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settlement offered what to do

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by collinssteve446, May 31, 2017.

  1. collinssteve446

    collinssteve446 New commenter

    I have recently been offered what my union thinks is a generous settlement agreement, but for one reason or another I am finding it very, very hard to decide whether to accept this or not.

    I have been at my current school for a relatively long time and there is no real reason for the school wanting me to leave. Compared to some posts on these forums I have not been treated that badly. Main scale. In my 50s. It is likely there will be pressures on the school to convert to an academy due to poor results soon. I've nothing lined up. No plans. An action plan has been mentioned but the union thinks it is unlikely the school will initiate this as there is nothing really wrong with my teaching. Union says I will get a good a reference that I will be able to see beforehand, but I am cynical about how this might work in practise and how this may affect my chances in securing another job in teaching, if that is what I want. If it is a question of my face not fitting I feel angry at what can only be seen as an attempt to push me out.
     
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    It must be hard for you to get your head round the situation. Anger that it may be 'a question of my face not fitting I feel angry at what can only be seen as an attempt to push me out.' won't help and I think it may well be as well to follow your union advice and move on, especially if you'll get a good reference and there's nothing wrong with your teaching.
    Better that than trying to return and then they 'prove' there is something by constant monitoring, observations et al.
     
  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    What has suddenly changed to alter the school's attitude towards you? Have other teachers similar to you been targeted as well? Have you got a new Head and/or a massive whole in the school's budget?
     
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    If it is a generous settlement and you will get s decent Reference then perhaps it is best to take the money and make a new beginning. Is your mortgage paid or nearly paid? If your needs are small, you could always do supply for a while until you decide what to do. You might decide to get something outside teaching. This might just be a golden opportunity for you.
     
    julie7, Lara mfl 05 and sabrinakat like this.
  5. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    What reasons have the school given for offering you a settlement agreement?
     
  6. collinssteve446

    collinssteve446 New commenter

    Thanks for replying JR. Not other teachers similar to me, new Head, at least not yet - before academisation. Massive hole in the budget? Well, what school does not? Also, it seems clear to me the main, possibly the only, motive the MAT taking over has is money e.g. cost cutting.

    I'm not sure the school's attitude to me has changed SUDDENLY- this has been building for some time. I wish I could say more without fear of identification because I am really struggling with this decision whether to accept the settlement (which I still see as buckling under) or to fight it (but realistically is there any point).
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I understand your anger - I am sure I would feel the same. However, none of us can say with any confidence what would happen if you did not accept the offer. There are various suggestions we could make, such as making sure that you termination date is a standard leaving date, but really, your advice has to come from somebody with legal expertise who knows the situation better than you can say on a public forum. If you don't want to take your union's advice, you may want to get alternative legal advice, although that is likely to make your union back away from the case. My personal suggestion would be to take the money and run, but then I don't know the full facts and, in particular, if you could do better by doing something else.
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    .
    .

    This may be useful, although sounds like your union has already covered most of this with you.

    https://www.tes.com/news/blog/settlement-agreements-formerly-compromise-agreements-update

    What's puzzling me though is the school have offered a "generous" SA but you say "there is no real reason for the school wanting me to leave". Maybe there's some key information that you don't want to post on an open forum - and please don't post anything which might identify you. But as it stands this seems a most peculiar thing for a school to do. Just to pop up out of the blue and offer you a "generous" sum of public money to leave. Why would a school do that? Surely they must have explained what the issue was between you and the school, between employer and employee, that they were using the SA to resolve?

    Do they have budget problems and are trying to reduce staff numbers? If so why don't they go through normal Redundancy procedures?
    .
    .
     
    Pomz, Tinycat1234 and Sundaytrekker like this.
  9. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Could be they want to keep everything confidential.
    My last academy had a lot of people leave through settlements, many did not go through capability/support etc. Academy simply wanted younger, cheaper more 'compliant' staff.
     
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  10. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I agree with the above post. They must have a reason to suggest a settlement agreement otherwise they have a redundancy situation. Or there is a head who is trying to manipulate things but doesn't understand employment law in these situations.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. HELPWITHTEACHERSPENSIONS

    HELPWITHTEACHERSPENSIONS New commenter

    I am very sorry to read of your dilemma. I believe the authorities offer Premature Retirement and Redundancy packages simply to save costs. If some teachers go on building up more and more pensionable years Whitehall believe the cost could be very great indeed to the state. The policy objective of Whitehall is to get in younger less senior teachers who do not command the same level of salary of older more experienced teachers. I worked at Teacher Pensions. I had the enormous pleasure of dealing with retired teachers some of who were in their nineties. So you see in paying a pension over maybe forty years for someone there is a major financial incentive to the state to allow you to collect your pension earlier at a reduced rate. You can take your pension in part at 55 at the moment. Please do not reproach yourself for Whitehall's policy objectives. It is likely to be nothing personal but just a cost cutting exercise. That is why you are allowed to take part of your pension at 55.
     
    TailwindTurner and Mrsmumbles like this.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I think a lot spends on what the 'generous settlement' actually means in cold, hard £££s. If you leave you will have to look for another job, which may not be easy at your age (depending on your subject/location - but permanent posts are difficult to get for those of 50+). Will the settlement allow you time to pay the bills etc for a term or more whilst looking for a new job? Can you retire - possible from 55 with a reduced pension?

    But on the other hand, refusing may lead to the school turning 'nasty' and you being forced out down the line with a (much) less generous settlement. The stress might not be good for your health...

    Only you can decide. But, if this were me, I'd listen carefully to my union.
     
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    .
    Although @collinssteve446 hasn't been offered either of those. He has been offered a Settlement Agreement.
    .
    .
     
  14. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Honestly I'd ensure the package is the best it can be, the take it and run. In my experience once a school want you out, it's a quickly downward spiral until they get what they achieve. It sounds like you are still confident and are not suffering from any stress etc? I would make sure you get out before it starts to affect your confidence. I think experienced teachers are still v valued in some areas. Good luck - just make sure your union is really sure it's the best deal and everything is hunky dory with the paperwork.
     
  15. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    I would call a GOOD settlement the best part of a year's salary, after tax.
     
    pepper5 and FrankWolley like this.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I suppose you could hope. ;) Realistically it is unlikely to be any where near so generous. 3 months pay I imagine would be good. Though I'm willing to accept other's opinions and told I'm wrong.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Take it and go.

    If they don't want you, for whatever reason, there is no point fighting it.

    Yes it's defeatist, but trying to fight is soul destroying, get out before they destroy you.
     
    Pomz, TailwindTurner and Tinycat1234 like this.
  18. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I would call that a fantasy.
     
  19. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Spot on! Great advice...
     
    Pomz, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Three months salary is still possible. I know of a case last year with that sort of amount and that was after informal support plans.
     
    pepper5 likes this.

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