is. Can informal capability be put on a reference. My local union rep seems to think it can be.
    This has made me feel very anxious . Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Bobbbs

    Bobbbs Occasional commenter

    Generally speaking, informal is not put on references but formal is.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    It can be if the HT/Trust feel particularly vindictive. They'll use excuses like ''openness'' and "transparency". I had that threat.

    Best of luck.... went through it twice myself...
  4. estevan

    estevan New commenter

    Sorry to hear you’ve been through this process twice.
    Do you have any advice on what will happen? Naively I hadn’t heard of informal capability until a couple of days ago!
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Download your schools capability and performance management policies and read them.

    Talk to union at regional.

    Make contemporaneous records of everything that may be relevant.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter


    Take the process seriously. Evidence everything. It's your career that is being put at risk, not theirs. Consult with your Union regularly. Be aware of colleagues suddenly wanting ''concerned friendly'' chats with you. Come across as co-operative. Keep your manager up to date with actions you taking towards completion of targets. Use email and keep the emails. If a verbal instruction is given, ask for an email version of it.

    Be aware that Formal Capability is a possibility. Be aware that Informal communicates two possible things.
    1. The school is legitimately concerned about your performance and wants you to improve.
    2. The school wants you gone.

    Hard to say which it is. In my case they wanted me gone.

    Outside of Workplace Dilemmas you won't find a lot of teachers confessing to Informal/Formal Capability... it's taboo and legal protections inhibit many from discussing their experiences.
  7. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Formal has to appear on references but not many get to that stage as they leave first - being put on formal capability is basically the same as losing your job or being barred from teaching realistically for 3 years (think that's how long it stays on your records for)

    Now informal capability shouldn't appear but I was threatened once with this because once IC had been withdrawn due to me getting a job elsewhere (the bullies had won) they tried to imply they would still tell my new employer if any more ' concerns' arised during my last few weeks in school.

    The Union was furious at this malicious threat but don't think they could actually have stopped it.

    My advice: leave as soon as you can. You'll either sink in your own time there or SLT will push your head under water until you drown.
  8. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    As you research the topic of informal / formal capability procedure on this forum you will find that many teachers have posted about being in this situation. So you are not alone. There are still some posters on this forum who try to push the idea that informal capability is some lovely process that one should embrace as a stepping stone to becoming an outstanding teacher. perhaps in some alternate reality this is true, but the experience of the majority of posters is that informal capability is a big stick used by bullies in SLT to beat their staff with.
    Follow the advice post 6,
    This is a stressful process but you can get through it - Focus on your exit plan, look for another job, if you have the option retire, or leave teaching for an alternative career. Sorry to be so pessimistic,
    The purpose of this process is to break you. It is wrong and unfair - you can thank Gove for this.
  9. estevan

    estevan New commenter

    As a new poster on this forum I am genuinely thankful for the advice received so far. I can now see that this is a serious situation as my union rep suggested.

    I have been blissfully teaching for the past 15 years+ . Never encountered any issues with my teaching. New head arrived in September....and now I find myself in a very scary situation.

    Thanks again!
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I feel I'm having a lightbulb moment....

    Let me guess... on the UPS end of the pay scale?
  11. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I'm one of these deluded posters who does point out that 'support' can be err... supportive. However even I don't think that I'll be proved right this time.

    You've got to know when to walk away
    Know when to run
    Kenny Rogers - The Gambler
    agathamorse and Piranha like this.
  12. estevan

    estevan New commenter

    UPS 3 and as I came into teaching after a previous career I’m quite a bit older than the average 15 years+ teacher!
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Ah... 50+?

    Sorry this seems to be a pattern.
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  14. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    For such a supposedly transparent "profession" using the term loosely, it amazing how being age 50 ish and £££ coincide to create these boatloads of suddenly "incapable staff".
    I still don't get why Unions are so powerless here.
    It has been my experience that Teachers naturally want to do well at their job and do not need such barbaric treatment by suited robotic psychopaths and "yesmen / robots".
    As for advice - get out asap.
  15. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Got to echo this... new headteacher who targets the most expensive and older staff members?

    You can just tell the culture is going to go down the pan pretty fast.

    If I were you I'd be hunting for an exit @estevan
    agathamorse likes this.

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