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So I've been suspended...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Gwyn93, Oct 26, 2019.

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  1. Penguin47

    Penguin47 New commenter

    Following a number of false allegations from students at my school, I was suspended pending investigation. I know the next few details are perhaps ultimately irrelevant, but I'd like to offer context regardless.

    Firstly, I've had issues with this school since Day #1. I could rattle off a list of minor annoyances, but the main issues I've had is little-to-no support and behavioural problems. I've had students outright threaten to get me sacked, threaten to fight me, swear at me, get up in my face to intimate me, attempt to steal from me, and send abusive messages via social media. I've reported all incidents (with evidence) and received no follow-up on any of them, and I think at most two incidents did the students get so much as a detention.

    In addition, I've discovered a member of staff made a malicious, false statement about me which I had intended to formally write about the day I was suspended. Whilst it's most likely a coincidence, the day prior to my suspension I had raised a safeguarding concerning regarding another member of staff.

    As I said, irrelevant as student allegations need to be investigated, but I'd already had a hard time with the school and had planned on leaving. I've got representation from a union, but I'm already extremely worried about my future because I know it's essentially their word against mine. I'm going to go into this meeting, deny these allegations and...then what? I'm also an NQT, so I can't say this has been the most successful of starts to a career I am (was?) extremely passionate about.

    Any advice? I'm scared, quite honestly.
  2. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    You say you have evidence that you reported the incidents which is a big plus. You have your Union and I assume that a regional rep is coming along to the meeting with you which is a must. Don't go to the meeting without a rep. Your rep will support and advise you.
    It must be a scary situation. How are you coping with it? Do you have a friend / partner / relative to support you?
    jlishman2158, Curae, tonymars and 2 others like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Reading between the lines - seriously I really think you should leave teaching. I really don't think it suits you and even if you did move on you may find yourself having similar issues elsewhere.

    You obviously make enemies easily and I think your school has suspended you to stop further issues developing. Your account of how the students treat you would ring every alarm bell going for me - I don't think you are suitable to teach children regardless of how you feel about the job.

    I suspect you will emerge from your hearing relatively unscathed and you should then find another career.

    Sorry - but in the long term it will be for the best.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    ...and before you think I'm being over dramatic - I've got over 20 years teaching experience and I've NEVER heard of a teacher being treated by kids the way you describe.

    In my opinion you are a serious accident waiting to happen in teaching - get out before you get into even more serious trouble than you already are.
    towncryer, Laphroig, Pomza and 2 others like this.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Hi Gwyn93, so sorry you find yourself in this horrible situation. It's good that you have logged everything. Did you have regular meetings with your NQT mentor? What did they suggest? You definitely need to take a union rep (regional level) to the meeting with you.
    This does not need to be the end. Think back to schools where you had placements during your training. How did you get on there? Your current school sounds totally toxic; I would say don't go back there whatever the outcome of this situation - get your GP to sign you off with WRS if necessary. If you decide it's what you want, I hope you can find another school and make a fresh start in a happier and more supportive environment.
  6. harpplayer

    harpplayer Occasional commenter

    "Your account of how the students treat you would ring every alarm bell going for me"

    Really? I expect many teachers in your typical UK sink school has to deal with most if not all of what the OP described pretty much every week. I know I did in my post qualifying years. It wasn't until going to teach in Dubai that I realised just how much sh@@ I put up with and how pi33 poor the SLT really were in that cess pitt of an academy I worked in.
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    well don't be scared. Suspensions happen, and after, most people go back to work, and some don't, but it isn't the suspension itself that decides which way it will go for you.

    In the mean time, you are being paid, and have no responsibilities, so have a bit of fun, relax, or do something constructive.I have a friends who used a suspension to clear out all her cupboards and drawers.....
    MathMan1, bevdex, Curae and 5 others like this.
  8. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    really? I've seen it regularly
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    maybe, its hard to judge from just hearing one side of it
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    again, its hard to say. Most of us are, in the long run, a serious accident waiting to happen when we are put into a situation with an overwhelming workload, intolerable stress and constant personal abuse and threat.

    OP, if it turns out that its a matter of you being incompatible with the school, don't take it personally. We all have schools we have been incompatible with.

    If it turns out that you are incompatible with teaching, again, don't take it personally. Most of the population is. The danger is that it ends up feeling like a personal failure or weakness, but it isn't. On the contrary, it could be just that you have more respect for yourself, and have higher expectations for your circumstances than many of us.

    A lot of us would be happier, healthier and richer now if we had "failed" our NQT year.
  11. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    If this is your real name, go it settings and change it into something unidentifiable. It should then change on your post aw well. I'm going to edit my post to take it out too.
    tb506 and pepper5 like this.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Firstly suspension is supposed to be a neutral act whilst investigation takes place. If a safeguarding allegation has been made the school must do this even if it proves to be malicious. You must have union representation at all times. Do not go to any meeting without. Reading between the lines I see a chaotic school run by largely inexperienced staff but do not post any more details here. Take no notice of posters who say negative things. Just follow your rep's guidance and go to head office. Do not use the school rep who probably has not been trained to deal with this.
  13. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    Why is this necessarily the OP's fault? Couldn't it be a truly awful school? They definitely exist!
  14. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Staff making allegations against each other? Kids abusing you in your private space?

    I'm concerned that everything is so transparent. Safeguarding is confidential - the person accused should not be told who the accuser is.

    Get a reference negotiated and go. This sounds like a truly awful place to work. You can get out of this. It's awful at the moment, but if you have done nothing wrong, hold onto that.
  15. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    From what you describe I'd say that the management has lost complete control of the school! Kids will push boundaries and it looks like at that place there aren't any. Hence the kids have carte blanche to behave in increasingly outrageous ways because they know you have no support and worst still you will probably be blamed for each incident you report! As an nqt I'm guessing you've also made the mistake of thinking that the schools rules on behaviour etc are actually to be followed rather than just being ornamental in nature! You may find that lots of the teachers who don't seem to have behaviour problems let the kids do as they please while you are diligently trying to enforce the rules and getting terrorised for it.

    I'd advise moving on quickly. Not all schools are like this (though many are) and why work somewhere where your career hangs in the balance on a daily basis due to appeasement policies from management facilitating the transfer of power to the worst behaved students!

    Good luck and hope this blows over.
  16. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    A teacher should not have to endure threats to fight him / hurt him any more than a random shopkeeper should have to endure such threats from schoolchildren coming into his shop. We can't have one standard of what is permitted for normal everyday interactions between children and members of the public and another standard regarding teachers and children.
    Your post quoted by me above is BLAMING THE VICTIM. A minimum standard of courtesy and non-aggression should be an accepted norm in schools. Don't blame the teacher for students' bad behaviour.
  17. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    I've OFTEN heard of it happening. There is nothing in the original posters post that suggests they are an accident waiting to happen. Exactly what lines are you reading between??

    Hope the OP can get some support on here as they have expressed how scared and worried they are. A bit of compassion would be nice rather than attempting to kick people when they are down!
  18. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    I would just add that if any of the students who have threatened to physically harm you turn out to be involved in the current complaint/s made against you and you have evidence that you've complained about their threats in the past, you could take legal advice from a solicitor and perhaps consider reporting them to the police. Take the legal advice in confidence and you don't have to mention it to your union.
  19. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I bet my bottom dollar the kids do this to every new member of staff in the school. Many sink schools- the children go insane with a new teacher. Young teachers are treated very badly, frequently. I am a gentle, non confrontational teacher but some of the threats and language I have had from trashy pupils is beyond belief.

    I think it’s harsh to pass judgement on a situation from online. It’s not necessary.

    OP, speak to your union and mentor. If they don’t side with you, go on supply, and find a long term placement to do your NQT terms in. Don’t think the world is ending. This is tragically very common nowadays.
  20. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That is possibly the least supportive comment I have ever seen on these forums.
    A suspension is a scary and unpredictable time, when people need to consider not only the actual process but also the implications for their future, their family,their mental health, their public reputation, whatever.
    A suspension is also, as already said, a neutral act. Who on earth are we to conclude from the stated facts the things you have said? Especially when every single negative aspect of OPs school is something in itself that multiple posters will recognise. Who are we to say that all of these attributes of the school and OPs thus far working relationships could not all possibly collide at once and at the same time as a suspension?

    Your post is mean spirited, and not reflective of a desire to respond to what they are actually asking; for OP to read it is just a kick when they are already down. Is that what you intended?
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