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Problem with Member of Dept

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by ictLad, May 21, 2011.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Hi, I am hoping someone might be able to give me some advice on what to with regard to a member of my dept. I am finding her to be lazy, unenthusiastic, and now most recently demonstrating poor communication skills. Now I am not going to lie she is not my kind of person and to an extent we don't get on, though things are kept amicable. These are my main concerns

    1) She is slow to do work, sometimes despite promising me she will do something it remains incomplete for weeks and I'm confident that the time scales I give her are more than reasonable.
    2) She has no drive to push our dept forward, leaves work as soon as she can
    3) Fairly sure to an extent she slacking in lessons, have caught her on a few occasions looking at the BBC sport page during a lesson
    4) I put her in charge of the yr7 curriculum which parents paid an amount for to register pupils with the bcs, we arranged for the qualification to be delivered over 2 years and in this time needed to deliver 4 modules. Despite in numerous meetings her telling me it was working well and everything was running smoothly I found out today that she (and another member of staff involved in delivering the award) had only managed to deliver one module in six months. When parents have paid for the award and next year the pupils have less time than this year in my subject its going to be hard to complete the award in time.

    Now I have been to my SMT and all they said was to keep records about everything. Thats it. Im hoping someone on this board with a little bit more experience in this area might be able to give me some pointers on where to move next on this, I posted on the SMT board but not had much of a response yet. I'm hoping for more luck here as there might be a wider range of experience in these matters from regular uses of this board. Many thanks in advance
     
  2. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Oh and sorry for the poor formatting of my post, seems safari on ipad + tes website doesn't like line breaks
     
  3. As HoD we are the ones with ultimate accountability. I would meet with your colleague and, together, plan how you are going to cover the modules in the time available. This will make it very clear what she has to accomplish before the summer holidays. (I presuming your colleague has responsibility for year 7 or something). On the wider issues you mention you need to record/minute everything, use emails to clarify what was agreed when you meet, so that she's clear on what you need and when. If you are still experiencing problems by the end of June, I'd take your concerns to your line manager, present your evidence (that they asked you to collect), explain what you've done to support your colleague and ask what the school are going to do next.
     
  4. (I'm curious about the whole "parents paying for qualifications" aspect!
     
  5. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    We offered to run the digital creator award but the school refused to pay. So we sent a letter out saying that we wanted to do it, but a cost would be incurred. If the parents didn't want to go for it they could refuse to pay and the pupils would have done the same work just not gained an award at the end of the two years
     
  6. Get everything down in writing - her 'deliverables' plus target dates are clearly key. Make sure she gets copies of all the minutes of your meetings / chats & put someone else (important & effective) as another recipient.
    Each time you meet, structure the chat to address 'progress against target dates & deliverable' (sorry for business speak). Then the second part of the chat should cover 'next steps' - what is going to happen between now & the next meeting.
    After a couple of these meetings it should become apparent to anyone (including her - maybe she has no visibility of the problem) that things are not going to plan & that you have a long term problem on your hands.
    As soon as you can (with the help of the person who was receiveing copies of your minutes), get the incompetent colleague to recognise / address the problem & see about resolving it. Can't help with this last point - if you were in industry / an office environment, she'd be updating her CV by now.
     
  7. Is the qualification you mention and the success of its delivery linked to your problem member of staff's Performance Management targets? If it is and you are her manager, then that is something else to raise with her. Hitting someone in the pay packet is often a good method of making them work harder and or do what they are supposed to be doing.
     
  8. Maybe she just doesn't like you - you don't exactly come across as a supportive HoD. If she reads this forum I'm sure she will be able to identify you. Just hope she doesn't take this to SMT.

    Why does she need drive to take the department forward - she isn't leading the department; you are. What is wrong with leaving work at the end of the day - many people have other commitments and prefer to take work home?

    You sound like a nightmare for a HoD. You 'put her in charge of the year 7 curriculum' - does she get paid extra for this or are you putting her in charge of something that you are actually paid for?
     
  9. 1) There are only so many hours in the day and lots of things that need doing, it sounds like she is prioritising. 2) Lots of effective teachers prefer to take their work home, that way they can do their work in comfort at home and not become a total stranger to their families, even if they are having to work in the evening; One thing I've noticed is that some of the teachers who seem to stay at work long after lessons have often been dossing around in their non-contact time, making it difficult for those who want to get their work done during non-contact time. 4) Four modules over two years and she has delivered the first in 6 months - sounds bang on target to me; also you say she is sharing responsibility for it with someone else, so surely if there is a problem the other person needs the same support; and if these modules were so important why aren't you as HoD delivering them? I would imagine the SMT have got the impression you have got a grudge against her and want her out of her job, and good for them they are not going to play your game.
     
  10. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Yes but someone who drags their feet slows everyone down. Not everyone aspires to being mediocre, some of us actually care about teaching and want to be the best teachers we can, offer the best experience to the pupils in our care.
    No problem with that. If you read the OP carefully though, you will see that the person he has a problem with is, in fact, not taking work home, as they are not completing work requested, or meeting deadlines.
    Actually, distributing different areas of responsibility is a good way of putting people in charge and giving them a stakes in what's going on in the department. I was always given an area of responsibility for the curriculum, even as an NQT - otherwise, you have no say in what goes on and you have no opportunity for your ideas to influence what others teach. It's something to put on your CV to progress. Fed up with people who go into education for the easy ride and never pull their weight. It's not a nightmare HOD, it's one of many who share the load whilst keeping overall responsibility if things go wrong.
    ICTlad, I wouldn't wait for things to go much more wrong before pulling the reins. Call an urgent meeting with her and your own line manager/Director of Studies, highlight the areas that have caused problems and what an impossible situation you are in, set target and deadlines that absolutely have to be met, otherwise she's not in charge of that side of the curriculum any more. Potentially this could go very wrong for the school and your department would be very out of pocket, so you need to highlight her failings asap. You'll probably take a knock at the same time, as being her line manager, you should perhaps have seen this coming (sorry!). Hopefully it's not too late to remedy the situation so you have actually seen it coming and have taken the appropriate action.
    Still can't believe some people on here!
     
  11. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Since he was posting on here in July last year to complain about her, that wouldn't surprise me at all.
     
  12. Refer the concerns to your line manager and request the head puts her on capability procedures. I would have thought there is plenty of evidence she is not meeting professional standards. Let her prove she is capable.
     

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