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Need some support please.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by penny_sweet, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. penny_sweet

    penny_sweet New commenter

    I'm not sure if anyone can offer me any valuable advice on this one, but a little support would be lovely.
    I've had a nightmare year. I started to have bad panick attacks in September (mainly due to how the head has treated me over the past few years) so took some time off, being signed off til Christmas. Throughout the time I was off I was being phoned regularly by both the head and my head of faculty asking me work related questions. Then on my return to work in January (I was still having panick attacks at this point) I was subjected to a string of meetings in which I was made to feel incredibly guilty about leaving the other music teacher (an NQT) on her own, and accused of not doing my job properly before I went off as they could not find any of the GCSE coursework or tracking. I later found out that they hadn't actually looked for it. Since then I've had regular meetings with the head, about the latest thing she think's I've done wrong, all of which have been unfounded accusations. My attendance up until Easter was also very eratic still as my panick attacks were still quite severe.
    Last friday I was handed a letter stating that I was to be officially investigated as compared to the rest of the school, my end of KS3 levels were high. I tried to explain that there were reasons for this, to which the response was 'well you can say all of this in the meeting'. The facts are that year 9 have only had one formal assessment this year due to the amount of time I've had off. That assessment was the end of KS3 which was purposfully designed to try and boost pupils up to their target levels (which are ridiculously high). At the time I decided that using those levels, although not amazingly accurate, would be the fairest thing to do rather than guess an entire year group's levels. As far as I am aware, no concerns have ever been raised about my ability to level work (I am an M6 teacher).
    To add insult to injury I now have to have a meeting with the deputy head and someone from HR, but due to me not being on the ball during my illness my union membership had lapsed meaning that although I reinstated it I cannot have any representation or even face to face advice on the matter.
    I'm completely panicking. I'm a good teacher, was observed on Friday and got a 2, but it seems like there's a personal vendetta against me (the head is a well known bully) and without union help I won't be able to fight back.
     
  2. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    If you are a current member of a union why can they not meet with you or represent you. Try a different union.
     
  3. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter


    Ask they why not??
    As I understand your situation, you were off ill, came back and have been bullied. You are now facing competency? I am sure some may put me right here, but when you were called to the meeting - was this your first offical meeting with HT and governors and was this before or after your rejoining of union? If it was after, I am sure you are entitled to representation.
    You certainly can take a work colleague in with you - but make sure they are someone you can trust... too many will do anything to make sure they are not tarred with similar brush.
    Good luck and take care
    xx
     
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter


    Union membership operates a bit like an insurance policy - They will not offer representation for periods of time when events took place when one wasn't a member. This sounds the case here.

    I do advise you take a trusted staff member with you for support. Seek support from the school and try to enter the meetings with a positive mind frame and explain how your illness has affected your work and how you feel the school can support you to return to full capacity.
     
  5. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    you thought the levels were too high
    you have had some time off
    you designed a test to meet the target levels
    the pupils met their target levels
    if the pupils can meet their target levels when the teacher has had time off are they really ridiculously high?
    take the test papers with you and maybe get another member of your department to moderate them.
     
  6. penny_sweet

    penny_sweet New commenter

    No, the ironic bit is that the vast majority of pupils still did not meet their target levels, the majority of the year group came out with a level five, a handful on level six, two on seven, and one on eight who really is an exceptional case. It wasn't a test, it is a practical subject so the entire unit was designed a few years back around a composition and a performance based on advanced compositional techniques.
     

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