1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Staff support/ Capability

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by DaisysLot, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I hope someone will write something along those lines. The lack of published data does not mean it isn't happening. The recruitment crisis and the evidence before your eyes on these pages - although only anecdotal - ought to be more than enough to raise very serious concerns. It seems to be targeted towards getting rid of more expensive teachers and there is strong anecdotal evidence that some schools are out to get teachers. That sort of strong anecdotal evidence is a good indicator that the situation needs looking at, and there is very likely something of that nature happening.

    We don't know. It would be good to know. From what I am aware of in my circle of teaching friends and what I see here, I am beginning to wonder. There are certainly too many people doing it in ways that are unacceptable to me and to many others.

    I am not against observations either. It would be great if they were used supportively and in a collegiate and collaborative way to improve teaching. They too often are not. If trained inspectors are getting wrong at a level of worse than random chance (schools are made up of individual teachers), then I become very sceptical when the process is used as part - or all - of the reasons for putting people on capability. For example, one or two RI observations from SLT should not be enough of a reason to start a process that makes people ill and ruins careers.

    Clearly, neither you, nor I, nor Kevgeall would condone that type of behaviour, but it is clearly happening.

    Some good people have shown with solid evidence over the last few years that schools' use of data, Ofsted's use of data and Ofsted's inspection process are all fundamentally flawed and statistically incorrect. I have no confidence that management teams are "objectively" identifying "underperforming" teachers - especially if that identification is largely based on data, results and / or subjective observations by people who may well have an agenda
  2. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    I did work in a South London Academy where the exec HT gave the 'observers' a list of staff who were to be graded 4, regardless of what actually happened, and yes those staff were all expensive on UPS.
    It happens.
    Probably a lot more than anyone would like to admit.
    I also have a colleague graded outstanding by OFSTED and then graded 4 by the HT, just a few weeks later, very similar style lesson, same class etc.
    There are some nasty vindictive HT's around.
    Regret that terms of TES prevent me from naming and shaming.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Thanks for posting that. Gross misconduct in my opinion.Not that anyone really cares anymore. And verging on criminal in the way it can destroy people and damage them financially on the whim of one person. One of my favourites is when I was mainstream, Ofsted came in and observed a lesson with two of our SLTs. The three of them came up with three different grades. Which given the unscientific nature of observations isn't that surprising. This is why they should not be used in the ways we are hearing. It is unreliable and open to a lot of "interference"
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I agree with what you say about the uselessness of lesson observations but it does beg the question.
    "If I decide the solution to my many problems is a bottle of (single) malt whisky a day, then how will the school manage to sack me?"
    In one sense there are plenty of criteria in the teachers' Standards that could be used against me but the thought of having to trawl through all those is far worse than having to live or die on the result of two lesson observations.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Sorry, realise I'm slightly dodging the point with my previous post.

    I do appreciate that observations are flawed but what criteria can be used against the bleeding useless? Practically all of the Standards are equally subjective and at least observations are widely used so there is a chance of consistency.

    Again though it comes down to hard-won trust in the SLT.
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Do pardon me for acting as chair here, only while I appreciate the philosophy of teaching and education, and folk could discuss and deliberate all day; it would be more positive to move away from that and steer towards proposed ways in which to address, manage and resolve under performance of teachers.

    I'm welcoming suggestions from those who manage it, as much as those who've had negative and damaging experiences of being managed. I genuinely want to cultivate and encourage a determined, fair and focused approach for all - teacher, manager and learner. And while one might hope a teacher could or would do that for themselves, upshot is that without a nudge most do not, therefore some frame and strategic policy is needed. I think somehow along the way the words "This aspect needs refining" or "Your teaching could be more effective if.." got translated as "You're pants at your job" and so developed a horrid culture of arrogance and defence, which, let's be frank, is not winning for anyone.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    If people are not fulfilling their professional duties, you do not need to fabricate observations.

    But the issue is not about people who are genuinely underperforming. If you can get rid of people because they are too expensive or whatever, by giving them a poor observation and placing them on capability and then giving them impossible workloads and targets, then it can be done for people who are "bleeding useless" / genuinely not doing the job properly. Surely?

    For the record, I have not been on the wrong end of anything like this, have no personal axe to grind and I have purposefully never involved myself in the sort of shenanigans that go on in SLTs. It just makes me angry to see what is happening to decent people. I have been (and still am) a classroom teacher for nearly 20 years.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm very pleased - and relieved - to read this, @Scintillant , because I have worried a bit about you as you often seem so virulent in your replies that I wondered if you were a current victim.

    So thank you for that reassurance.

    Best wishes

  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I am not one of the people to worry about - there are enough of those out there these days, as this forum attests. I work in a great school with great people, doing their level best for some very disadvantaged young people.

    I am tired of reading about what is happening to this "profession". There is so much unprofessional behaviour, often bullying in its nature, by people who ought to know better - but I guess that's the calibre of some people running schools these days.

    If you steal £1000 off someone, you'll be in trouble. If you take away their livelihood because they are old / expensive, using trumped up observations to get rid of them, then I see that as verging on criminal. Quite what people who do that sort of thing are like, how you get to be like that and how they sleep at night, is beyond me.

Share This Page