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'informal' capability procedures...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by SH917, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I wouldn't have thought so, no. Either you are or you are not. You can be given support to improve, though that is no capability and cannot be used as such.

    Don't fret over the holidays, ring your union and explain to them all that has happened and get their advice.
     
  2. Rockchick2112

    Rockchick2112 New commenter

    This has happened to me, and is otherwise known as bullying. It has actually happened to me in temporary jobs both in and out of education! I don't know if your post is temporary or not, but I reckon the head/manager knew they could get away with it because I had no right to expect a temporary contract to be renewed. The person doing it will often make out that you are terrible at your job, and this will very often be based on he/she having a strong personal dislike of you- the person doing the bullying will probably use hearsay and gossip to back themselves up, rather than hard facts. As it isn't based on concrete evidence, the person knows he/she wouldn't have a leg to stand on if formal capability procedures were instigated. Neverless, the result is still to make you feel like c**p. My 'informal disciplinaries' were always dished out in the comfort of the head's/manager's own office, in the absence of witnesses.
     
  3. It shouldn't happen but it may. They are breaking the rules if they haven't told you though - you have to be set clear targets and they should be saying they have a concern about your performance. Get your union involved and don't attend any meetings without your union rep being there.
    If you really can't eat or sleep then get on to your GP - I have been through this and survived but you do need to look after your health.
     
  4. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    This sort of **** has happened to me before, too. Called into HT's office, to be told "I have issued with your performance. Parents have complained"

    When asked for names and details, none forthcoming. Told there will be another meeting in a couple of months.
    How to deal with this: Walk into Head's office with a notebook and a pen, then stand (do not accept offers to sit down) and ask 3 questions: Write down whatever he/she says. They dont' like this.
    1. Has anyone complained about my performance in writing?
    2. Why did you not speak to me as soon as you had ANY concerns?
    3. Have you discussed this matter with any governors?

    (If they have talked to ANY governors about you, it could screw up appeals procedure.)
    If they DARE to mention another meeting, let them know that you will be bringing 'someone' along to that meeting. Do NOT let them know who it is - it could be a friend (from outside school), a colleage, or a local union rep. Don't let them know. Keep them wondering what you have up your sleeve. You have GOT to take the power stance in these cases of bullying. What they are trying to achieve is this - they want you to be so stressed and upset that you feel the only thing to do is resign. Do NOT fall for this. You will NOT resign. You will stand firm and face them down. Two can play at this game. (I know because I have played this game at 4 different schools now!)

     
  5. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I agree with the others... this happens all the time and is bullying. Start keeping a log of events and, as suggested, go back, with your union rep or friend in tow, and ask them for absolute specifics. Alternately write an email reminding them of what they have said and ask for an email response giving details... in other words get it in writing. If they manage to come up with anything ask what training and support they are going to provide for you. If they don't have specifics write an email, again reminding them of what has taken place and tell them how it made you feel. The point being that if they respond to an email they are in essence agreeing to your version of events. This might all seem a bit extreme but it can be vital if the process becomes more formal... and your union rep should love you for getting everything in writing! If you're worried over the holiday I'm guessing you're not on a temp contract. So I guess the other thing to do is make sure you're on the ball so there's nothing they can throw at you, ask for absolute clarity about the paperwork you are meant to be providing for your department etc, don't rely on the fact that half the people in the department don't actually mark all their books every week if you've been told that's what you should be doing. If it's any consolation my experience is that the people who usually get bullied in this way are people who are not only competent at their job but are skilled and confident enough to make the bully feel threatened.
     
  6. It's essential to get union support. Some heads need to show they are able to identify problems and put in appropriate levels of support for a teacher they perceive to be having problems. Sometimes the process is motivated by an abuse of power, but on other occasions the concerns may be legitimate. The head should ALWAYS be working in accordance with a formal, written policy that sets out the procedures. The union (perhaps not the school rep, but certainly the local secretary) will be able to tell you what the procedures are, and their involvement will ensure the procedures are adhered to. Most heads provide a copy on request, and if they don't this would be considered an abuse of power.
    Informal procedures normally involve a specified target(s), support mechanisms and formal observations.Meetings must be formally minuted. Sometimes the procedures are used as a stick with which to beat the teacher - sometimes they can be genuinely supportive (older teachers in a rut sometimes benefit enormously - and although it's never a pleasant experience, some teachers do rise to the challenge and end up much better practitioners. In any case, get the union in (inexperienced reps should get more experienced colleagues to assist). If LA HR are involved, its looking increasingly formal, but may not be. Good luck: a positive attitude will help to ensure it's not as onerous as it seems.
     
  7. It's essential to get union support. Some heads need to show they are able to identify problems and put in appropriate levels of support for a teacher they perceive to be having problems. Sometimes the process is motivated by an abuse of power, but on other occasions the concerns may be legitimate. The head should ALWAYS be working in accordance with a formal, written policy that sets out the procedures. The union (perhaps not the school rep, but certainly the local secretary) will be able to tell you what the procedures are, and their involvement will ensure the procedures are adhered to. Most heads provide a copy on request, and if they don't this would be considered an abuse of power.
    Informal procedures normally involve a specified target(s), support mechanisms and formal observations.Meetings must be formally minuted. Sometimes the procedures are used as a stick with which to beat the teacher - sometimes they can be genuinely supportive (older teachers in a rut sometimes benefit enormously - and although it's never a pleasant experience, some teachers do rise to the challenge and end up much better practitioners. In any case, get the union in (inexperienced reps should get more experienced colleagues to assist). If LA HR are involved, its looking increasingly formal, but may not be: in a small school they may never have done one of these. Good luck!: a positive attitude will help to ensure it's not as onerous as it seems.
     

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