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new job nightmare

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by clementinesandbrazilnuts, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. clementinesandbrazilnuts

    clementinesandbrazilnuts New commenter

    Hi,I really hope someone can help and offer some advice/support. I've only been in my new job since september and am in complete shock as I've just been told today (we break up tomorrow) that I'm being put on informal capability procedings. I've never experienced anything like this before and have just been crying my eyes out since I got home from school. I've contacted my union who have said they will accompany me to the meeting, but still have this hanging over me over christmas?
    I'm just in a complete panic. I can't imagine what I am going to do, I obviously don't want to stay in the job now and I wasn't really enjoying it beforehand to be honest but now staying seems to be out of the question. but I can't really leave after one term either? Besides there are no jobs and I have a mortgage to pay.
    I feel sick with worry, please help.
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Can't offer any practical help but this is a schockingly **** thing to do to a person at the end of term. You have my sympathies.
  3. clementinesandbrazilnuts

    clementinesandbrazilnuts New commenter

    I only got about 10 minutes notice for the meeting, it's almost like it's been done on a complete whim. Am desperate to leave but I can't possibly after just one term, and I don't get the impression I'm going to be treated particularly fairly either as so much of what was said was heresay and rumours. just in shock.
  4. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    To do this so near to the end of term is vindictive and cruel. Have you been observed formally this term? Is this your first job or do you have other teaching experience behind you? If it is the latter, did you feel you performed well there? If it is the former, then they should be supporting you! Glad that you have already spoken to your union. The school may argue that they are only trying to support you to become a better teacher; however, seeing as their tactics already seem rather underhand, do not trust them! They should give you clear objectives that they expect you to reach, but may move the goal posts. However, ensure, through your union, that they do support you - and if they do not, ask why not e.g. if they want you to improve your behaviour management, they need to say how they are going to support you to do so - make sure they do everything they say they are doing and question it if they do not. Try not to worry, though easy for me to write and not so easy for you to do I know. Try to enjoy Christmas! All the best!
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    What a horrible, cowardly thing to do to you just as you break up. Even if anyone needed to be put on informal capability proceedures, for argument's sake, it would not have made one jot of difference to have left any announcement until the start of next term. This way they have managed to wreck your break and leave you worrying over your holiday.
    What kind of support and feedback have you had during the course of the term? Any thing at all? Has this just come out of the blue?
  6. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Get a copy of the procedure. Make sure your union supports you so that it doesn't get to the formal stage or they help you get out before this. I always thought that you had to be given notice of meetings such as this so that you can take someone with you. I hope you can find somewhere else to work as the timing is awful.
  7. clementinesandbrazilnuts

    clementinesandbrazilnuts New commenter

    Thank you for the replies. I'm an experienced teacher, this is a head of department role and I haven't been in a middle management position before. It's definitely been tough, as I've had quite a difficult timetable as well as an lea "mocksted" inspection where the school as a whole was slated.
    I have had to work closely with an LEA advisor and it seems I've broken a protocol by not providing an agenda before my meetings but I just didn't know, my previous department was (fairly!) successful and so I haven't really had much to do with LEA advisory services before.
    I understand the school is under pressure and I totally want to be a part of it being a success, but things have been twisted and taken horribly out of context and if someone had said, look, you are new to this role, let's see how we can support you I would have keenly worked with them because I recognise being a HOD is not an easy role at the best of times especially when a school is massively under pressure. But now I am just in tears and so stressed - I can't see myself getting much if any sleep tonight and probably not at all over the holidays either really.
    It feels almost like this was done on a whim, telling me a few minutes before the end of day to see the head then being told this? I've had weekly meetings with my line manager as well as LEA advisor.
  8. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Is the LEA advisor also being put on informal capability as well then for not having the common sense to tell you...
    Ring teacher support line as well if you need to offload.
  9. clementinesandbrazilnuts

    clementinesandbrazilnuts New commenter

    Thank you Torey.
    I'm just in bits here. I don't mind support but why does it have to be offered in such an aggressive way?
    I'm desperately worried about my future. I really don't want to stay at the school long-term, but does it look just awful to leave after a year (or less.) I'd be happy to go back down to a normal classroom teaching role if need be.
  10. Calling you in to a snap meeting at which you are threatened, and then left to brood over the matter for two to three weeks is a very common, and very dirty technique, tantamount to psychological warfare. In addition, at this time of year, the school knows that it will be more difficult for you to get outside help with the next meeting, which, I am prepared to bet will be on the morning of the first day back.
    This business with the LEA advisor stinks, especially as you seem to being held responsible for their mistakes. You mentioned that your school has just been 'slated' by the LEA, so it is quite possible that the school is trying to 'offload' some of the blame onto you. Have a quick ask around to see if anyone else is getting the same treatment.

  11. Contact your union straight away. They will listen and help you clear up whether you've actually done anything wrong, and how to handle the situation. You might still get hold of someone today or maybe at the start of next week as many schools are still in until the end of next week.

    I had the same situation last year, except as an NQT, being told that I was going to fail and be banned for life after school on the last day of term... when nobody had ever mentioned a single problem beforehand. I sobbed all the way home and it did ruin my whole break. I did nothing but work, cry, and panic. I didn't get hold of the union until over a month later and I really wished that I had done it to begin with.
  12. Dink_bird

    Dink_bird New commenter

    Clementines, you have my utmost sympathy. This sounds very similar to my own recent experiences!
    I have now resigned my post because of what happened, but luckily I could do this because my partner can support me until I find another job. (hopefully in a much better school!)
    I completely understand how horrible this is; they are trying to make you admit that you're in some way inadequate or otherwise to blame - don't let them do this. You must challenge these ****.holes and make sure you are treated fairly and professionally.
    Although it was low to tell you at the end of term, at least you now have time to reflect on whether they have actually supported you properly in your first term - you said you weren't enjoying it - was there anything SMT could have done for you? I suspect they've let you down! Write everything down and take it to the meeting, and please make sure your union contact comes with you.
    keep posting on here and let us know what happens. Hope you can have a relaxing Christmas and come back fresh to deal with this. Good luck.

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