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Please help!!! In danger of failing!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by annavh, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Dear James

    I am in a really sticky situation at school and it just gets worse and worse. At the end of term two (after a whole term of almost no support and having complained twice) I asked my mentor if I was in line to pass. She said there were issues with my professionalism but she refused to say what they were. This came as a huge shock as I was totally unaware of it, and no-one else (including senior staff) knew what she was on about.
    I then had an observation in my second subject which was unsatisfactory (this was the only observation that had ever been unsatisfactory). The head was furious and hauled me in at the start of the new term after having had a meeting with my mentor. My mentor had been keeping a log of every flippant remark (and joke) I had ever made about really silly things all taken out of context and handed this to the head. The head threatened me with a disciplinary and told me I had now failed term 2 (despite my report saying I was meeting the standards). She also said if I discussed the meeting I would be suspended. I got the union involved and so the school immediately put a support plan in place for my second subject and just said they were concerned for my professionalism, nothing else. The school also told me off for going to the union.
    Anyway I recently had 2 satisfactory observations for my second subject and when I asked my mentor and NQT coordinator if I was passing they refused to say. My mentor even said she would have to review my evidence as she has little evidence of planning (despite a whole teacher planner and folder full of plans that she's seen). It feels like they are trying to fail me but I don't know why. I have done nothing wrong, I always did everything that was asked and more and whenever I asked for help I was told off. I have already been to the union. Should I go again? I thought they had to tell NQTs if they were failing? I certainly have never had this in writing!
  2. sarbon

    sarbon New commenter

    Hi annavh,
    I know I'm not James, but I really feel for you and your situation. I'm an NQT too so my advice may not be the best, but I'm pretty sure you were right to go to your union and should do so again if the school are not supporting you. The fact that you were told you'd be suspended if you discussed the meeting suggests that THEY are in the wrong - they're obviously not doing the right thing to help you to pass induction and are afraid someone will discipline THEM. The meeting concerned YOU so there are no worries about breaching confidentiality if you discuss it. Did they suspend you? No. Sounds like an empty threat to me.
    I hope things work out for you and you eventually find a school that recognises your commitment to the job.
    Good luck.
  3. You need to tread very carefully. The school has informed you that you are in danger of failing and have put a support plan in place (at the beginning of the summer term?) with union involvement.
    You must have been given targets too as part of the support plan. Rather than ask if you are passing ask if you have met any of the targets set.
    The last poster is incorrect, all such meetings should be kept confidential in school at least, to discuss it with colleagues would be seen as unprofessional, which would give the school more ammunition. Make sure you have all of your evidence in an NQT file, including lesson plans
    If at the beginning of term, when you had the meeting with HT, your form had already been completed as satisfactory, and the box - may not meet the standards, had not been ticked, then that cannot be changed afterwards. However, the log from your mentor would have raised issues for the HT, I suggest you keep the flippant remarks to yourself, as they are unprofessional.
    Do involve your union again, they can find out if the school is thinking of failing you, and may be able to negotiate an early release, so that you can complete induction elsewhere.
  4. Hi
    First things first, you do not pass or fail term by term. The pass/fail only happens in term 3 and the school can only recommend a pass/fail the LA decides. There has clearly been an issue which, in a roundabout way led to the claims of unporfessional behaviour. It is true that one person's idea of a joke may in certain circumstances lead to someone else being offended. Unprofessionalism would happen if there was intent to offend, I'm sure there was no intent in your case. Having been told that the remarks/ okes were inappropriate, unprofessional behaviour would be cited if you continued to make the remarks/jokes - which I'm sure you do not.
    If a NQT is not making satisfactory progress then the guidance is clear that the NQT must be told as soon as possible and where appropriate an observation should be carroed out by the head (if the head is not the mentor) in addition the LA should also be informed.
    I'm puzzled as to why a meeting should be kept secret - I can see that talking to other staff members about details and difficulties may not be advisable or appropriate - since the issue in many ways does not concern them, but to get angry over your move to contact the union is odd - true, some heads do not like unions and reps, but you are entitled to help and support.
    You must work to the support plan and meet the targets, you should be kept appraised of your progress and if you have evience and a portfol;io to show that you are meeting the standards then do make this known and make it avail;abale. In your situation I would compile a portfolio of evicence that you are meeting the standards and satisfactory observations are meeting the standards. The Head may want good or outstanding, but meeting the standards is meeting the standards. To require a higher level of performance is unreasonable.
    I'm sure that you have apologised for any unintended offence and undertaken not to contiunue making inappropriate (to the mentor) remarks/jokes. In which case that would be showing a degree of responsibility and professionalism.
    Any indications that you may not be makiing satisfacory progress and that you are in danger of failing should be made in writing and should be communicated to you at the earliest opportunity. At the end of each term you should have the opportunity to comment on the assessment report sent to the LA and, if you disagree with any judgement, to say so and ask for help from the LA NQT adviser. If you are worried you can call the NQT adviser yourself to see if they have been contacted about any concerns.

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