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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mikeyjay, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. mikeyjay

    mikeyjay New commenter

    Well after 18 years in teaching 8 of which have been at my current school I was told last Wednesday that I am being made redundant.
    The school merged with another high school last September and I was confirmed in post as head of department! Great! Bought a new house and carried on as normal. The head of department from the other school has been working under me as head of KS3. We were then informed that there would be another 30 teaching staff redundancies. We were placed in pools and I was up against the head of department from the other school.
    We had to complete a presentation and face an interview. I was told that I hadn't got the job! (My job which I have done for the last 8 years) Results have improved both at KS4 and 5. The department was highlighted in a case study by ofsted 2 years ago as being excellent and a beacon of good practice.
    I am gutted! The new HOD has no experience of leading a department with GCSE ALlevel or BTEC! (He is 10 years my junior though) Coupled with this I now have to continue to work in the department until July! I don't know if I can handle going in after Easter.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Commiserations @mikeyjay.
    It will be difficult to go back understandably, but try and 'stay above it' and hold your head up high. Remember why you teach- for the students and ensure that this last batch of results is the very best. Gibe your replacement a high benchmark to live up to.
    wanet likes this.
  3. mikeyjay

    mikeyjay New commenter

    Thanks Lara!
    My motivation is at rock bottom. I went in on Thursday with exactly that thought but it was much harder than I thought! I had some very kind words and much needed support but this just made me feel worse. We are just starting to plan curriculums for new GCSE and A-Level. I am going to be working with the new HOD on a daily basis!
    I understand that we do it for the students but finding that hard to justify at the moment.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    You are, I hope, receiving full backing from your Union. You need to to ensure you get a good reference when you leave - and full support for all applications you make between now & July (e.g. time off to visit schools perhaps, certainly time off for as many interviews as you get).

    As for your new HoD - does he take over before you leave? if not, you still have to run the department and need to leave it in as good a state as possible. If he takes over now, your main responsibility (perhaps only one) is to our current classes.

    Dealing with him - polite but distant, I'd say. Offer no suggestions, make no recommendations, remind him of no deadlines, offer no advice but respond honestly to all direct questions. A sort of 'work to rule' if you like - he's the boss, he needs to learn the job (as presumably you did once).

    Good luck with the job search.
    ValentinoRossi, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. cazzmusic1

    cazzmusic1 New commenter

    Very sorry to hear about your situation, Mikeyjay.

    Will your union help you appeal against being selected for redundancy? If so, is it a course of action that you would consider? Redundancy procedures usually include an appeal process.

    Wishing you well for the weeks ahead,

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  6. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I know nothing about the legal position here, but i thought you couldn't be made redundant if the job still existed and is then filled by someone else? So if you were confirmed as HoD last September in the new merged school, how can you now be made redundant and replaced by someone else?
  7. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear this mikeyjay, especially after you have worked so hard for and been so loyal to your school. We are also restructuring and facing redundancies. FrankWolley gives good advice. In addition though, I would certainly be working to rule if they expect you to work towards curriculum change for next year, when you won't even be there. An explanation of "I need to get through this year first" and "Apologies but I have so much marking to do" excuse is required!!
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    ALT has, or at least it had a few weeks ago, I assume it still does, a nice downloadable guide to redundancy. This is well worth reading.

    One thing that you should be aware of is that you could in some circumstances lose your redundancy pay.

    Often redundancy pay is dependent on you not being in paid employment for at least a month after the end of your current employment. This puts paid to getting a job for September if you wish to keep the money.

    So check that out.

    And of course contact your union.

    I wouldn't go for working to rule, actually, nor not reminding the New HoD of deadlines etc.

    That is petty and childish.

    It could also reflect on any reference now and in the future.

    A difficult situation. Rise above it. Make them regret their decision.

    Best wishes

    nomad and pepper5 like this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Take Theo's excellent advice as above.

    As Theo says, try to rise above it. Don't worry you will get another job - even a better one. Try not to let this spoil your Easter break.
    nomad likes this.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Be interesting to know why you were unsuccessful, given your track record of success...
  11. mikeyjay

    mikeyjay New commenter

    Thanks for all the comments!
    Apparently when there is a re-structuring they can put people with similar skills into pools and as long as the selection process is fair they can do what they want.
    As for redundancy pay I thought the month rule only applied to voluntary redundancy but I will check that out.
    My limited feedback from the head is that my interview wasn't bad just not as good as his!
    I am getting more detailed feedback on the Tuesday after Easter. I have contacted the union to make sure all has been done by the book! I may look at an alternative career now. I have given so much of myself to teaching with how I feel now don't think I can do this anymore! :-(
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Many people would not last 18 hours teaching, so for you to have taught 18 years is admirable and you should be proud of your achievement.
    wanet, xandrahuk and cazzmusic1 like this.
  13. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Your union needs to be asking for the specific selection criteria and the relative scores of you and the person appointed. If your record is as successful as you say (and I have no reason to disbelieve you) and the other person inexperienced, you need to be satisfied that the reason he was appointed is not founded on age discrimination or, indeed, discrimination on ground of any other protected characteristic.

    This falls into the 'leaving no stone unturned' category.
    wanet, Lara mfl 05 and cazzmusic1 like this.
  14. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    No - it also applies to new employment. Check carefully the terms of this redundancy with your union. They should be all over this.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  15. mikeyjay

    mikeyjay New commenter

    The selection was done purely on our interview and presentation. There was no skills audit!
    As for the redundancy pay I will have to check for rules when I can get another job!
  16. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Then you should involve your union at regional level as a matter of urgency. If there is no consultation ( I am suspicious of whether there was) and no fair selection criteria, the dismissal is unfair.

    You need your union to look closely at the facts of your situation.

    It may seem an obvious question, but is the reason being given for the dismissal redundancy and not something else?

    There is a potentially unfair dismissal in progress here and possibly even discrimination. Ask the union to look closely at it.

    Redundancy MUST include a right to appeal.
  17. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    You may find this overview of fair redundancy procedure from CA useful, until the union can look at your specific situation with you:

    Employment tribunals - legal tests for unfair dismissal claims - redundancy

    Your employer may have made you redundant when actually you’ve been unfairly dismissed. Or maybe there was a redundancy situation in your workplace but your employer didn’t follow the selection process correctly.

    If you think you shouldn't have been made redundant or you think that your employer didn’t follow the process correctly, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Depending on the reasons why you've been dismissed you may also be able to make a claim for discrimination.

    This page looks at the legal tests the employment tribunal judges will apply to decide whether you've been unfairly dismissed.

    Your employer doesn’t have to follow the Acas code when they make you redundant but they do have to make sure that the selection process for choosing you was fair.

    The tribunal will look at whether:

    • there was a genuine need to make redundancies in your workplace
    • your employer followed a fair procedure for consulting the workforce and selecting people for redundancy
    • the decision to select you was fair
    • your employer made reasonable efforts to find you alternative employment elsewhere in the company.
    Was redundancy the real reason for the dismissal?
    A tribunal will look at the reason the employer gave for making you redundant. A redundancy will be genuine if:

    • your workplace closes
    • your employer decides it needs fewer workers, either for financial reasons or because there's not enough business
    • your employer re-organises the business and your post is no longer needed.
    If you can prove that none of these reasons applied in your case, redundancy was not the reason why you were dismissed and your dismissal will probably be unfair.

    Did your employer follow a fair redundancy process?
    The tribunal will look at the following things to decide whether your employer followed a fair procedure:

    • when did your employer tell you about possible redundancies? Could you have been told earlier?
    • did your employer consult all the employees who were affected about ways of avoiding redundancies before making a selection
    • was a selection process carried out and was it fair?
    • were you given an opportunity to appeal the decision?
    If your employer used a selection process
    If your employer used a selection process to select people for redundancy the tribunal will want to know whether you were:

    • told how the selections would be made
    • allowed to comment on the selection methods before they took place
    • if a scoring process was used, whether you were told what your score was and what score you would have needed to be safe from redundancy.
    How many people were at risk of redundancy?
    The tribunal will look at whether your employer identified all the people who were at risk of redundancy.

    If your post was the only one that was no longer needed and you were the only person doing that job, the selection for redundancy was likely to be fair.

    However, there may have been several of you doing the same type of work. In this situation, it is good practice for an employer to select a pool of people whose jobs may be at risk and use a fair selection process. This is known as the redundancy pool.

    If your employer didn't do this and you were the only person selected for redundancy, even though other colleagues did similar or overlapping work to you, this might be unfair dismissal. It might also be discrimination.

    Selecting staff from the redundancy pool
    If your employer selected from a pool of people at risk of redundancy the tribunal will look at how they were selected. They will want to know:

    • what scoring process your employer used. For example: 'first in, last out', or a scoring matrix
    • who did the scoring
    • did they use any evidence to support the scores
    • did the scoring process discriminate against you?
    Selection scoring
    An employer will make a decision based on what they know about you, your skills and your work record. They should take into account your appraisal and work flow records and use this in the scoring process.

    You have a right to see your own score and be told why you were chosen. However, you don't have a right to see the scores of your colleagues.

    It can be very difficult to challenge the scoring process. To challenge it successfully, you would have to prove that there was some obvious flaw in the process. It can help to have some evidence, such as appraisals which directly contradicts your employer’s explanation for giving you a low score.

    Even if you manage to change your score, you may still have been selected for redundancy if you would still have been the lowest-scoring employee. The tribunal will only look at whether the selection process was fair and whether a proper process could have made a difference to you.

    Did your employer make reasonable efforts to offer you other work?

    Your employer should try to find you other suitable work in the company before they make you redundant. The tribunal will look at whether:

    • you were offered other work and what you were told about the job
    • you were asked to apply for another job
    • you didn't apply for or take another job that was offered to you and why you didn't do this
    • you think there were other jobs available but you weren't offered them.
    Your employer only has to make reasonable efforts to find you other work in the company. It may be enough just to direct you to vacancies listed on the company's website or through the HR department.

    If you were offered another job
    You should not have had to go through a selection process if a job was offered to you on a similar grade and salary.

    However, if you turned down a job offer or didn't apply for other jobs that were available, the tribunal may decide to reduce your compensation because you could have avoided being made redundant.

    If redundancy was not the real reason for your dismissal

    If the tribunal decide that redundancy was not the real reason for your dismissal, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination, or both.

    You can see that, even from this overview, there are aspects of the way you explain your redundancy has been managed that appear to give grounds for concern.
  18. mikeyjay

    mikeyjay New commenter

    Thanks GLsghost!
    There was consultancy period but naively I thought that I wouldn't have a problem with the selection. I did prepare well but did think that they might take previous experience and results into consideration.
  19. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Welcome! Print it off, compare your situation to the information and take it to the union at the regional office. Be prepared to be a nuisance to the union and insist they look at it properly.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  20. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    So sorry to hear that this has happened to you. In my humble opinion, I think you should now be looking after number one. Do what you feel is right for you. If it is doing the bare minimum whilst you job hunt, then so be it. I would imagine that your school would be supportive and understanding if you explained that your priority is now to find other work. Be professional, and do your job, but that is it. I think that a school would be on very rocky ground if they based a reference on your performance AFTER you had been made redundant. I think for you to carry on regardless would be far more unusual than if you were shocked and upset. Anyhow a reference should reflect what you have done for the school and the children over the period of the many years you have worked there not on what happens over the next term. Good luck.

    Oh..and keep in contact with the union.
    FrankWolley likes this.

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