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Opt for an exit strategy?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by gtovey, May 15, 2019.

  1. gtovey

    gtovey New commenter

    I have been suspended from work for the past two months, there was an allegation made regarding inappropriate restraint. It’s false. categorically false and I have some proof to show the head and governors both have ulterior motives.
    They are offering an exit strategy but I want to fight it to prove my innocence. But my union rep is strongly suggesting I shouldn’t risk it. She doesn’t know the background and neither of us know the details of the allegation because the school won’t divulge them... what do I do? Risk summery dismissal or opt out and not get the chance to put my side of the story?
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do you have any proof about the alleged offence? That's what really counts. And it's very hard to get "negative" proof. Short of showing that you were actually teaching a whole other group that day in a different building.

    Can you turn it into a joint mud-slinging fest? Hmm.

    I wouldn't take that to a tribunal. Give your rep the ammunition though and instruct/ask her to negotiate you an agreed reference and a few months pay. Look elsewhere. Let the rep do the dirty work of revealing that you think you've "got" something on them. It's a dirty business. Sorry.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  3. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    Is restraint part of your role and are you trained to do it within a whole school policy? Were there any injuries, and were there witnesses who are also trained?
  4. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    If you accept school's offer what arrangement is there for reference. Will safeguarding be mentioned anywhere?
  5. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Unfortunately, as far as dismissal is concerned, you are not in a strong position. Your employer only has to have a reasonable belief that you may be guilty of a sackable offence to actually sack you and it would be a very fraught procedure to go to Tribunal to challenge that.

    However, there should be a written procedure for this and your employer is duty bound to follow it. There are also rules from ACAS which will hold sway in any legal proceedings.

    If you wish to challenge it you will probably have most success if any procedures haven't been followed. But you need to answer this, after all that has happened do you really want stay in this school? Tricky question.

    Negotiating an exit agreement is a way out but might not allow you to teach in any school since your position relies upon a clean safeguarding record which is under threat.

    The problem with not being told details of the alleged incident is a common one. The statutory guidance from the Government on incidents such as this requires that Heads and LADO have to take account of any possible Police action and the Police do not want any details to be divulged to avoid "false alibis".

    You need to get serious legal advice and if your Union is not forthcoming consider independent advice from a specialist solicitor. If you have legal insurance with your house insurance then this might cover it.

    I have had a similar false allegation so I know what you are going through. Best of luck with this.
  6. gtovey

    gtovey New commenter

    Yes it is I work in special school and yes I have. I handle children on a daily basis to keep them safe and have always used less thenreqsonable force.
  7. gtovey

    gtovey New commenter

    Thank you for your honest take on this. To fill you in; The police have made enquiries, but found no need to continue with investigations. The LADO have just passed it back to the school.

    The school are in the process of employing an independent investigating officer.
  8. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I admire your courage and determination to stand up for yourself in this matter. However i am concerned that since you do not appear to have confidence in the HT or governors this is not just an issue between you and the pupil who has made the accusation but between you and the HT. This complicates things considerably. They are planning to bring in an independent investigator. Who pays for this? As the saying goes 'he who pays the piper' etc. Who has first access to the investigator - will they get their version of events in first?
    I know it is a tough one but sometimes walking away is the only way to win, be prepared to discus and consider the exit strategy even if you choose to stay and fight.
    grumpydogwoman and JohnJCazorla like this.
  9. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    OK, if you wish to continue with your defence (again make sure you get some legal advice, push your union), then an argument could be, that since the Police (and LADO) have decided that they don't need to be involved, then under the statutory guidance (and ACAS guidance), you are entitled to be informed of the details of the allegations against you and failure to provide these would be viewed unfavourably by an employment tribunal since it would mean that the process used against you was unfair. (again get legal advice before trying this one on)

    Again best of luck but you do need some expertise on your side.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think it depends on the exit strategy being proposed.
    If it includes a reference that says there are no safeguarding concerns, then you are probably better off going down that route and looking for a new job.
    Fighting, even if you ultimately win, will probably make your employment untenable. If the head and CofG are both against you already, then you make all kinds of accusations in a hearing...you aren't realistically going to be able to continue to work there.

    It's a hideous situation, but only you can decide if the fight is worth it.
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  11. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    Based on this, (and working in a similar environment) I would say that digging a bit deeper may well be worthwhile. A complaint passed to the LADO in this environment is not unusual, (happened to me more than once) if it has been passed back to the school there is room for further discussion. Did you have witnesses? Personally I would get specialist advice, are you LEA, Academy, or private company?
    gtovey likes this.
  12. gtovey

    gtovey New commenter

    An lea special school, it’s so political, head against CofG against me against parents it’s a mess to be honest
  13. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Frankly from what you describe, if the HT is set against you, then you cannot rely on a fair and objective process - Consider the advice in Post#10 from caterpillartobutterfly. If you can rely on getting a reference than you may be better off cutting your loses and making a fresh start somewhere else.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Get the rep to tell them you will go quietly with an agreed reference (write it yourself) and pay for 6 months. Be prepared to concede on the 6 months. Down to 3.

    The agreed reference is absolutely key.

    You've nothing to gain. If they don't "get" you this time? They'll find a way. It sounds horrible.
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  15. NQT08

    NQT08 Occasional commenter

    I will send you a private message.
    I had a similar experience.
  16. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    If you can look at the actual event minus the politics and still be categorically sure that you followed procedure and acted as you are trained to do then you should be protected by your schools behaviour policy I would be tempted to discuss things further with your union before deciding anything.
    I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Working in an environment that requires use of restraint is difficult at the best of times, I can't imagine doing it without management support.
    agathamorse likes this.

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