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SLT is going to break me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by codface575757, Jun 9, 2018.


Are academies the ruin of education?

  1. Yes

    89 vote(s)
  2. No

    14 vote(s)
  1. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    I think you're wrong on two counts;

    You are right for SLT and you're not the 'Boss' which is the reason you find yourself in this situation. You are having to follow the corporate 'party line' rather than being able to do what you think is best for the staff and students.

    Rather than 'start again' I'd be inclined to be looking for the HT role. You can run the school with your own ethos and values where teachers are treated as people and assets rather than a disposable commodity.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yeah! Be the solution. Don't be part of the problem. Ab -so-bloomin-lutely! @banjouk
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Not every school is run in the way you describe, although too many are these days.

    At the risk of sounding like a horoscope you may have to make a leap of faith in order to find something better, and as you say, the income could drop as a consequence, but what price your long term health?
    agathamorse and MarieAnn18 like this.
  4. codface575757

    codface575757 New commenter

    Just wanted to thank you all for your positive replies. I made it through another week by planning how to get through hour by hour rather than day by day. I have been invited for an interview. I'm going to give it a go. See what it's about.
  5. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    Good luck for your interview Codface.
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  6. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    All the very best of luck with the interview.
    You are being very sensible, thinking of your needs. I'm glad you have the union on board. Remember, though, if, even taking it hour by hour, your stress levels rise again, take some time out. It is not a sign of weakness to do so. Take care and good luck. Oh, and keep posting here. :)
    agathamorse likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter


    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Sorry, I didn't mean to just quote, you - this is what I was trying to say:

    You know what I would love to see you do? Stand your ground.

    Because you ARE suited to SLT.

    Not to the number crunching, soul destroying, pitbul headed approach to the role, but the kind of SLT that could inspire staff to do more. To help them do their job better, to build careers in that school. To make them want to serve the children better. The kind of SLT that can lead from the front, not drive from the rear like the damned NKVD at Stalingrad.

    So please - you are already thinking of leaving. There is an old samurai maxim: 'the warrior who is prepared to die can do anything.' There's really not much more they can do to you, is there? Why not dig your heels in and see if you can be the change you want to see in the school (to paraphrase Gandhi.)

    The other deputy head who is not pulling her weight - why be polite about it? Why not let management know that she doesn't deserve to be there? Who are you helping by covering up for this person and keeping them in the job? The kids? I think not.

    As for the senior executives of your academy chain - maybe it's time to get tough with them, too. 'Yes you want me to get the staff to do this. But - naw, I'm not going to. This is what they can manage, this is what works for the children, this is what they are going to do - sack me or back me.' They may surprise you by backing your ideas because they themselves are clueless

    As for not complaining about the environment - well - change it. We're into summer, tell teachers to get the kids outside (as long as behaviour is good.) Maybe tell the art department to get some murals on the wall. (I digress, but I once knew a head who was told by the governors that he could not make changes to the physical make up of the school, and he was very clear that he wanted two small classrooms put into one. They still said no. So he came in one weekend with a sledgehammer and took the wall out. No one said a damned thing.)

    If the worst comes to the worst, you leave with your self respect and the gratitude of your colleagues. But you may be really surprised by the result.

    Some of this is a bit strong. But education needs people who are prepared to dig their heels in and fight for what they believe, for their colleagues and their students.
    agathamorse and simonCOAL like this.
  9. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Probably the best post for weeks.
  10. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    It takes a certain type of person to put themselves through a "fight" for what is, after all, just a job in a short life. Most would flee and I don't blame them for seeking a happier and healthier life elsewhere rather than suffering through conflict at work.
  11. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    When I started teaching, most SLT (known by other names!) were like you. We didn't have any business types-all the heads were experienced, caring teachers.
    What's wrong with you? We should be asking what's gone wrong with the system. So sorry.
  12. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Occasional commenter

    To the OP, you are me. This is where I was a year and a bit ago. I stepped down/was forced out.

    You and I are the people who should be running schools, to be perfectly honest (and without wishing to big myself up). I hate top-down battering of staff, I used constantly to be like a broken record saying "we shouldn't let Ofsted and the DfE dictate what we think is best for the children", I refused to unthinkingly destroy a colleague just because the head didn't like him (preferring to wait until I'd been in post a few months and had seen the guy in action, whereupon it became clear that he wasn't the issue).

    All I want is for kids to get an actual education, and to be safe and happy. If they coincidentally get some decent exam results while they're about it, nobody is going to be more pleased than me, but frankly I think the majority of people on SLT now are just the only ones who would want to do that job as it now stands. Most of us who actually care about the kids, and about education, wouldn't touch senior jobs with a bargepole - and/or burn out after a few years of doing them.
  13. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Good point.
    qaztrew and agathamorse like this.
  14. codface575757

    codface575757 New commenter

    Thank you all. Lots of encouragement and thought provoking replies. I wish I had the fight left in me, I really do, but being shouted at by someone who is banging their fist on the table whilst berating me that a member of staff has predicted a child will get a grade 2 not a grade 3 doesn't fire me up to fight back. I am a better spokesperson for other people than myself.

    Colleagues have asked me to highlight the faults of some other members of SLT but my family are begging me to look after myself from this point on because they can see me crumbling. Either way there is guilt.

    Anyway, on the bright side, my teaching timetable has been increased again so I get to spend more time with lovely students who make me smile every day.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Occasional commenter

    @codface575757 Your last paragraph is the thing to hold onto. A pay/status cut is never as bad as you think it's going to be, and teaching kids is still the best job in the world if you're right for it. And you are. :)
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. codface575757

    codface575757 New commenter

    Thank you, Friar.

    I've accepted another job - just waiting for that written offer so I can hand in my glorious resignation letter. What a day that will be.
  17. gr8jd

    gr8jd New commenter

    I agree. When I became a teacher 20 years ago, the care needed to propel all learners forward came from the top down and I was taught the real ethics of my profession. So much so, that I ended up spending 10 years in SEN. I went back to the mainstream only last term with the believe and real vigour that I could advocate for the needs of SEN students and embed high quality wave 1 QFT, and made an application to a school in a deprived inner city school as SENCo on SLT. Two weeks in, I was met with Ofsted where I was ‘brutally honest’ and ‘correctly identified the ways forward’ - my diagnosis being SEN students were not making adequate progress as they were being kicked out of lessons and in receipt of too many FTEs - QFT needed improving.
    4 weeks later, after being deemed an inadequate teacher of SEN and being told I’ll be on a support programme, I have handed in notice on my 55k job with no job to go to... There was no choice. I’d gone from continually being an outstanding teacher in outstanding schools to a **** teacher in a **** school. Having a secure faith in my own ability and a huge amount of self respect - I took control of the tsunami coming to engulf me and told them I needed an exit strategy.
    They took a late resignation and I am free as of 31st December 2018 to persue my next steps forward. This has all been very recent and I’m hoping that as of Monday I’m granted gardening leave - after all, I’ve saved them the hassle of an SA and I can’t see the effectiveness in me returning to continue to coach staff in up-skiling their ability to attend to the needs of SEN learners when I’ve been deemed ineffective in this capacity.
    Am I worried about no income after December? No. I’ll do supply work whilst I’m finding a new job - I won’t have 14 hour days on a relentless treadmill and the frustrations of not being able to move forward proving positive impact of the unrealistic targets set for me and I won’t have to come home each day bitterly disappointed by a mainstream system that is after attainment data and the expulsion of vulnerable learners on mass scale as they hunt for good attainment in an area where SEN is rife.
    Me, I’ll be padding the periphery of the system waiting for the correct opportunity to jump back and put my skills into advocating the ethics of proper comprehensive education. I’m realistic, my pawing may take time but there are many oppportunities in the working sector for the transferable skills of teachers whilst I wait for my next real jump.
    pepper5, vectis1 and agathamorse like this.
  18. codface575757

    codface575757 New commenter

    I'm re-reading this thread that I started and have little recollection of most of it. I did go to the doctor and she caught me before I became very poorly indeed. I also resigned, took a massive pay-cut, have slept soundly every night since and actually get to see my family. My new students are a delight and leaving SLT has definitely added time to my teaching career: I was going to quit altogether but I love being back in the classroom full time. My students are a delight.

    so thanks to all who were so supportive. Very, very much appreciated.
  19. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Lead commenter

    Good to hear it's all worked out well Codface. Enjoy the sleep!
  20. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Occasional commenter

    I'm so pleased for you, @codface575757 - well done. I've honestly rarely been happier than I am now, teaching the subject I love. I don't miss SLT one bit.

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