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Put on unnecessary support action merely to avoid identifying staff in true need.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by benpaulbaker, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. benpaulbaker

    benpaulbaker New commenter

    Just been told by my partner (primary teacher) that she has been called in to the heads office at the end of today to be told that along with one other teacher, she is to be put in a system of support to aid her lesson planning and moderation/marking of pupils written work.
    Fair enough if she is underperforming and in need of support but the Head then explained that she knew she was totally capable of every aspect of the job (she was the only teacher in the school to get an outstanding in the recent ofsted and her moderation over the last 2 years has been spot on when checked), but the other teacher was paired in her year group so they were putting both on support so not to telegraph to everyone else that this teacher was being singled out as underperforming!!!
    Obviously this will look to everyone outside of this meeting that it is the two of them in need of support and will no doubt be recorded somewhere that support has been given and thus tarnish an otherwise spotless career thus far.
    I am waiting union advice as to where we stand and what action to take but welcome any other input.
    My personal suggestion is to demand that the head proves that this support is needed before agreeing to it, knowing full well that the proof does not exist, and as such suggesting that maybe ALL staff would benefit from support if there is no trigger for being put on a support strategy.
    This is just one more ridiculous demand/strategy in a long line of blind management decisions.
    All contributions welcome...

     
  2. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Glad you've contacted the union for advice. This strikes me as outrageous and yet another example of a Headteacher shying away from taking the responsibility for which she is paid. For goodness sake, what will the Head do if the 'support' package does not work for the weak teacher - put them both on formal capability so that she isn't singled out?
    I would be inclined to decline the Head's kind offer, but offer to contribute to the other teacher's support package. If the Head needs to put the other teacher on support then it is up to her to explain that to both the other teacher and other staff, if necessary. If the weak teacher chooses not to say anything to other colleagues there should be no reason why the support should not remain confidential.
    In the longer term, I would be wary of this Head teacher. If, as you say, she is one who habitually makes 'ridiculous' demands and 'blind management decisions', I would be inclined to get out of the school as quickly as possible. Weak Heads like this can be dangerous. I ended up working for one who made me a scapegoat for his incompetence.
     
  3. There is no need for the staff as a whole to know about any problem in your partner's year group. The only people who need to know about capability procedures are the head (who will have instigated them), the person going through capability and the person responsible for supporting them.
    They are career threatening - very few people survive at the same school. If your partner has been proved to be a good teacher there can be no reason for it to happen - the poor performance of another colleague is irrelevant.
    Your partner should start looking for a job in another school. The head is not to be trusted.
     
  4. I suspect the head is out of order here. Support is part and parcel of performance management, and using the same support approach for two different styles or levels of performance in the classroom seems to me to bizarre. It sounds as though this is capability by the back door - and if so, is to be resisted. Union advice essential here.
     
  5. benpaulbaker

    benpaulbaker New commenter

    Thank you for your replies. The union have been very helpful and fully agree that this is completely wrong, adding that this wasn't the first time he had been contacted regarding this school and head's actions.
    I have recommended that my partner sends a carefully worded email to her head, stating her feelings and that union advice has been sought. This will at least give record of the exchange taking place and cannot be edited or omitted from the record (like many things said in staff meetings - but that's another story all together).
     
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  7. Quite so. Employers have a implied contractual obligation NOT to act capriciously or arbitrarily or to act in any way -support should only be put in place for teachers who demonstrate that it is needed Also the employer has a contractual obligation not to do anything without reasonable cause that can destroy mutual trust and confidence. Push your union to ensure the head acts in a fair and reasonable manner ... which seems not to be the case here.
     

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