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SLT and support for staff

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Jackofall6, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Jackofall6

    Jackofall6 New commenter

    My other half is a TA and has been getting increasingly stressed with work and uni (organisation of staff, constantly changing of roles and pressures from staff passed down).
    SLT have noticed and called her for an informal chat about the situation.

    It is clearly a mental health issue and tonight she has been e mailed what are essentially minutes fron their chat.

    Mostly these 'notes' seem to be more about the job and what the school needs and not the member of staff so much so it has even mentioned punctuality in coming off duty and back to the classroom.

    Is this normal behaviour/ procedure or just SLT covering their back and giving lip service to staff well being.

    I personally could not believe it had been dealt with in this way and seemed to me the school are purely focuses on looking after themselves.
  2. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Sadly, I would now say it’s become entirely normal procedure where I work. “Informal chats” about issues raised become formalised by being minuted, and all the items discussed become an action plan. Yes, they’re covering their back, but really it’s informal capability by any other name, because if you haven’t addressed each of the points by the time of the next meeting, you’re in trouble. They’ve done it to me, and they’re now doing exactly the same to my colleague. It’s not about “support” at all: the lack of compassion can take your breath away.
  3. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    There is not a single more abused, misunderstood word in education than ‘support’.
  4. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    It's not support, it's abuse. SLT do not give a damn about anyone but themselves. They are threatening her.
    tenpast7, agathamorse and Morgelyn like this.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It's complicated. The main reason that staff come into school is to do the things that the school management need for the smooth running.
    Now the school management have a big responsibility to ensure that they manage properly - it's quite possible they neglected this in the meeting. If they want staff to return punctually from duties to classroom, they need to think about the transition, including toilet time. The duty staff need to chase the laggards off the playground and they can't do that as well as being in the classroom to welcome the children. This is where the non-teaching staff have to be available to manage the transitions.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I don't see it as reprehensible.

    It's a first step. First find out what's going wrong and where are the major areas for improvement. THEN you can look at how to manage things better.

    If you and she think she has mental health problems then she needs (or may already have) the services of trained professionals. Occupational Health is a good place to turn and I'd hope that school would involve them.

    Sending minutes of the (informal) meeting isn't a bad idea. Everyone knows where they stand. It's a preliminary step and it saves Chinese whispers and people later thinking that they surely did say that and didn't say this. Did they? You have a clear record. It certainly won't be intended as a threat. An aide-memoire. For future reference. I completely understand why the recipient might freak out about it but try not to.

    I'd encourage her to see the GP/counsellor again. And see if OH at school has access to services.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    From what you've said, it could be that they called her in because they knew she was under a lot of pressure and that with all the changing roles, she was perhaps not clear what her priorities should be. They've talked through her role and responsibilities, made sure she's got a written record, and now they're hoping that will make her life easier.

    Has "mental health" actually been mentioned? You said SLT had "noticed", but perhaps they'd just noticed that some clarification of her role and priorities was needed.

    It's not clear whether she has mental health issues at a level where she should be seeing her GP - if so, that's what she should do. If it's just that the stress at school is threatening her mental health, then initially you should encourage her to see the notes from the meeting as helping her to prioritise (and jettison anything which is no longer in her role). If that doesn't help, then review whether she should (a) chat to her line manager about the fact that she is still struggling, and (b) visit the GP.

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