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Pushed out / garden leave (offer) advice.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by xution, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. xution

    xution New commenter


    Abit of background currently a primary school teacher in my 4th year. I thought I was doing great with no issues, I always had good feedback. Then Last school year (start of this year ) we had an ofsted which didn’t go down too well. The school ended up getting inadequate with the school being told it had weak leadership. Not surprising the deputy took over after the amazing head left that school year and tried to change everything.

    The slt got increasing ridiculous, constant drop in mini observations for everyone and excessive scrutiny with little support. Everything became micromanaged and three teachers ended up leaving in the summer.

    Anyway, I decided to stick it out but I was receiving unfair criticism in the summer. Head decided to give me a random 40 minute observation when she knew we were off timetable when I had to be flexible that morning and change everything I was doing at a drop of a hat. Basically it wasnt the best well planned, differentiated lesson but It was to be expected given the circumstances. She went round with a piece of paper writing down all her concerns. After this I went off sick for most of the summer term as I was feeling sick just being near the building. On my return to work I was told to come back in September and make a fresh start, in the same meeting the deputy made me read my job description, was very embarrassing and condescending.

    When I came back in September it just didn’t feel right and I made the decision to tell the head I’m unhappy and I’m unsure I should stay. She didn’t even bat a eye lid and asked when I wanted to leave, I said I’m happy to work my notice until Xmas. At this point she said well you might want to leave sooner if you’re unhappy and it might not be beneficial to the school for someone unhappy to be here.

    Since then I’ve been enjoying my new class and told the deputy I’m confused as I’m enjoying it again. Their response was I should hand in my notice straight away to avoid being put on a learning plan aka informal capabilities. If I do hand it in I can leave at Xmas without bother. Couple days deputy comes to my class room and says if I leave at half term they will pay me until Xmas and give me a good reference. However, I have to hand it in straight away. If I don’t I’ll go on informal regardless if I stay until Xmas which was followed with a thinly vailed threat of it going on my record which could effect getting a teaching job or supply in the future. It’s either go now or they will screw me.

    I decided to accept the offer if they put it in writing. The response to this was erm will have to check with the governors and I have a meeting with the trust that’s buying the school.

    I feel like it won’t go through and I’ll be stuck there with them screwing me over. I could just leave unpaid but I can’t afford to with half term round the corner.

    Sorry on mobile.
  2. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    "As an employer, it is very dangerous to try and “persuade” an employee to resign. "
    "Since then I’ve been enjoying my new class and told the deputy I’m confused as I’m enjoying it again. Their response was I should hand in my notice straight away to avoid being put on a learning plan aka informal capabilities"

    It does sound as though they are trying to persuade you to resign. You should not resign as you say you are enjoying the job again. Get professional advice. Oh, and ask them to put their response that you should hand in your notice straight away to avoid capability into writing. Or send them an email asking them to confirm what they told you.
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    See Union.asap.

    Well.done for requesting it to be 'put in writing'. To any 'put upon teachers' out there : This is a great killer response that flaws many Senior managers in their tracks. And guess what - they won't.

    I would look to get out - but only on your terns and when you want :cool:
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    You're in a nasty situation.
    As others have said, you need the on the spot backing of your union and to see everything in writing.
    Pragmatically, you need to leave - but in a dignified way at a time of your choosing. Get that CV polished and start looking at the job ads. There is still time for a new job at Christmas.
  5. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    Have you contacted your Union at the Regional Level ?
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    This, today.

    Good luck.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I am sorry to hear what is happening to you, @xution. As others have said, get the advice and backing of your union right away. Management humiliating staff in staff meetings is a particularly spiteful tactic. Is anyone else in the school getting similar treatment to you? I wonder if this new Head, who seems to be behaving like an insecure bully, is trying to replace the former Head's staff with her own. As it is your fourth year, you are no longer cheap to employ, so cost-cutting might also be a motive.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You have power. Use it.

    Do not go gently into that good night.

    Definitely GO but go with a great reference. Stick to your guns. They can have your notice. As soon as you get the following in writing - an agreed reference that must be made available on your request to whomsoever for a period not less than 18 months. And WRITE the reference yourself. Make a (nice) nuisance of yourself. Pester. Make it obvious that you're happy to go and you WILL go.

    Also there'll be no informal capability. They want it sorted quickly so they can advertise for the best candidate? Fine. You're not asking for much.
  9. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    You have not mentioned your union in all this. Please - I beg you - take my and everyone else's advice and take NO ACTION of any kind without consulting your union first. If you are not in a union (if not, why not?) go to Citizens Advice for free expert help.

    I am very uncomfortable with the way your situation has been handled by the school, if everything you say is correct and believe it likely that you would have been unfairly dismissed. I have read it that you have served your 4 years in the same school but you are protected from unfair dismissal if you have at least two years' continuous employment there. It is possible that 'continuous employment' may have continued from a post in a previous school. Check the details of your contract of employment for this information.

    There are ways in which it would be lawful to have a conversation with an employee (known as a 'protected conversation') where the employer says that the relationship isn't working and asks if the employee would like to leave. It would also be lawful to say that, if an employee chooses not to leave, the next inevitable step would be capability procedures. From what you have written, it does not seem to me that this is what has happened. It seems as if you are being pressurised to resign and that is not reasonable behaviour and would not be lawful. Confidential 'protected conversations' do not take place on the hoof, with a deputy head coming into your classroom and pressurising you to resign immediately.

    Even if you decide to leave, your union should negotiate this for you, so that you leave with a Settlement Agreement and an agreed reference with which you are happy.
  10. madcatlady

    madcatlady Occasional commenter

    Please see your Union.
    Also, your original post is reminding me of Umbridge......
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Excellent advice from everyone.

    One question, does the part of your post I've quoted mean this is a private school? Could its sale have any bearing on what's going on?
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Protected conversations are not protected if one party is breaking the law, being discriminatory for I stance.
  13. xution

    xution New commenter

    To answer a few questions I have been in contact with the union but not since first week of September. At that point I was telling the union I’m unhappy and I want to leave. The local reps advice was to wait until the last minute until I hand in the notice.

    However as seen above since then they’ve said multiple things.

    An update the head came to see me today and said if I give her my notice in writing they can respond to that in writing. She said if i hand in my notice and I’m leaving the last day of December 31st, I just don’t have to come in work after half term. As my notice states I’m leaving 31st they’ll have to pay me until then.

    I’ve left a message with my local rep just waiting to hear back and see what he says, he has been great since last summer tbh. He wanted to come in and kick off basically and he sad to see yet another teacher looking to leave.

    The only thing left is to guarantee a good reference.

    And you guys are right, they want me gone, it’s quite obvious. They want me
    Gone more than I want to leave it seems.

    No it’s a academy that’s skint. It’s about to be taken over by United learning in January.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    If they're skint, they may try to wriggle out of this.
  15. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    And as much cash as you can get.

    Start with a daft figure and go from there. You might be surprised. I think you are in a decent position to negotiate here...
  16. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    Yes, that's right. The fact or contents of a protected conversation may not be raised as evidence in a later unfair dismissal claim. The confidentiality is only protected, however, if the employer has not behaved unreasonably. Threatening someone in the meeting, attempting to pressurise them to resign or, as you say, making discriminatory comments are all examples of behaviour that could be said to be unreasonable.
    madcatlady and agathamorse like this.
  17. xution

    xution New commenter

    Spoke to my union today and they said while the offer is good regarding pay there is no garantee they will give you a good reference, even if they put it in writing and it won’t be binding unlike having to pay me. He wants to negotiate a settlement for me instead.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Wait until the time is right for you. Don't think about an SA just yet. Did you speak to Regional Rep? Or an internal school rep?.:cool:
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. xution

    xution New commenter

    Regional rep.
    install likes this.
  20. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    'Buying the school'...a good, experienced head bounced out...Ofsted...

    Right there. This is what's wrong with schools today. Surely most experienced teachers would have found it hard to imagine that such situations would (according to posters on her) become common.

    As others have said, I'd speak to the union.
    agathamorse likes this.

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