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Please help save my career.

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by anon3150, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. I'll try and keep this as brief. Basically I've resigned from a school because I felt I was being bullied.(I googled bullying behaviours and was able to tick nearly all of the ones listed on several websites). I've spent four weeks on leave due to stress and this takes me up to the school holidays so I don't need to go back in to that school again.
    I got an 'exit interview' form through the post and there was a box to tick which basically just said if you would like to talk to someone in person tick here. I thought there'd be no harm in voicing my experiences in person so I set up an interview with a HR person at the LA. Anyone been through this have any idea what to expect? My previous experiences with HR tell me that they are unlikely to be especially sympathetic but this is all based on assumption. I think basically I want an opportunity to go in to more detail about the nature of the bullying and ask if there's anything else that can be done at this stage. I just wonder how useful this is going to be?
    On a slightly separate note, I've got a horrible feeling that the school are sending out poor references as I've applied for about 12 jobs and heard nothing back. (Previous to my current job I received four requests to come to interview). I think I can negotiate a reference through my union but am unsure if this is a good idea or not.
    I'm having to have help from a Psychologist to rebuild my confidence. Partly it's the worry of finding another job and partly it's the fear that I'll be strong enough to cope if I do.
    I've completed my second term of induction and I'm allowed to do supply up untill December.
    Any thoughts welcome! I will also consider suggestions for alternative careers. :)
  2. are you in a union? try to negotiate a good reference with them. bullying is rife in schools unfortunately, all I can say is good luck and there IS a way out, I promise! x
  3. I am in a union and they've been really good. I'll ring them and talk it through again. Better to be pro active than sit around fretting. Thanks.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Did you do supply before your 2 terms of Induction? If not, you have 16 months to be employed on Supply , counting from the first day of the next non-Induction teaching that you do.

  5. An exit interview already? Have you resigned or is this a very quick dismissal?
  6. Whoops, of course it's a resignation, you've already told us that!

    Yep try to get an agreed reference, and do not say a bean about how you feel you've been treated. It will be twisted and spun out of shape, and even if it doesn't effect your agreed reference, it might effect how you are spoken about off the record.
  7. I'm glad you are in contact with your union, I would advise that you speak to them about an agreed reference and also that you talk through the exit interview - you could also request that you have a union rep with you at the interview for support and advice.
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    It may be more difficult to get an agreed reference if you have already resigned and won't be returning to the school.
    You could make a request to the schools applied to see the reference they have been given. See if it is just "bland" or if it is defamatory.
  9. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    In addition you should seek to meet with the LA Named person who has responsibility for NQTs. Take along all your assessments and discuss the feasability of other opportunities in schools in the area.
    Register with supply agencies now don't wait until September
  10. Thank you everyone. I have just left a message on the answer phone of the union. Hopefully I'll be able to speak to them before the exit interview on Thursday.
    I did have a local authority person in to assess my lesson. She basically said that my problems could be attributed to a loss of self confidence (which I believe to be the result of the bullying) but she didn't write that in her report. She just wrote what she saw, which is her job I suppose.
    The exit interview is with a hr person at the local authority building, I don't have to go in to school or see the headteacher or anything. I just hope they're reasonably objective about things.
    I'm signed up with one agency, just clearing the paperwork for the other two.
    I'll keep you up dated!
  11. Update -
    I was supposed to be going to an interview on Friday with the local authority supply agency but it's been cancelled on the basis of the references they've received from the school. They are saying that they'll only accept a reference from a previous emmployer and unfortunately the reference is as unfair and misleading as I imagined it would be. So I need to get back in touch with my union and see what I can do in terms of negotiation.
    Now I'm wondering what to say to the other local authority agency (neighbouring county). I don't know whether to tell them what's happened or not being that they're going to persue the reference as some point. I'm at a loss. How can one horrible bullying head be allowed to get away with doing this much damage to someone's career?

  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You might want to post a synopsis of all that has happened and the latest update in 'Workplace Dilemmas' on here. Several posters on there have been through very similar things and might be able to sympathise and help you more.

    It sounds horrible, but I haven't a clue what to to say to help you at all. I'm sorry.
  13. Hi
    You really do need some expert help here so contact your union. If the reference is factually incorrect then this can be challenged. You need the union to look at the reference, your response to it and then start a negotiation with the school to provide a fair reference that is not misleading and ruins any job prospects. This is not something that you can easily do alone and your union is there to support you.
  14. Thank you James,
    I've spoken to my union this morning and they've been fantastic. They said they could certainly help with challenging anything that's simply factually incorrect and could possibly put pressure on the school to phrase things in a more helpful manner. (I do have to wait for their secretary to return from his holidays, fair enough I suppose!)
    I spoke to both supply services and they've actually been very understanding. One of them has suggested obtaining a third references, which I'm happy to do. Both are waiting on the outcome of the union involvement with the problematic reference.
    I do have the practical problem of obtaining a copy of the reference. Apparetly I'm allowed to see it but they're not allowed to post it out. But I'm sure I can figure something out.
    I feel more encouraged today, conversations have been quite constructive on the whole and overall I'm more optimistic. I'll certainly be very careful where I choose to work in the future.

  15. terri1972

    terri1972 New commenter

    I have been following your posts, I'm afraid I haven't anything constructive to say except that I'm passing on all my good wishes. I hope it all works out for you xx

  16. So, I've taken advice from my union.They've said that I can ask the school to change two factual inaccuracies but that there's not much that I can do to change her subjective opinion of my teaching.
    My husband is suggesting that I 'tell' the head teacher to only write the objective facts, even if that's only the dates that I worked there and the fact that I completed two terms of induction. I understand what he's saying, I just feel as though I don't have any real power to challenge anything she wants to write about me. In reality, there's nothing to stop her. I will have to use this school as a reference for now as most places will want a reference from the last place I've worked. And that will be the case even if I decide to leave teaching and apply for a non-teaching job.
    I think the only way out is to try and get some supply work and use one of those schools as my last reference but that delays the process of applying for jobs and there are quite a few being advertised already in my area. But it might just be the only way.(Honestly I'm just grateful that I don't have a mortgage or kids).

  17. I've just had a moment of clarity..... [​IMG]
    I am currently cleared to work for two private agencies, one of them I've worked for in the past. Could I not just put the agency down as my current employer? The worst thing they could say is they don't do them but by that stage things will have been delayed a bit and I might have had a few days work at a school in which case I can use them instead?
    Anything to avoid using the bad reference.....

  18. Hi 1MrsM
    Your story is very similar to mine. I started my NQT in a school I felt bullied by and came out after 6 weeks. The union was involved and although they were suppose to get me an agreed reference it never happened. I did go to the borough who at the time, I felt, took the schools side.
    Anyway to cut a very long story short - I received counselling via the Teacher's Support Network. Eventually I started to do supply work and have completed the 3 terms I can as a supply teacher. I have been granted an extension. So have another year to find NQT position.
    I have rebuilt my confidence and with the help of my last supply position built a fabulous reference. The head of the last school told me I was a good teacher and that the school I started working in was a blip and does not reflect my true capabilities.The evidence is that on my PGCE I did very well and was given a brillant reference and now my next term position has given me a good reference. He told me to hold my head high and 'go for it'.
    I have tried to do that. HOWEVER, some of the head teachers have contacted the school I started my NQT at, even thought not on the reference list. They have been contacted via telephone so I have no idea what is being said but from the conversations I have been withdrawn from the interview process.
    My point is that after supply work my confidence is back and I am a much stronger teacher. I determined not to let the bullies beat me and am going to work hard to get an NQT position for Jan 2012. I have always been honest about my NQT start (or false start) as I like to call it.
    It seems to be recognised that bully is present in schools and good supportive school are our there. Unfortunately they do not always have vacancies.
    I wish you every success with your supply work, enjoy it and rebuild your confidence. You can build up a good reference too and then you will be able to forget about your negative experience.
    I wanted to share this with you, so that you know that you are really not alone and honestly supply is wonderful and I think that all NQTs should do supply before they start full time employment as you learn so much more than you can ever learn on the PGCE route.
    Good luck and stay positive.
  19. Thanks Fiona, it is good to know that I'm not alone! [​IMG]
    I've had good experiences prior to this, as a student, on supply and on a contractual basis. (I did my first term at a different school and it went well, even when I was struggling with certain aspects I felt supported).
    I do agree that honesty goes a long way. I'm just going to say that I had a bad experience and leave it at that unless I'm asked to elaborate further.I did my best (and the children did make progress, something I can put in my application as an undisputable fact, the head even moderated my levelling).
    My only (other!) major worry really is that my 12 month extension runs out in December and so I need to get a move on finding work. I really hope some supply work comes in soon so I can save up some pennies too! But, yes, staying positive is the answer.
    Thank you again for your message. [​IMG]

  20. Hi again,
    I know all the feelings you are having. There is a school out there for both of us. We should keep in touch with each other and see how we are getting along. I am in London, where are you based?

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