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Poll: Support plans - constructive dismissals?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Vince_Ulam, Jan 14, 2018.


If you have personal experience of support plans, did you find them:

  1. A useful means of upping your productivity

    2 vote(s)
  2. An assault upon your professional status and position

    38 vote(s)
  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It seems to me that support plans, informal or formal, are always suggested or initiated by SLT as either a prelude to a teacher's dismissal, their demotion or as a means of nudging them towards resignation via onerous targets and a hostile working environment, but perhaps I am wrong. Has anyone positive experience of a support plan, or do you see them as I see them?

    Thanks for your comment and vote.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  2. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Why not make the poll less leading?

    If you have been on a support plan, did you find it useful?

    1. Yes
    2. In some ways, but not all
    3. Not really
    4. Not at all

    At least then any resulting discussion will not automatically be polarised.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    There are two choices. Nobody is led to either.

    Any question with two choices is necessarily polarised.
  4. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I think that we also need votes from people who have witnessed people on a support plan, and how it has demoralised and then broken them (the intention in nearly all cases) - not just those who have been on them.

    Yes, of course they are just a way of bullying people out of a job - if a bullying manager tries hard enough, they can always find an inadequacy in somebody's teaching, eg. "pace of lesson", or another garbage "phrase of the month".
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    More helpful than not but my HOD was very supportive as were most of SLT. I am still at the school but the 'problem' retired.
  6. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    I was put in a support plan many years ago as an RQT because my results were poor (this was a legacy issue which I was not yet equipped to solve due to being just out of my NQT year, the only teacher of my subject in the school and my head of department abandoning me because she knew nothing about my subject). The targets that were set by the head were things I was already doing but he hadnt bothered to ask me or even come down to my classroom to see. Suffice to say I passed it almost immediately and from then on the head would rave about my successes. I was even paraded in front of ofsted as a success story to explain the process I had gone through and how positive it all was as I was now an outstanding teacher.

    It made me realise that a support plan doesn’t necessarily indicate the incompetence of the staff member who is on it, but can be an effective indicator when deciding the incompetence of a school/head of department/SLT.

    Teachers shouldn’t get to a point where they need to be put on a plan. They should receive adequate support, training and time to do their jobs and if something goes wrong leaders should be asking why, instead of putting them through a process which causes more stress and pressure. This tends to lead to teachers falling apart as they’re too stressed to do their job properly.

    Support plans and competency in my experience are there because:
    - Leaders can’t be bothered/don’t have the financial backing to address the issues effectively so it’s quicker to put them on a plan and get rid
    - The STL want to get rid of people who’s faces don’t fit, for whatever reason
    - The head has no idea what the member of staff does (and can’t be bothered to find out) so feels they could be replaced by someone more efficient
    Or finally
    - Budget cuts are necessary and the expensive staff need to go

    I have never met anyone who has been on a support plan that has benefitted from actual support. It’s just a big stick to hit teachers with until they surrender and leave.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I must be quite the exception, I'm currently being supported and I know it's genuine because
    1. I'm supply so hoops don't need to set up to get rid.
    2. There's so many supply teachers (and gaps) in the school that they are having to pay top-dollar for me as well.
    Strictly speaking I've never seen the malicious 'support' that blights these pages but I don't doubt it exists. For that matter I'm scared to take a permanent post (if I could get one on UPS3) because I could well be capabilitied out within months or when someone cheaper arrives.
    Anonymouse4 likes this.
  8. clarefrankie

    clarefrankie Occasional commenter

    supply don't get put on 'support' plans do they? also no formal observations i thought? please correct me if this is wrong!
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  9. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Sometimes you have to wonder about some of the stuff that people write. For instance, some Supply Teachers claim to be paid ...
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    To paraphrase Star Trek
    "It's support, Jim, but not as we know it"
    Yes I'm being supported against the day that either I get better or somebody else turns up. Given that the latter is highly unlikely then the school has little choice but to improve me via support.

    I wasn't formally observed but a drop-in noted that I hadn't quite got the processes right. Starter on the board, meet-and-greet etc. Not surprising as I was only a week in with no induction to mention. So management must have followed this thought process
    1. OFSTED is coming (and it's always coming)
    2. We have a lot of supply and they've no bleeding idea
    3. OFSTED is coming
    4. We need to do something because OFSTED is coming
    5. Let's write an email to the supply teachers and support them in the school to at least look good for when......
    6. OFSTED is coming
    7. If OFSTED still think they're rubbish then at least we can show the email as proof that Something is Being Done.
    8. We don't even need to support, them by the way.
    I'm still in the smug position of being the only known person on this forum who's intensely relaxed about being supported. I'm even being a pain to my supporter by asking him lots of questions about policies and processes. The reason: When deadline day comes along I will be assessed against the same standard "Is it him or nobody?"
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If you mean by formal observation that it's for purposes of PM it depends whether employed direct by school or through an agency. If through agency no PM is required. If employed direct it used to be the rule that PM was only required if there for a full term or no longer. That's no longer in the rules so would be up to school policy. More generally school can do observations on supply whether agency or direct however long they are there.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The evidence of this practice is writ large over these pages and in the numbers of staff leaving the profession.

    It has been an absolute scandal.

    And now you can hardly find an experienced time-served teacher who knows their subject back to front and can deal with different types of pupils.

    And hardly anyone wants to teach anymore
  13. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    They're nothing more than head teacher sanctioned bullying. Some people will acquiesce to SLT nonsensical ideals of what lessons/planning/marking etc must look like and come through it with their job in tact but their dignity gone. They spend their days looking over their shoulders hoping they have ticked every silly box some '12 year old' in a skinny suit has told them they need to tick.

    Others will resist and those are the ones we lose. Sadly, they're often the unique teachers, the firebrands, the inspirations but SLT don't want them. They want robots blindly giving their lives to the utter s h i t e that SLT consider necessary.

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