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Probation being used against me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Pickledwalnut, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    So my college has a probationary period for new staff based on 3 observations all of which I passed last academic year. I was told that even though I had passed this that my probation would be extended for another half a term due to issues surrounding “professionalism” I accepted this just to get it over with.
    Now it’s being extended again with the issues being raised being totally ludacris e.g shouting at a student (I actually didn’t shout at them just asked them why they felt it was appropriate to turn up 20 mins late to a lesson during ofsted) and other very trivial things.
    He also tried to ask me if I’m on “medication” or have a mental illness in efforts to “explain my behaviour”.
    I have spoken to the union but am seriously finding it difficult to know who to trust with people telling me not to talk to XYZ and then having them clearly stab me in the back also.
    All of this I believe is because I don’t agree with my HOD’a prefered way of teaching which is usually unsubstantiated and not backed up with any actual evidence.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    What sort of college? Sixth Form College? FE College?

    You've spoken to your union, what did they advise?

    Do you have a mentor you can discuss it with?

    Have the College set clear targets/objectives for you? To talk vaguely of "issues surrounding “professionalism” " is wholly inadequate on its own. They need to be specific with you about what that means and what they want to see you to do differently. You are in your probationary year - you are not a mind reader!

    Your comment that "All of this I believe is because I don’t agree with my HOD’a prefered way of teaching..." rings an alarm bell though. If the college and your HOD want it done their way either do it their way of go somewhere else.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    Pomz and lindenlea like this.
  3. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Its interesting that there have been a spate of first time posting by posters who have been members of Tes for four years?
    I assuming these members were registered before the advent of the new version of this site, therefore their post count has been reset to zero.
    I hope this is not troll posting - as it would be wasting the time of posters who are trying to help.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I'd consider looking for another job while smiling and doing everything you are asked. Best not to criticise your superiors' ideas, however barmy, when awaiting their favour.
    Weald56 likes this.
  5. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    I genuinely need some help please don’t call me a troll I use this account as to not be recognised
    GirlGremlin and Vince_Ulam like this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    TES message count does some odd things, but clicking OP's message count shows that OP has had this problem before in a different setting


    I'm not suggesting OP's current problem is OP's fault, although I'm not clear what advice OP is seeking. OP hasn't answered any of the questions I asked, if you could OP that might help us respond.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You have not offered help to this person. Take them on their word.

    I've spotted several rather ungracious comments on Workplace Dilemmas in the last week. It's disappointing.
    MsBehaving likes this.
  8. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Okay - assuming a genuine posting and based on the first post, I would recommend that the OP look for another job - it looks like Op would "permanantly" be on probation.
    Weald56 likes this.
  9. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    They’re not really setting any objectives apart from don’t do it and let’s have a meeting every other week. My HOD hasn’t criticised my teaching not have others I just don’t agree with some of his view points so it’s not teaching style as such.

    I have spoken to the union and am opening a greviance against my HOD for the comments surrounding my mental health and other things etc.

    I don’t have a mentor as I’m not a PGCE student.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    What outcome do you want from the grievance? Grievance procedures normally ask the person bringing the grievance to state what they are seeking as a resolution to the grievance.
  11. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    That he is no longer the one overseeing my probation and that I don’t attend any further meetings alone with him as he has previously used these to bully me.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Could you just ask a line manager to organise this? Surely there is a DH or similar who could oversee the probation? The head must have been the one to decide on the extension to probation, so maybe go back to them and ask if someone else could run the fortnightly meetings?

    Going down the grievance route is very difficult for all concerned and would only be recommended when all other avenues have been exhausted.
  13. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    Have you looked at the posters full posting history? This is not their first post as that was back in 2013.

    I hate, hate, hate the fact that people don't check properly before making allegations of trolling. How must these poor people who are having a sheet time at work feel when they are put under such suspicion here!
  14. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    It’s all my HOD who has been overseeing my probation we’re a very big college and frankly the grievance is a separate issue to my probation as that’s more to do with him intimidating me. I wouldn’t even trust his line manager as he seems to have them all fooled with his “brilliant ideas”. I think without going to the union it would look like I’m just trying to get off probation for no reason at least this way it would be clear my reasons why I would want someone else to take over. I don’t really want it to go over the initial greivance meeting I just want the college to be aware of how he’s been operating.

    He’s been very agreesive towards me even shouting at me in front of others in the work room calling me pathetic etc so it’s not just that I don’t want him to be dealing with it.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    HODs don't generally make decisions about extensions to probation. Are you sure it isn't just the HOD telling you this has happened, rather than it being an official term of employment from the head/principal?
    If I were you I'd be making an appointment to see the head as soon as possible and laying it out before them. This, informal talk, is usually the first step in a grievance policy anyway. By all means, take someone from the union with you if you want to.
    Just be careful going down a grievance route if there are already concerns (unfounded or not) about your performance. People who are unfair and unprofessional in every day situations don't suddenly become fair and professional in a grievance hearing.
  16. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    He’s my line manager and that’s what he’s done I don’t even think he’s spoken to my head (despite him saying he has) as it goes straight to the HR department from him.
    Looking at the paper work I don’t think the head is involved.

    We are before the informal talk at the moment and then we will see where that takes us.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Have a long conversation with your union as soon as you can.
    strawbs likes this.
  18. MsBehaving

    MsBehaving New commenter

    @caterpillartobutterfly is right. The grievance procedure can become very combatative. Maybe take a step back, look at other jobs while getting a reference would be relatively easy. There are many horror stories concerning public sector policies and procedures. Pick your battles
  19. Pickledwalnut

    Pickledwalnut New commenter

    Already done :)
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


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