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South of Spain, bullying at work ?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by volvere, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. volvere

    volvere New commenter

    I work in a well known city on the south of Spain, in a school with a saintly name but anything less than saintly practice. 7 of our longest serving staff were sacked over the summer those with a great relationship with students, staff and parents alike. That they were amongst the best staff we had can be seen in the facebook page set up for them by ex-students..

    My question is to those who are out there in the international circuit is what do you do when something is obviously wrong in your school ? Do you keep your heads down because you have a mortgage and wait to be picked off like many of the staff at our school or do you stick your head above the parapet and remind the tawdry collection of mercenaries they have hired that schools are centres for learning and development...A consultancy company with a Cambridge made up name have been employed by the owners. Who have made their money in construction and are obviously short on how things work in schools but have a feeling for money. This company have bought in bullies from outside to walk into lessons without warning and threaten teachers that their lessons are not good enough. It is patently obvious to those of us who are here that they are targeting those staff who are involved in setting up a school union. The union says we must let the law run its course but that means the vultures can pick off who they want in the interim.

    The parents can see what is going on and are desperate especially since they know that the standards are dropping. This school does not even have a Chemisty teacher for A level students and we are half a term in. The staff are depressed and wondering what the director puppet is going to say tomorrow but it will be something negative about the school and community that we have built up and loved over the years These newly paid up bullies are calling the school a failure to our faces although we consistently get more than 80% A*-C IGCSE grades.

    What do you do when the a school that has been created with the best aims of learning in mind is being cynically torn down around you in the name of the Business of Education.

    Depressed in the sunny south of Spain.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    What do you do? You get onto a plane. Yes, lots of so-called "international" schools are really pretty blooming awful places in which to be a teacher. (There are heaps of dodgy schools in the ME.) As an ordinary teacher, you really have no chance of changing anything, so all you can do is to serve out your contract and then leave.
    ed717 and JL48 like this.
  3. truth_seeker12

    truth_seeker12 Occasional commenter

    Its a well known school and a lot of people know about what happened there. The school is beyond repair so best to get on a plane and leave.

    Then the new management suffer. Its unfortunate that the kids will suffer too but thats up to the owners and they will regret their mistake. Everyone's loss and very unfortunate that they made a choice to make MORE money than what they were making. Typical Spanish school mentality and many end up the same way
  4. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    There are so many great schools out there. Why put yourself through it? Get out and find a better place to work. It's such a shame that this has happened to the school, staff, students, and parents, but what can you do?
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    As others have said, get on a plane and leave.

    My opinion about Spain and the huge amount of dodgy schools there are there, is well know on this forum. I have had 50+ conversations with teachers that have worked in Spain, and only 1 ever said they would return...that should say a lot. the common comment in all these conversations is, "its a pity there are so many dodgy schools in Spain, because its so nice to live in", this is very true, but there are so so so many countries that are nice to live in.

    Miketribe will be on this thread soon stating what a wonderful time he has had in Spain, and how he works in such a great school. He is one of the very lucky ones, although not everyone at his school has such a rose tinited view of that school, if the conversations i had with a bunch of them last year is anything to go by. My point being, yes there are one or two decent schools in Spain, but the are very few and far between.

    Get out of Spain and you will see a huge difference in the quality of schools. My life massively improved once i left Spain.

    Best of luck
  6. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Nah. I don't think I'll bother. If anyone's interested, they can do a search of my many, many previous posts on workers' rights here, or they can message me...
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I rest my case ;)
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You are willing for them to search "spain" with its wealth of negaitive reviews, and your one positive experience ?????...... awesome....my work here is done... i will let others bang this very well beaten drum....thanks mike :)
    MuffinMK likes this.
  9. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Is it handbags o'clock already?
    Charlyrose and dumbbells66 like this.
  10. nollaig

    nollaig New commenter

    Mike, you could be sacked tomorrow on trumped up charges and there is very little you could do about it under spanish law. Sure you could bring your owners to court and win a payoff but you would still be without a job and the owners would have got what they wanted. The only protection I know of that protects a teacher from getting sacked is that they are a union rep at their school but other than that the law and time is on the owners side. The unions have their hands tied to a great extent if the owner of a school is determined to cut costs and dump older and/or expensive staff. The rights that workers have in Spain (and obviously not just Spain, see UK) have seriously been diluted over the last couple of decades.
    MuffinMK likes this.
  11. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    We did return to Spain after making savings in China for a few years. It was always our intention to return and buy a house. For our love of the culture, language, close proximity to UK, people and climate. We’ve worked in both awful and good schools across Spain. Where is perfect in the world? I have also chopped and changed my career beyond teaching at times over the years... each to their own, everyone is different and everyone has their own ambitions in life. Back to the post in question, I’m sorry, I would quit ASAP as I can only imagine the low morale you have and that is a negative impact on your health which must come first. Buena suerte...
  12. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Exactly what you describe I assure you I have witnessed in many countries in several continents.
    Alice K likes this.
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Where as i and numerous friends, relatives, and collegues have not witnessed anything near the incompetence, unprofessional attitude and negativity anywhere near what we have seen in Spain anywhere else in the world ....it really is amazing the different experiences we have had all over the world
    MuffinMK likes this.
  14. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    It is, it is!
  15. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Something I have learnt, particularly in the private sector is, just how much of a dog eat dog world we really do live in. School owners and principals can lose thousands paying off staff sacked for unfair dismissal and such, however, that is the power and money that they have. How nice it would be to all live professionally and harmoniously but hell may freeze over first...
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Try working for non profit schools... its a VERY different experience:)
    Teachallover likes this.
  17. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I live in Spain but don't work here so I tend to avoid that particular set of controversies. However, anything I know about Spanish educational iniquities is equalled or surpassed by some of the stuff I learned about boards and owners elsewhere, including the UK. Some surprisingly sinister people lurk behind façades of respectability. It tends to make one cynical. As a notice over the bar in an old Wigan boozer once read: In God we trust. Everybody else, cash.
    Teachallover likes this.
  18. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Don't make me laugh. The two biggest crooks I ever worked for were the Chair of Governors of my UK independent and the masonically-challenged Executive Secretary of our group of independent schools in Africa. Dodgy Sir Dave was an expert in the black arts of innuendo and intimidation and Shifty Chef Shaw's speciality was cooking the books.
    Alice K likes this.
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    British curriculum schools i imagine :):)

    That would go along with everything i have heard about them :p
  20. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    In many cases, the management, be they a family or a consultancy firm, will get away with exactly what the staff will let them get away with.

    Even where you have the law on your side, it can take time for the wheels to turn and many staff are either unaware of their rights or can't afford the time or money to fight.

    At the end of the day, you can protest and complain about the treatment of staff or students but if they're doing nothing illegal and all teachers choose to stay, then management has little reason to change.
    Teachallover likes this.

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