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Should I complain about HOD?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by wishihadagoodname, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. I'm not sure if this should go into 'work dilemmas', but any advice would be appreciated.

    I have recently returned to work after a year on Maternity Leave, and have a new HOD who I am finding it very difficult to work with. Firstly I was given a timtable that is very hectic with 3 frees and 4 PPAs a fortnight. Something which I wouldn't mind so much, but other people in my department have had classes taken off of them, and given to me. So now one person has 10 frees and 4 PPAS, and two others 8 frees and 4 PPAs. In one instance, the person with 10 frees as had a class taken off of them (notoriously one of the most 'challenging' group in the School), given to me and they are now free in all of those sessions.

    I have spoken to my HOD about this decision, as it seems very strange to take a teacher away from a class so late on in the year, however I was given a response of 'well, I'm sure there was a reason for the decision, but I can't remember what'. But no other reason or way of resolving the situation. I wouldn't mind the anount of frees I have, but when others are sat in the office most of the time while I am really struggling to juggle everything at the moment, it is really getting me down.

    I have spoken to our union rep about the unequal distibution of frees, but again, the HOD didn't give any main reason, or a way of resolution.

    The HOD seems very indecisive, and is really struggling to run the department. The way that I am not being listened to and things are being run in general is making me feel like I want to leave. The person with 10 frees and 4 PPAs next term will now have 22 frees and 4 PPAs due to Yr11 release, while I am still teaching a very full timetable with a little one at home and after a year off it is hard getting back into the swing of things. It does seem very unfair.

    I want to go someone above my HOD to speak to them about resolving the situation, as I am not looking forward to coming back in September to such a poorly run department when it used to be so strong and united.

    Any advice is welcomed...it is rather long and I having a bit of a rant as well!!

  2. Sorry, but am I the only one who thinks that this department is over staffed will all the 'frees' on top of PPA. In the past six years I have only had one timetable that included a free period on top of my PPA allocation. Even then I was given an extra task of developing resources to be used for a skills group in this one extra period a fortnight. With the 26 free periods currently available in your department this could mean that half a full time position could be lost, so maybe not the best time to kick up a fuss - after all no one has a right to free periods. The only time free periods should be on a timetable is during "gained time" after the departure of Year 11 and Year 13 students.
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    A mainscale teacher with no responibilities at my school is expected to teach 45/50 per fortnight.
    As HoD with a 2nd additional responsibility I have been teaching 39/50. A colleage in my dept who is HoY teached 36/50.
    I think your department sounds overstaffed, too.
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    As you are on a maternity leave cover contract, I would suck it and get on with - especially if the alternative is no job. The concept of 'frees' in teaching has always amused me - Just because those staff are not teaching students, does not mean they are sat in the staffroom slurping coffee with a copy of 'Hello' magazine - It may well be that as they are the permanent colleagues they have other duties to perform such as preparation and planning for next year. It is typical that a mainscale classroom teacher teaches 45/ 50 periods a fortnight and your allocation of PPA is fair.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Ahh just re read - You are permanent too and just BACK from maternity leave.... I would then pursue the fact that the distribution is unfair.
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I forsee that you will become very stressed, especially knowing that colleagues are getting an easier time of it, and will have to see your GP about getting signed off!
    Don't make a complaint about the HOD but do seek clarification from SMT about what the situation is with free periods, highlighting that you have been given other teacher's classes and now have a big disparity in free periods, which is making your return to work more challenging than it would have been if you'd simply taken on the original timetable alcated to your post.
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    sounds overstaffed to me too. we have just lost about ten members of staff (redundancy) due to being overstaffed across the school
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The more I think about it and read other responses, the more I smell trouble. The new HOD has had time to bond with the rest of the teacm in your absence on ML.
    Everyone is noticing that the department seems to be over-staffed. Is it possib;le that you are being given more than the fair share of lessons in order to make your return difficult and trigger your resignation, thus safeguarding the other's jobs? They may have heard about possible redundancies when you awere away.
    Contact your Union, but not at school rep level.
  9. Thanks for all of the comments.
    When I left on Maternity Leave, although I was full time I was only covered on a 0.3 basis, so yes, we are over staffed.
    I have my suspicions that the Head is not too happy with me coming back full time at the moment, as he suspected I would come back part time. Although I never gave any indication of this. Would the Head have been able to ask my HOD to give me a full timetable (ie, more so than others) because of this?
    I am going to be part time in September as my old HOD is coming back from Maternity leave, hence the decision to be full time initially, with a view to job share. Less complicated and after a year off, financially it seemed to be a good option for me as well.
    Please don't get me wrong. I work very hard, I always have done. I have a good rapport with my students and have even been told that my new tutor group have changed for the better since I have returned. I have never complained before, and I have no issue whatsoever with the amount of frees I have. I am being very resourceful witht the time I have. I do however have an issue with others having far more time than I do, and with a group unnessarily being given a new teacher so late in the year when their old teacher is sat in the office next to me with now, 22 frees a fortnight.
    Some in the department are really contributing lots to schemes of work and creating resources, but others are not using this time so wisely. Whereas last year I and others would have been directed by the HOD to do extra things for the department, the new HOD seems to struggle in directing people to tasks and I feel that the extra time we have is being wasted.
    I have suggested using this extra time that we have by doing intervention with yr 10 pupils who are C/D borderline in preparation for next year, but it has taken over a term now for this to happen, and I doubt it will happen in term 6 either.
    In September, due to one person leaving, we will then be staffed appropiately, my main concern for is that if there is a lack of control over the department and such inequalities happening, such as the distribution of frees and the use of time, that I don't know what will heppen in September. It worries me, and yes, there is an element of me that thinks that I may be being sidelined. I would hope not, but I see that people are maybe tryiny to make life a little more difficult for me than it could have been.
    Sorry, I am ranting!
  10. Old HOD is coming back, but not as HOD as they couldn't let her have the position part time. So I will be doing a job share with her and the temporary HOD will become the new HOD.
    She was due to come back September, but the Head has since told me that she is now due back in November and has asked if I would continue full time for another 2 months. Initially I said yes, however the more and more I think about the situation in my department, the more I want to get out and onto a part time position as quickly as possible. I am worried that this may create a bit of hassle in making the changes, but the whole issue of taking a class away from their main teacher, and giving them to me so late in the year while their old teacher is sat next door with 14 free periods a fortnight, and now 22....well, needless to say I don't have too much faith in some of the decisions being made and I am taking it rather personally as it is unfair. If this continues in September then I would rather not be full time anymore.

    Oh dear...I feel like I've never had any issues with my job and now I can't help but feel annoyed everytime I go into the office and people are sitting around....
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Have they given you any clues about next year? My inclination would be to talk to your HoD about this, accepting that you have are currently doing more than your fair share this year but indicating that you don't expect this to continue. If your HoD intends to continue with the situation, they should be able to give you a reason.
    Your situation may be unfair in the context of your school, but I doubt if you would get more frees elsewhere. What concerns me more is that it may indicate a problem with your HoD which needs to be resolved.
  12. Thanks. I think that is what the issue is more than any other. I know that she came to our department to become second in department and never wanted to be HOD but reluctuntly did I think as Maternity cover.
    I am certainly not worried about how many frees I have, I just think that there are some poor decisions being made, and because I am 'new', in a sense that I have never worked with her before I think that she isn't being as fair to me as she is to others.
    Do you think that I should speak to the Head about changing to part time in Septmber instead of November? I think he may ask for a reason, and a part of me whats to give him some reason, well, partly the truth, but of course I want to remain as professional as I can do in a situation where I feel so annoyed.

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