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People management

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by captain_picard, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. captain_picard

    captain_picard New commenter


    I am feeling quite stressed at the moment (aren't we all?). When I was absent last week, my new HoD went into my classroom and took some exercise books. HoD wasn't happy with them, so she took them straight to the Deputy Head. No I have had a telling off about books. I'm happy to receive any feedback and am happy to try and improve my marking, but surely the way to get the best out of your staff is to support rather than blame? Should I confront HoD and calmly say in future it might be helpful to see me about issues rather than going straight to SLT? It's not really motivating to go ahead and do some marking if you are essentially told you are rubbish at your job by SLT.

  2. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    Whilst I appreciate that a Head has the right to look at books whenever they feel like it, I just disagree with book scrutinies that take place without a dialogue between the teacher and the scrutineer (I don't think that's a word but I like it!) because there's no context.

    Yes, of course your HoD should have discussed things with you. What were the issues that were deemed worthy of a telling off?
    petenewton, wanet and finisterre_277 like this.
  3. captain_picard

    captain_picard New commenter

    Not marked regularly. I'm falling behind with KS3 because of KS4 marking. Constant redoing of CA, difficult students in class, constant changes at the school is meaning that I'm not as on top of things as I used to. I'm quite happy to have books looked at and feedback given - I have no issue at all with this. It is the way in which it has been handled that concerns me: the way the books were taken without my knowledge, then taken to the deputy, and the way in which you are made to feel.
    finisterre_277 likes this.
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    So... does the HoD always give you dept meeting agenda 24 hours ahead etc ? Are they 100% in their role ? Maybe they might like to think of a reciprocal "maintaining of professional standards" as they did with you re one set of books.
    What a mean thing to do.... and I think you know where your future loyalties lie?
    wanet likes this.
  5. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    The usual story. Don't go off ever, because you come to a load of trouble. Heads of department are encouraged to grass, just as were loyal citizens of the German state in the 1930s - it's all about serving the regime. These people are idiots. Utter idiots. Who respects a grass?
    Compassman likes this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Daft really.

    If there is a problem with your marking, who is going to solve it? Is SLT going to take the books and mark them? No.

    Much better to see you and say - Is there a problem with KS3 marking? How can we solve this problem? Do we need to have a different system of checking pupil work rather than always teacher marking? Have we got the planning wrong?

    Very poor leadership and management here.

    (But you are probably better off not telling her so)


    Best wishes

  7. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Watching Deutschland 83 at the moment and some of the tactics of the Stasi back then are very similar to the way some HoD behave to please their masters in schools.

    In the past if there was a problem your HoD would come along and say 'we've got a problem; how can we sort it' now the first thing you hear is a missive from the Head asking to see them about an 'issue regarding professional standards'.

    Schools are full of spies that hope their 'loyalty' will earn them brownie points.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. captain_picard

    captain_picard New commenter


    Schools are full of spies that hope their 'loyalty' will earn them brownie points.[/QUOTE]

    That's the case with our new HoD.

    Thanks for all of your advice. Very useful as always.
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I just think that this shows the new HOD in a poor light. If the marking was not up to scratch ( for whatever reason - not attaching blame here at all ) then it reflects upon him/her doesn't it ? Why would he / she want to draw this to the attention of his / her line manager ( Deputy Head ) - does not make sense ? Better to address when you are back like professionals
    les25paul and purplecarrot like this.
  10. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I think it shows the HOD in a bad light.

    If I was feeling catty, I might send an email cc-ed to the member of SLT too saying:
    Dear HOD,
    Whilst I was off it was felt that I have a problem with my marking. I know due to workload I've been a little behind but as I've only ever had positive feedback, the follow up from an informal check was quite a shock on my return.
    Obviously I'm a very dedicated member of staff and was wondering if we could discuss some strategies relating to workload and/or marking to ensure that enable me to work to the standard I always have. That way should there be another check like this, I'd anticipate no issues.

    But then it's a risky move. You could always add in comments about being covered for a lesson to do some peer marking with a member of safe that has sustainable marking habits.

    I'd also be very wary of your HOD in future as SLT will now know they'll ac as an informer.
  11. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    It sounds to me that your HoD isn't up to the job they have. As your immediate line manager they should first attempt to resolve any issues only passing matters up the chain if its something they need help with.

    Your HoD has demonstrated they don't have the talent to recognise how to deal with what is really a simple matter. A word from them to you that your marking needed some attention and a few tips from them was all that was needed in the first instance, how difficult is that? If you ignored their intervention (and I'm sure that would not be the case) then maybe they should have consulted SLT.

    I wouldn't consult or have any faith in your HoD and wouldn't make an issue of it since I would suspect they would go running to SLT about it. Hopefully with luck a wise SLT team will recognise the limitations of your HoD.
  12. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Wearing my 'cynical hat', I wonder whether the SMT put your HoD up to looking into your books and finding such serious faults that he or she had to pass them up the chain of command.
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Even more like Stasi tactics............what would we have thought back in 1989 when the wall came down that such tactics would be common place in the UK in 2016?
  14. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    What a rubbish HoD.

    My HoD considers their role to be to stand up for their department and staff (whilst ensuring that school policies are followed). If my HoD found some books which hadn't been marked for ages, she would have a quiet word with me and ask me to do my best to get them up-to-date in the near future, to avoid getting caught out by SLT. She also gives us a schedule in advance of the work scrutinies she's going to carry out (which I find helpful as if I know Y9 books are due in for a work trawl next week, I'm more likely to find the time to mark them this week).

    It's not like she doesn't ever hold us to account - if I was seriously behind she would tell me to sort it out - but she wouldn't running to tell tales to SLT over the slightest little thing.
    eljefeb90 and Compassman like this.
  15. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    And that's the way it should be rather than running to the nearest SLT member to snitch so as to ingratiate themselves with the powers that be.
  16. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Appalling behaviour by your HoD. Obviously if your books were full of phallic symbols drawn by kids and other such inappropriateness there might be an issue to inform SLT about but behind on a bit of marking? Hardly a supportive move by your HoD.

    The 'tempting but don't dare actually do it' answer would be to wait until your HoD is off sick, root through their books and find some they haven't marked and take them to SLT :)
    sabrinakat likes this.
  17. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    A good HOD should protect and support you in the first instance; what your HOD did clearly illustrates they only think of making sure THEY look good. You know now that they cannot be trusted and going forward, you might want to seek allies elsewhere. I'm sorry , it is a very upsetting situation (been there in my last school, current, my HOD is brilliant, who trusts us).....

    Remember the old adage? Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. I wouldn't suggest an email but perhaps a private log with any email evidence, just in case.

    Biggest hugs

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