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Starting Capability Proceedings

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by physicsgeek, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Firstly, I will say that your constant repetition of your opinions on bullying, and in particular your adding of them to inappropriate threads such as this one, or the one on arson in Australia, are in themselves a suggestion that many SMT are guilty of bullying. If we were to constantly tell teachers that there is a lot of poor teaching around, bringing it up under any heading whatsoever in every staff meeting, the staff would rightfully be upset by the implication apparent in these repeated comments.<font face="Times New Roman"> </font>
    Secondly,<font face="Times New Roman" size="2"> A few a19pb quotes that would seem to inculpate many or most managers:</font>
    &ldquo;Senior managers often state publically the opposite of reality very convincingly and in such a way that they will not be challenged.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Another important question about your boss. in most big schools, they will operate at some level - almost guaranteed.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;This thread suggests that HT's are either not prepared to speak out or that they do not give a toss about their staff's welfare or their right to work in a workplace bullying aware school.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;A common problem is mentors who, instead of supporting their charges, choose to undermine and damage them.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Management often threaten Disciplinary Action on 'trumped up' charges to divert attention and increase stress further.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;HT references are inherrently unreliable.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;THe last article, talking about hospitals has similiaties to a teaching environment -- i.e. a lot of caring dedicated people and a lot of bullying managment.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;These people are not uncommon&ldquo;
    &ldquo;As I said, it affects almost ALL teachers in some negative way.&rdquo; &ldquo;
    The issue is grossly misunderstood. As I said, it affects almost ALL teachers in some way&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Minutes of investigation meetings are always inaccurate and heavily biased to suggest that the bullying claim is unfounded.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;As indicated - witness statements are unreliable as indicated above and the complainant is never allowed to see what was asked or the response.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;delays are deliberate. The intention is always to push things out so the complainant has no right to an Employment Tribunal (3 Months) after which the HR forces closure with an abusive judgment.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;HT's must be seen to support HT's otherwise the whole system would fall apart&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Teachers being bullied by there seniors is clearly a big problem in schools&rdquo;
    &ldquo;nasty people in education rise to the top&rdquo;
    &ldquo;the establishment protects the bullies&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Another contributing factor as to why schools are worse is that the Headteachers report is a very important tool which can be used to abuse staff.&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Also, the HT will generally have been groomed and will believe the bully&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Its because the tactics used by the bullies and those who blindly support them (management, HR, OH) and the underhand and devious tactics they use to damage the target, regardless of the actual facts are so unbelievable that so much damage is done&rdquo;
    The nec plus ultra of a19pb-ism must be, however, this quote. I will give the reference to it, so that no-one will suspect me of typical SMT-behaviour of inventing and trumping up charges.

    But what does not come across is the unquestionable unfairness of the grievance (and investigation) process which, when understood, is found to be 98% (its a guess) in favour of clearing a more senior bully of wrongdoing despite the real situation. By default, this protects more senior people of malicious claims.


    <font size="2">So she guesses, guesses, what the percentage is, guesses it to be very high &ndash; 98% - and calls this &ldquo;unquestionable unfairness of the grievance (and investigation) process&rdquo;.</font>
    Based on the guess of someone who, a19pb herself will agree, is perhaps less than impartial in this matter?
    A guess presented by a19pb as unquestionable evidence of unfairness. Sums it all up, really, doesn&rsquo;t it?
    I shall now follow the example of a myriad of other posters, and declare my intention of never ever ever responding to a post by a19pb, whose opinions are always fact, whose guesses are evidence, and who considers any views contrary to her own as being invalidating of her personally.
    Or even invallidating.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Thank you for your post above.
    I had considered searching for and listing some of the incorrigible anti-management nonsense that a19pb has posted over the past year or so, but really couldn't be bothered.
    However, you have done a fine job in highlighting some of the less acceptable quotes.
    I find ...
    &ldquo;nasty people in education rise to the top&rdquo; and
    "Also, the HT will generally have been groomed and will believe the bully&rdquo;
    to be particularly offensive.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Nomad, my personal top three are:

    &ldquo;nasty people in education rise to the top&rdquo;
    &ldquo;Minutes of investigation meetings are always inaccurate"
    &ldquo;HT references are inherrently unreliable.&rdquo;

    Plus, of course, the piece de resistance at the end of the "guessed statistic".
  4. Only Me

    Only Me New commenter

    I am not 'anti a19pb' posts as others are. There is an issue however, in not being able to know the full facts of the issue being discussed. When I posted a question on here, your reply was inappropriate, to the extent that you yourself were sticking up for the bully, ironically.
    The proceedure to rid the profession of teachers who blatently do not do their job, make other's lives miserable and are not capable of passing even the basic requirements of teaching is a valuable one. Why are or should we care about such people who clearly aren't caring much themselves?
    That isn't to say that there are cases of bullying everywhere and you and I certainly have experienced the brunt of it. However, I am clear that HT's in my experience with the exception of one, are nothing but professional when it comes to dealing with this issue.
    So, what happens when the competence proceedure is being used on such a bully - are you against it then? We all know that bullies usually behave in this way when they themselves are covering up incompetence, in order that they try and scare others into silence.
  5. Only me - It is interesting that you percieve that these respected HT's are against my posting about workplace bullying to raise awareness and bu raising awarness, hopefully making a positive difference. None of these people have actually expressed an opinion on the subject but have instead simply tried to suggest that I must be at fault and am against management. Nothing could be further from the truth. I recognise the need for good managers in schools. It is unfortunate that so many bad apples rise to the top and damage the profession and the good and decent peers with wholm they mix.
    Summertime - re your using capability. THe problem is that the system is open to abuse. While you might not misuse it it would not be possible to tell when it was being misused as 'evidence' can easily be engineered.
    The other important point is that you, as a HT, have a duty of care for the psychological wellbeing of your staff and should be doing all you can to reduce unnescessary stress. Capability, or even the suggestion of it, will cause, sometimes severe, distress and anxiety and is more likely to reduce rather than increase performance. Using it, means failing to comply with your staff's Dignity at Work policy which suggests that it is something you should not be doing. Or am i missing something?
    Finally - like you have said on the other thread - You will use it if you want to -- All I can say is a tool for bullies and that people should focus on the people who invoke it much more closely than they might otherwise have. I still find it hard to believe that you have difficulty in getting the best out of your staff without resorting to the use or threat of capability.

    More Generally, the following is taken from the late Tim Field's site - It is relevant here.
    Its worth looking at the contents of the linked page with an open mind - please don't assume you know everything there is to know.
    <a name="Reference">[/URL]Bad reference

    People who are bullied out of a profession such as teaching, nursing or social work
    find it almost impossible to regain employment in that field either because they have been
    coerced into an ill-health retirement, or their former employer refuses to provide an
    adequate reference or provides a deliberately vague or bad reference.

    <a name="Competency">[/URL]Competency and capability

    In certain professions, especially teaching, the serial bully fabricates
    criticisms and complaints as a means of imposing a competency or capability procedure.
    This tactic is designed to facilitate dismissal; the pressure is then steadily turned up
    until a mistake occurs and the person can be dismissed without recourse to appeals or
    legal action. The proposed fast-track dismissal procedures for teachers can easily be
    misused by bullies to eliminate anyone who can expose them. In nursing, the bully may
    report their target to the UKCC as a way of causing them to lose both their job and their

    <a name="Sociopaths">[/URL]Sociopaths in the workplace

    I estimate one person in thirty is a sociopath. Violent but intelligent, male or
    female, they express their violence by psychological means. Tell-tale signs are a Jekyll
    & Hyde nature, compulsive lying, lots of charm, aggression, dysfunctional and divisive
    thinking, denies everything, fabricates and distorts criticisms and allegations, flits
    from topic to topic, never able to pin him/her down on what the problem is, has strange
    attitudes to sexual behaviour, has a compulsive need to control, is emotionally cold and
    flat, and has a track record of harassing and destroying employees ... click
    here for the full profile.

    <a name="Personnel">[/URL]Failure of personnel and human resources to deal with bullying

    Of around 6000 cases reported to the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line, around
    3000 are working for an employer with a personnel department. In approximately 95% cases,
    the HR department has failed to comprehend the issue, failed to
    identify, recognise and deal the serial bully, and in most cases has joined in with the
    bully to get rid of the employee who has reported the bullying.

  6. Thanks Calm Down! That made me laugh.

    At the end of the day you have not given me any information that I did not know before. You have given no real advice on the topic of this thread except that Capability Proceedings has been used in the past by bullies. To be honest, bullies have use a wide and long range of tools to manipulate a system to the way they see fit. So, do I not use any of those tools, that if use appropriately work and are there for a reason?
    I also have a duty of care for the children of my school. The staff of my school KNOW that the children come first. They, themselves, put the children first.
    HOWEVER, they also know that I will support them 110% and, personally, care for their well-being.
    I love my school and I love the children and staff that work in it. It is a happy place to be and I work D**N hard to make sure it is that way.
    With that, I will make a concerted effort to ignore your posts. Not because bullying is not a problem but because I have gained no new knowledge from you and your statements are effecting my own Health and Well-being because no matter what I say, you will never conceed other sides to the story.

    So, for anyone who reads this thread and thinks that HTs don't care. No, the majority do care and I am tired of threads in the HT's forum being touted about on the rest of the forums on TES as a Waving Flag that HTs don't care.
    There, done, where is the ignore button!
  7. summertimed - Thanks for your contributionon this subject, even if we don't agree.. What has been clarified I think is that you agree that systems like capability can be used by senior workplace bullies to destroy good people and that it is almost impossible for a person being mistreated using these tools to effectively challenge their missuse. Nor for others to easily distinguish between apppropriate vs inappropriate use.
    If the real aim was to support a struggling teacher then there are real things that can be done to support.
    It is time that some of the key systems which are commonplace in education which make it easy for people in senior positions to abuse others were changed.
    THe HT reference --- Can be used to destroy careers at will. Teachers should be allowed to use anyone for their reference - Okay they would all be good but still some would be better than others. How many missleading/innaccurate HT references have you seen ?
    The review system should be changed so that the people below have an opportunity to rate those above. 360 degree reviews offer significant advantages over what we have now.
    Information on staff turnover, both school and department based should be available for inspection so that patterns can be identified and that information be used to support people being targetted.
    Investigation of bullying claims must be done by trained and totally independant agencies. These people must be aware of the common deception techniques used by those who bully.
    Staff training should include counter workplace bullying training.
    None of the above would be detrimental to you and all would increase the level of trust in your school.
    In a school where bullying was a problem, then some / all of the above would make a positive difference to both the staff and the pupils in their care.
    Thanks again.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Just how many have YOU seen in the course of your long and illustrious career? I should be grateful for an actual figure (and how these came to your notice) rather than another post full of blather.
    It is not a "review system", nor is it "appraisal", both of which would be suitable for a 360 degree approach.
    It is Performance Management - i.e. the management of performance, and therefore can only be done by those who manage the performance of others.
    No reason why 360 degree appraisal cannot be used alongside it, of course, and all the HTs who have gone through LPSH have used 360 appraisal to rate their own performance.
    It is. Staff turnover is included in the minutes of governing body meetings, and the minutes of personnel-type committees. The REASONS for an individual member of staff departing may well (and should) be confidential, but their leaving will - by virtue of being recorded in governors' minutes - be a matter of public record.
  9. Calm Down - Is this your third or fourth attempt? I'm not sure what game you are playing thought it is very clear that your intention is to both misslead and to discredit.
    As it is clear the likes of yourself does not like people being made aware of how workplace bullies operate in schools and will continually try to waste threads. Feel free, the people reading are generally intellegent enough to recognise your intent. What is your normal username? Do you normally post on the HT forum?
    Re my situation - I joined the Tes forums 2 years ago but have been teaching for many years and continue to enjoy my job. It is because I want others to work in healthy environments that i take the time to post here. As i imagine you are very aware - I have substantial experience and insight -- I talk sense and my intentions are good. Can you say the same about yourself ?
    Re the interrogation - I'm not playing. What i have written is an accurate description of what happens. The Tim Field link has also highlighted the problem with references.
    With an honest HT, there is no major problem with the current system (although it is still open to abuse as the 'meat' of the HT reference is often (in secondary) provided by lower 'managers'. i.e. it requires that all in the chain are honest decent people. (That said I am aware of a situation where a bullying HOD had penned a bad reference for one of their targets but when the HT talked to the 'target' of the HOD he realised that the problem was actually the HOD. The HOD's version was dumped and the HT provided a good reference which allowed the target to get out. (A good and decent HT was he.) The unmasking of the HOD happened by chance and a quite different outcome might otherwise have been the result.The HOD was never dealt with.
    In industry and commerce there is no requirement for the boss even be asked to provide a reference -- In my opinion, a much more sensible setup.
    Finally calm_down, a little advice --- please calm down otherwise people might recognise your lack of style which i imagine you use with your usual username or usernames.

  10. Nomad - re fishing for info / discrediting - the same response as for calm_down (or is it really Geno/Theo?), I'm not playing.
    I'm here to raise awarness and for all to get benefit -- till now you have been obstructive - only you know your reasons for being so.
    Re staff turnover info - while i accept what you are saying to an extent, the reality is that the information should be easilly accessable and very public so that HT's who have a bullying problem in their school are likely to be exposed to valid critisizm and might then do something to retain staff and reduce the problem rather than to treat staff as dispensible.
    Re reviews /appraisals -- Good managers have no fear of 360 degree reviews / appraisals (many might actually welcome them) and currently bullying managers currently have no fear as reviews come from above. Were these people likely to be exposed to valid critisizm from below and that comment made available to their seniors then they are likely to treat all below better. Its as simple as that.

    <h3>Workplace bullying - peer and subordinate reviews - school/HT reports</h3>
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Then where should I begin?
    "percieve" = perceive (remember the rule "I before E except after C)
    HT's = HTs. No apostrophe is necessary in a plural.
    "critisizm" = criticism (not a typo - you did it twice)
    "'evidence' can easily be engineered" - poppycock! A good HR officer from the LA and a good union representative would be able to see through and rubbish any 'thin' evidence at the first meeting. Just precisely what IS your position and how does it relate to the phenomenon of "bullying" by managers in schools?
    I appreciate that spelling is not the be-all-and-end-all of teaching, but your ignorance of the 'facts' and basic illiteracy would suggest that you are not actually a teacher at all.
    Furthermore, you have given no evidence to support your view that you are in possession of any experience and insight into the phenomenon of bullying in schools. You come across as a rank amateur with a chip on both shoulders and a vast amount of personal baggage which you feel you need to vent on these boards.
    Now - I suggest that you state your credentials as any form of an 'expert' in bullying of staff in schools, or shut up and sod off.
  12. Nomad- I feel you'v'e (i only had one apostrophe but have thought about it to try to please you and put in a second) now reached the bottom of the barrel - cheap digs even. I fortunately don't feel the need to be pedantic about speeling (nor capitals at the start or even the wrong word order in these fora) - You missed the independant / independent and as for i before e, i sometimes forget whether its befor c or after c.
    Then there is the 'I don't believe you are actually a teacher'. I have little concern over your implication of doubt or of my knowledge of either teaching or bullying. I have no doubts however about your credentials and your primary or pre primary games.
    Your first post referring to me i think was :-

    Calling a19pb
    Rather than being a one-horse race, it is the antics of a one-trick
    pony. [Sings.] Hes a one trick pony. One trick is all that horse
    can do. He does one trick only. Its the principal source of his
    revenue, And when he steps into ...

    Posted by nomad on 23 Jan 2009 9:11 AM

    THe linked thread i think was pulled because it was deemed abusive i imagine.
    Your involvment last month was rather childish, though i imagine your slepnig was good. Since that time you have continually ignored making comment on the problem of workplace bullying in schools but instead have simply tried to discredit. Your motive please, we'd all like to know ?
    For you to suggest that HR people would recognise the lies told by bullies is actually dangerously missleading. HR will systematically ignore evidence which prooves bullying by senior people because they know that to try to deal with it would be highly embarrasing and open the the way for damages claims from those targetted. Who pays the HR peoples wages ? They do what they are told to do and what they do has little to do with what is good for targetted employees but far more to do with covering up abuse and limiting liability. I imagine you knew that already but would rather others didn't.
    I really would like to hear what yoy have to say rather than to play the silly games.

  13. Back to capability being used to abuse staff by HT's who most likely are serial bullies.

    <h3>Staff Turnover</h3>
    Post 92 0n this thread about a HT who it seems is using capability to systematicaly damage then replace their staff while the LA turns a blind eye ormore likely is complicit in the bullying.
    Its time for the good HT's to recognise and challenge the abuse being inflicted by some of their peers and in doing so damaging the reputation of all HT's.

  14. Capability / Workplace bullying
    In any school where Capability Proceedings are used on any kind of regular basis, then ant reasonable person must accept that workplace bullying is involved in the proceedings.
    Remember -
    <h3>Workplace Bullying in Schools - Good teachers are most at risk - links</h3>good teachers who have been covertly discredited and bullied can take it very badly when their competence is wrongly questioned. The workplace bullies that question the cometence of the good teachers know the effect it might have on them.
  15. Yes, that's it, all teachers who are placed upon capability are good teachers who are being bullied, or so they would like it to be seen...............whoops! Time for 6 months work related stress leave on full pay, whilst their union attempts to discredit everyone in the school with any responsibility in an outside hope of stopping proceedings on some form of technical issue. Meanwhile the education of those children effected goes to the wall as the whole school takes the strain spending months and months unable to employ a replacement teacher, relying on temporary solutions, which end as the trash teacher has to be coaxed back into work gently, before the whole sorry saga starts again, gosh you mean I've still got 6 months leave on half pay to have, quick off to the doctors with another fit of fake symptoms, or just a few tears..................
  16. Or alternatively, make sure that the environment in the school is such that teachers feel valued and supported in the first place.
    Clearly from your tone, you don't seem to want to even acknowledge the reality that bullying behaviours cause stress, the symptoms of stress impact on everyone in the teaching environment either directly or indirectly and that the very best teachers can be targetted by individuals with either Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorders (or significant traits associated with these disorders)) to the extent that their performance in the class suffers badly and makes them potential candidates for capability proceedings?
    I often suggest that the unions let bullying victims down because they do not tell them upfront that the internal investigation systems for investigating bullying is very heavily (to the extent where it could be described as being both abusive and corrupt) biased towards the senior bully and that the bullying will routinely, over an extended sham investigation, be ignored and suggestion of blame will be put on the real target. The reality is that, they know that getting off on sick leave could actually save the sanity and their member's health from irrepearable damage and make life more difficult for the bully - ie, unions advising the course you suggest is the norm, is not bad advice - it is all they can do. (other than use the PfHA and the courts).
    Are you anti - union? Could you suggest what you think a competent person who is being bullied using the capability proceedures should do?
    The bottom line here, no matter how you look at it, supporting a bully in a school will, one way or another, cost many &pound;100,000s over their career, paying for sick leave, compensation and the costs associated with staff turnover etc. It would be much better if a paterrn of bullying behaviour was evident and could be linked to an individual or individuals to simply invoke the disciplinary system against them and sack them if their behaviour continues to cause problems. In the course of events, they will play the system as you describe, but when they are gone, the source of the cancer they feed will be gone and there is then at least the possibility of recovery for others in the environment.
    If this course were to become the norm, then workplace bullies in senior positions would need to change their behaviour to survive - I'm guessing many might --- Workplace bullies have a strong survival instince and while their intrinsic behaviour is toddler like and their emotional intellegence very low, they are generally reasonably intellegent people.

    So, like i said at the start --- make sure that the environment in the school is such
    that teachers feel valued and supported in the first place.
  17. This thread will be relevant to some who are currently being bullied using 'capability'
  18. Hi, I stopped reading this after I got the advise I needed, and was just checking through a few things and was surprised how this thread changed, so I feel the need to explain how the whole thing ended. The support part of the procedings highlighted their strentghs, but did also highlight some weaker areas. The support was offered, and a team of 3 of us (that X choose) worked with him, but ultimatley they decieded they no longer wanted to have a negative impact of students results (their grades were significantly below average).
    We as a school developed a new role for X using the very extensive strengths they have and taking away the things they were finding difficult. They have said this year that they have never been happier in work and are enjoying and proving very succesful in their new role. And I would like to add we are still friends and were through out the process. Thanks to those who said I wasn't a bully, sorry a19pb that you have encountered bullying in your role.

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