1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Informal Capability

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ml01omm, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    I was informed today that as of next week, I will be placed on appraisal support (informal capability) for 9 weeks, and then if things don't improve, it will then be placed on a 6 week capability proceedure.

    What I want ti know is - has anyone ever survived informal capability? (not that I want to stay in this school long term now, rather financially it would be better for me to leave in July, than say Easter)

    Am I being paranoid - or is this essentially the Head giving me 9 weeks to decide to resign of my own accord?

    The informal capability ends just before the Easter resignation deadline, which is making me think it has purposely been designed this way.

    I'm only NQT +2, I feel as if I am only just finding my feet and slowly getting to grip with things.

    So back to original question - has anyone survived Informal capability?
  2. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Seems to me that more and more schools are trying this.

    Not sure what they expect to achieve by treating staff like this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I should start looking to find a new post for Easter if I were you.
    If you are planning to stay in teaching, financially it won't make any difference if you leave at Easter rather than July.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  4. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Talk to the head and say that you want the best for the children, for the school and for yourself. Say that you think that it will be better if you go at the end of the school year. The children will not have another teacher in the middle of the year, the school will have enough time to find a new teacher and (don't say that) you will get paid till the 30th August. Hopefully, and most likely, your head will agree, they will stop observing you and you will have the best teaching time of your life. You will also have enough time to find a new post for September.
    mrimmington and Gsr25 like this.
  5. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    I'm not sure whether I want to stay in teaching yet given all this tosh, but equally, as I am secondary, more jobs come up for September start for my subject than for Easter. (well, in this area).

    My thinking is, July finish, at least I can save like crazy to give me a buffer if supply/perm jobs don't immediately appear.
  6. MissHallEnglish

    MissHallEnglish Occasional commenter Forum guide and community helper

    Ask to observe 'experienced' members of staff or others in your department; ask to see examples of 'outstanding' marking; ask to shadow students to observe their behaviours in other lessons; ask to visit other schools and go on courses etc...

    Obviously, I don't know why your school has gone down this route with you, but make them support you Do this even if you plan to leave. You never know, you might pick up a couple of tips along the way AND you're seen to be actively involved in your own CPD. If nothing else, they can't deny that in a reference!

    Good luck whatever you decide :)
  7. teslagirls1

    teslagirls1 New commenter

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation and understand how stressful it is for you. I was put into informal capability procedures and then into formal procedures. I'm not sure if people get out of the informal stage and even if people do I guess it would be easy for SLT to trigger the process again when an incident arose which caused concern. I involved my union but since the school was following guidelines they couldnt do a great deal. I observed other teachers but frankly this wasnt that helpful. I think that ultimately you need to think about only yourself from now on. If its helpful get signed off and give yourself space to breathe! Eventually I took the decision to resign which went against my union's advice but I felt, and still do, that this was best for me and I avoided going down the whole compromise agreement route. I did some supply work for a while and then got a post back in a school on the strength of my supply work. I am loving teaching again and my confidence has returned. The comments I receive indicate that I am a decent teacher which I always believed and Im sure the same is true for you. I hope that you are able to find a solution that works for you.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Why have you been placed on capability?

    I suspect you would be best to get out of there as quickly as possible.

    This is not unusual, do not take it as a personal slight.
    lanokia and Mrsmumbles like this.
  9. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    trying to be a bit vague, so not as to be identified but,

    • poor GCSE results after my NQT year (I took over a failing, demotivated, bottom set group for yr 11, and surprisingly, though doing my best, could not turn it around in 2 terms).
    • poor GCSE results this summer (for a group I once again, only took over in yr 11) despite interventions etc. (low results down to a variety of different factors)
    • failing teaching standard no.1
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Pretty much par for the course.

    It is wholly unacceptable to be treated as you are begin treated although it is becoming commonplace in teaching. Teachers should not be held responsible to this degree for the performance of children.

    I've said it so many times, but it's true: You work for idiots. They will not suddenly become enlightened. Get out of there.

    There are plenty of decent people who will give you solid advice on the legal / procedural side of things.

    Good luck.
    lanokia and Mrsmumbles like this.
  11. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Sorry to say but I don't think that's necessarily the best advice. OP: afraid you are right, this is staged. The evil and inept bully managers want to do this all the time. Look at all the other posts on workplace dilemmas on this very issue...it is so common now, as other wise posters have said. It's nothing to do with you. It seems these days that new young teachers, or older frailer ones, or just plain good but not sufficiently brown nosing teachers...they're just being pushed out. So many schools are using capability, it's as if they get government kickbacks for having rapid staff turnover. One wonders if the hidden agenda is to make schools so bad that there is an excuse for national academisation..yuck. So what can you do? A lot more than you think, but your learning curve, I'm afraid, is about to be massive! You now have to start behaving against type...not doing what you are told, and no longer putting the kids first. Your time is finite and to ensure a smooth exit, you will be spending time emailing, getting applications fired out, you may struggle to relax and sleep...all this is normal. You just cannot do this and deliver lessons before they started this capability nonesense, so don't feel guilty!
    Do contact your union rep. Start planning a negotiated exit and haggle, haggle haggle! The British school is the educational Ebay!

    Do not go to any more stupid meetings without one...they are cowardly bullies and use the window of 'gullible trusting teaching is meeting with us with no union backup so we can shaft them and they've git no proof' to the max. And they really do. I never knew if I had passed or failed my targets, which were really piffling things, until very very late in the day. My managers repeatedly lied to me and my rep was literally dumbstruck when I was told I was on formal at a return to work interview. I didn't even know I was on the informal stage, and had no letter, no warning, just nasty comments in a joke meeting after an appraisal.

    I think they can now bypass the informal period, which makes it very hard for you to guess when you'll be on formal. Get out before your health suffers. I'd had emergency surgery and they wanted, as with you, to get me out that year. The stress those ******** intentionally put me under nearly killed me, and I did consider legal action, but settled to get out asap.

    Be glad they are doing it earlier...my meeting was way after Easter. There are many more jobs out there, and please don't worry about the notice. Did you know, for example, that the top schools actually pay staff a big lump sum of their monthly salary as a thank you for handing in their notice and deciding to move post by early January? Try not to fret about jobs. You are thinking exactly as I did...do a few more months, but more pay, more time to plan...this is self deceptive, I'm afraid, because they've made up their mind already, it's a case of when, and getting out before formal is chucked at you.

    Employers now ask you to disclose formal proceedings against you, which sucks as they can be for arriving late or not marking in the right colour ink, but not the ridiculous management performance managed pre formal capability stuff. I'm sure you WILL get a better job where you are appreciated. It is just the school, I'm sure. If you leave it, they will get nastier and nastier until you basically lose the will to stay in teaching. And working with kids, many of whom can play up and haven't a clue of the stress you're under...well that's just horrible.

    POSITIVES! If you drop to part time, you'll get a nice tax rebate. With private tuition, you may find yourself earning as much as an overworked full timer, for fewer hours. Try supply and see how you like it, sod it, give yourself a month off, you've earned it! And of course you've escaped another ruined school, another Govian hovel of toxic management. You get to be smug. And my old place? It has a swanky new website, and since last year, more have been kicked out...the wages savings probably paid for all the 'improvements.' You'll look back and realise what a lucky escape you've had. I think jollyroger posted as saying these stupid meetings and informal capability threats are the shot over the bows. He's right. And until we all pressurise OUR unions to do more than negotiate deals out, we deserve everything we get. Nobody is standing up to the school management bullies and challenging the rank and yank system....result is low morale and massive turnover. They cannot understand education and have screwed it all up, probably on purpose to excuse privatising more and more schools, making them more and more businesslike. Pity the students.
    thekillers, bob79, Turi and 4 others like this.
  12. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Agreed, and frankly, January if you can get it. Put yourself first.
    Turi and notsonorthernlass like this.
  13. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    @Mrsmumbles this should be a standard reply to all competence posters...
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    But there are shortages now. Jobs are there on supply now. While you have a capability free record. I don't trust this informal stage at all. My lot rode roughshod over it. Be sceptical, be sneaky, and be swift! Sorry I know this isn't what you want to hear but I know the score on this...as do many of my former colleagues.
    Turi likes this.
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I do what I can, I want to help the TES community...you're a great bunch of people and were a literal lifeline to me. I'm a much more outspoken and wiser person now and I cringe at some of the comments made by decent teachers who still cannot see the extent of their manipulation and what these management sods are up to. I think I'll open up a website...'Capability..101 Headmaster scams you need to know..' All contributions welcome!
  16. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    As you posted that another distressed poster seems to have posted a new thread... it's endless. I think your website is a great idea!
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Or...don't bother observing them, as I did, what a dreadful boring line manger I had! He had his post secure, you see...they don't execute the hangman. All it did for me was realise how shallowly I was being judged...also GCSEs, one year out of many, a freak year where I managed to get nearly all the SEN learners for that half of the year group, syllabus change...etc. The thing is. Someone has to come bottom, don't they?! Agree about them paying for CPD...try and get something different, like mindfulness, or safeguarding training. Then give them the finger and leave. Ha! You win!
  18. peersy

    peersy New commenter

    Feelin really low primary teacher of 19 years having been through a long, nearly a year, badly run informal capability was told today despite improvments head wants to start formal. Union have advised going on sick and formulating exit plan. Scared stiff bils to pay etc worried never work again or what other career. Fed up!,
  19. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Lots of good points here..but I would definitely settle with the union rep, you need the money, surely, and you deserve it? You have one thing in your favour...timing. If you can instruct a good regional union rep to take you on now, and agree to settle for three months salary, arguing that you'll be on the dole till at least April, they will probably pay you off. Just be sure the agreement doesn't prohibit you taking up another teaching job...there some horrible school lawyers and HR idiots out there...if you haggle high, and then secure part time work that starts from say, April, they will probably reduce the lump sum, but the reality is they will still cough up a bit AND you will know that you are going to another job. It's only really nasty for about three weeks, by which point you may have a settlement agreement signed. They then back off. Avoid taking time off or getting signed off...you are so close to the end of term, and if you can stick it through, they won't be able to attack you on this if another HT phones to ask more about you. The trick is to juggle the union, coordinate the emails and phone calls, get the CV ready, keep the lessons ticking over, and out out feelers for jobs. Then at the last minute when the agreement is actually drafted, go all out for jobs. This will shock them..if you get the job offer, the union rep should be able to help negotiate a reduced payout AND ensure that you get out. With cash. And a job hopefully in the wings. And no formal capability. Also...be wary of them putting you on formal capability very suddenly, even earlier than they implied. If they know you are serious about going, they tend to cooperate better, but a lot depend on your school's management system.
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Read my tips! It's not you! Your HT is a bullying hypocritical piece of snot who is cutting costs and has picked your name off his spreadsheet. Don't get mad, get a rep, get haggling, get out, and then get even. And spread the word, I bet there are colleagues in your school going through similar stress...
    dani_mc and notsonorthernlass like this.

Share This Page