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Lost all confidence due to pay progression

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by justateacher99, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. justateacher99

    justateacher99 New commenter

    I have been teaching for a few years and feel like I have been making progress. My learning walks, observations, student voices, etc. have all but one been rated as good or better. I have had no concerns raised about my ability as a teacher, my targets were met and my evidence for pay rise was checked, however at my pay review the board of governors stated that they felt that my performance management lacked enough evidence for me to progress to the next pay scale and so the decision was being deferred. I was struggling in September with positivity but managed to pick it up after half term. This new information has however just knocked me sideways and I am struggling massively with confidence in my ability and I don't know how to get my positivity back.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. Bajan-night

    Bajan-night Occasional commenter

    You need to contact your union.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    This is the awful thing about teaching. In no other career is your whole personality and identity so closely associated with the judgments made about you, whilst at the same time the judgments are so random.

    This stupid, pointless thing the governors have said is not inn any way related to your ability or dedication. It is related to their own personal perceptions and misconceptions and tick sheets and paperwork and budget and possible unfair and unrepresentative events, such as an individual child holding a grudge, or even just being out of sorts for a moment.

    Your vocation is to educate, not to provide evidence to a court. And they are pulling you up on not having enough evidence.

    Spending time producing and publishing good enough evidence of course detracts from the time and energy you have for teaching, and in many cases actually opposes education.

    I don't know you, and don't know how good you are at teaching, but from what you say, your are clearly good enough, and dedicated enough too.

    yet some completely arbitrary, throw away announcement from some ignorant, self righteous bunch of pratts has left you not only out of pocket, but knocked you hard in your confidence and feels like it has diminished your whole identity.

    it is pure evil

    One day this whole system will be shown up for what it is, and I hope every single individual who has had something like this done to them will be able to sue for the full amount of the value it has taken from their life, althogh I fear the cost would bankrupt the country.
    Lara mfl 05, Ezzie and pepper5 like this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Are you in a position to look for a better paid job inside or outside of teaching? Difficult I know to look for other positions, but if you can do it in your spare time without any pressure then it doesn't hurt to have a look around and make a plan.

    Don't let the system rock your confidence as schools now are run like businesses instead of places where they should nurture people. You have to take back control of the situation and make some decisions where you are going to make life better for yourself.

    What you have to remember is this: If the best teacher in the entire country came to your school and worked there for 20 years, the board of governors would have done exactly the same thing, It is not you or anything with your ability - but rather it is their penny pinching ways of trying to save a few mere pounds which they probably don't even need but you could use and deserve.

    Now, how to get your positive mindset back.

    Indeed, speak to your union. Your union will advise you of your legal rights regarding pay increases.
    Find out if there is a way to appeal the decision or anything else you can do.

    Next, remember what an outstanding teacher you are. You have worked as a teacher several years. Most leave after three.

    Tell yourself you are good at your job.

    I know this is no consolation to you, but many teachers are facing the same situation that their pay hasn't been increased in years.

    I am sure there are teachers soon who will be forced to use food banks if not already - especially supply teachers where work has slowed up this year.

    Start by saving 10% of your pay each week as a small emergency fund should you want/need to leave and start making a plan for either another job outside teaching or another better paid teaching post. That way you have a bit more control of what is happening to you.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    You could start looking elsewhere - but do not burn bridges with your Head. This happened to me once and I decided to play their game and handed in folders and folders of every scrap of anything .

    I never failed again because no one could be bothered to spend the time to look through soooooooo much evidence.

    And sadly it is a game - but it sounds like they also think you will not go to your Union or complain ? Perhaps you are being too nice...
    sabrinakat, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    When I was refused pay progression some years ago (with a pretty obviously fabricated reason), the next stage, a few months later, saw me being made redundant.

    If I were the OP I'd be honing my CV and looking elsewhere, inside or outside teaching.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I stopped worrying about this years ago.

    In most schools pay progression is a closed shop.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Some very wise advice already given, so there's little I could say.

    It is almost certainly financial considerations at play and you must continue to believe in yourself.
    install likes this.
  9. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    So you do everything right and get no pay progression.

    It's a way of bullying you into doing more work so you literally have to grovel to get a measly rise.

    At my last school I worked with an excellent Physics teacher about 3 years into the profession. He worked his backside off, did revision sessions after school, extra lessons in the holidays, produced revision booklets etc. All way above what he was supposed to be doing. 92% (!) of his pupils passed their GCSE Physics. Come to his appraisal review he was told he wasn't going to get a rise up the next rung of the pay ladder but it might be 'reviewed' during the year. As a result he felt that he had to do even more work to eventually be given a £500 pay rise in the April. Pathetic. Odd though that the Heads pay rose to the £110k/£120k pay bracket in the same time.

    He resigned last summer and is now teaching Physics in Qatar! Good for him.

    The school insisted on staff putting together lever arch files of evidence just to prove they were doing their jobs. The whole circus every autumn saw teachers photocopying sheets of results, lessons plans, letters to and from parents, TA comments, half-termly reviews, departmental minutes etc. (God knows how much money wasted on photocopying). The time would have been better spent on teachers planning good lessons than putting together all this c**p. But the teachers did it because they feared the consequences of failing their appraisal. Those still on the ladder would be denied a rise and those at the top would end up on support or capability.

    The whole system of Appraisal is a mechanism for unscrupulous Headteachers to create a culture of fear and bully staff. Awful.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You say they haven't enough evidence and so have deferred the decision. This is not the same as it being refused. Find the evidence and get it to the pay committee.

    No-one has said you aren't a fabulous teacher, nor that you don't deserve a 100% pay rise. Just that there wan't enough evidence this time around.

    Get your union to help you with the appeal process and get collecting the evidence you need. No need to let this drag you down just yet.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  11. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    In what little of your own family time you have, probably at your own expense, and as well as that, take away from learning time for children to spend time producing evidence and take away from your planning time by queuing for your turn to kick the blocked photocopier to copy the evidence,

    o yes, of course, I forgot, we are not here to teach, are we!?, we are just here to get through the paperwork...
    Lara mfl 05, pepper5 and Compassman like this.
  12. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Out of curiosity, did you ask which part of your PM lacked evidence and what they thought was missing?
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    What is this obsession with evidence? The OP says they've done all that was expected of them but just hasn't produced bits of paper to satisfy some HTs whim.

    Just as the same that schools are obsessed with evidence all sorts of other things which sap the life out of teaching.
    mwoodfords, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The pay committee wants to know the teacher has met their targets. Obviously it isn't enough for every teacher to just say they have. Yes in the most sensible schools, the head would simply tell the governors they were satisfied that X and Y had met their targets, but Z had not and all would be sorted. However in most schools some kind of proof is asked for.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  15. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    And where does the time come from to gather that proof? I would say time should be given for it if that is what they want.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Depends what they are asking for. If it is just a print out of exam results, or a copy of an updated action plan, then the 2 mins taken to print the evidence shouldn't really be a problem for the OP as they will already have such things. But yes, if it is more detailed evidence, then time given would be good. This is the kind of thing where sympathetic colleagues often help out.

    I don't know what the governors are asking for. I don't know the targets. I don't know if they were indeed met or not.

    The point of my first post was just to remind the OP that the decision was deferred, not refused. They need to have a conversation with their head about what evidence is needed and enlist their support in getting it.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. brighton56

    brighton56 Occasional commenter

    Usually your performance manager will make the decision as to whether you have met your targets. The headteacher and performance manager (if they're not the same person) make a final joint decision. All decisions are then sent to the governors to be agreed. Three things could have happened here:

    1) Your Headteacher was unable to provide enough evidence to the governors. This is not your fault as in your final performance management meeting it will have been agreed between yourself and the performance manager. All evidence should have been looked at here.

    2) Something has happened (Ofsted report, poor 2016 data, LA inspection, etc.) since September that goes against one of your targets. If the governors have been told that reading results across the school are poor and you were responsible for reading last year then they will of course start asking questions.

    3) Your performance manager (if not the head) said you could have a pay rise when in fact the head disagreed.

    Do not listen to people telling you to get out and jump ship - it may not be that at all.

    In my experience, governors can be fussy when deciding whether the head has met his/her targets but they usually just accept whatever has been presented to them for other members of staff. You do sometimes get that particularly fussy governor, who takes up too much time, asking for more reports or evidence. In your case it could just be this.

    Do listen to Caterpillartobutterfly - she does make sense.
  18. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    As this year progresses, perhaps you might like to keep copies of various pieces of evidence to put in your folder. The first year I raced around to find evidence at the end of the year once I'd seen someone else's. Since then I just add as I go along by just slotting them into the folder.

    As Caterpillar says, it's been deferred not refused. This is the game we have to play, so you either choose to play it or not. No-one is going to give you time to do this, so a few minutes here and there over the course of every term should give you enough evidence. I file mine by target as well so that anyone looking can see where the evidence is. I also throw in evidence of other things I get up to that might not be related to targets but I do in the line of my job.

    Good luck.
  19. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    It would be so much more helpful for HT's actually tell the staff what is needed for pay progression.

    Was fortunate to work in Tower Hamlets when Upper Pay was first introduced. Inset sessions were arranged for staff to ensure that they all knew what was required and how best to complete the forms and present supporting evidence. That was at a time when staff were valued and actually allowed to get on with their job. Trusted was the word.
    pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and Compassman like this.
  20. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    it would make more sense if the governors were required to find evidence that you HADN'T met your targets
    pepper5 and Compassman like this.

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