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Starting Capability Proceedings

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

  1. What a load of rubbish, Capability is a tool used extensively by bullies. The end result you describe, even if it was the reality you suggest, did not require capability. Further, if you are suggesting that what you describe is a typical, then you are presumably living on a different planet. Finally, you need have no concern for me especially as you know nothing about my history. Take care
  2. simplethings

    simplethings New commenter

    So, let me get this right. Any HT who begins capablity proceedings against a member of staff, HAS to be a bully and there NEVER can be a positive outcome.
    I don't think they ever said it is typical. But, you are also assuming that what you have said about bullies, HTs and capability is typical as well.
    I know a few things....
    1- you will rant and rave and quote a multitude of articles and threads to prove your point and shout down anyone who may have an opposing view or experience.
    2- you will probably tell me that I am a bully at some point in your rant
    3- you will say you are only inlightening people and supporting people. Yet you give them no means to make the experience a positive one.
    You are a VERY negative person and I would NEVER want you to be on any team I am working with as I find people like you Soul Suckers...... sucking the life out of anyone who has had a positive experience.

  3. it's a shame you're so bitter ap19pb, capability is to support staff in the first instance and sometimes it works!
    You're right I know nothing about your situation, but clearly its effected you badly, but I do wish you well, maybe the best cousre of action to get over it would be to avoid these forums
  4. Capability is a tool used by workplace bullies. Real support can, and often is, offered by real leaders in other ways.
    As regards bitterness -- I have no reason to be bitter about anything. I simply try to inform.
    Physicsgeek - are you saying that you could not have had a better outcome another way?
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Not everyone who goes through capability is being bullied.
    I went through this with a colleague and the person herself was a bully. She bullied children, ridiculed them, refused to let them go to the toilet and humiliated them when they wet themselves, ignored the children with SEN in her class (and I mean she didn't even acknowledge them, let alone plan work for them) and was rude and obnoxious to many parents. Children who had previously enjoyed school began to cry at the thought of coming, wet the bed, and we lost several children over the 3 years because families simply removed them from school. We tried for 3 years to change her with support. She had all her lessons planned for her by colleagues for 2 years, didn't have any SEN children put in her class for 2 years to help her cope better, didn't have a subject responsibility, all while taking home UPS 3 pay (this wasn't done to undermine her, this was all at her request to make her job more manageable). She would often turn up to work at the same time as the children and frequently failed to complete basic paperwork. There are no records for the children who were in her class because she just didn't do them. In the end capability was the only way. It was a tough decision. While we were supporting her other teachers had their own workload and stress levels increased - they had additional planning, more sen children in their classes (they had to go somewhere) and the teachers receiving children from her had no records and 2 years work to make up since the children in her class usually stood still or went backwards (and yes we had 3 years evidence to prove this, measured against progress of pupils in other classes). This teacher had been getting away with this for 20 years because no one would tackle her about it. She thought she was invincible and was a terrible bully herself. Not everyone who takes people to capability is a bully. Sometimes it is necessary to protect young vulnerable children.
  6. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    What was the final outcome, curlygirly? Did she improve, did she resign or did it go all the way to dismissal?
    Sounds like capability procedures can actually be used to improve people's practice. I've never seen it happen - only ever seen it used as a means to get people to resign. In the same environment I'd seen teachers of the kind curlygirly describes get away with it. When people in the LEA started askign awkward questions about data the SMT started looking for people to force out - the ones who didn't care about the children had moved on by then so some of the hardworking, dedicated ones copped for it instead.
  7. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    She resigned about a week before it went to final proceedings. We really did try our best to help her. It was one of the toughest things I've ever done and I hated it. But I always came back to the question - would I be happy with my own child being in her class? And I would've been horrified if my child had had such an awful experience.
    Because she resigned she is still free to teach on supply. Although from what I head she hasn't ventured into a school since. A19 seems to think that awful teachers are just a myth. Having worked with one and seen the real psychological damage she did, I can only disagree. The truth is capability procedures took far too long for this woman. She made no effort to change and strung it out for as long as she could. 3 more classes of children suffered as a result. I have heard of capabilities having a positive outcome, but I have also heard that this depends very much on the attitude of all involved. This woman made it clear from the start that she was never going to change. As managers we have a duty of care to our staff, but also to our children and their families. No one should have had to go what they went through.
  8. Curly- I accept that there are some genuinely **** out there and that getting rid of them is a problem. The problem i have with Capability is that it is widely open to missuse by unscroupulous individuals who are on power trips and who use the tool improperly.
    In the case you describe, assuming that the person who was being pushed out was themselves abusive, then i accept that the means were justified. It relies on honest and decent people using it. We both know that there are more than a few people in promoted positions in schools (not only HT's) who's agenda is purely personal and who missuse capability to suit their own agendas.

    It could be argued that in your case described, the bully was bullied out could it not?
    <h3>Capability... it feels out of the blue! </h3>compare your case with the one in the thread above where it seems to me that the new HT was most probably a serial bully who had been dumped on this school with an excellent reference and was about to start clearing the staffroom to make room for 'his own people'.
  9. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    She most certainly was not bullied out. Procedure was followed to the letter and the teams who worked to help her were extremely supportive.
    By trying to defend this woman who bullied others you totally negate the real cases of bullying which occur.
    Not all head teachers are bullies, and not all capability cases are bullying. This woman had made children's (and colleagues and parents) lives a misery for years. How can you defend that?
  10. Curly - Get off your high horse please. I have no reason to disbelieve that this person was abusive and a bully and that they should not be teaching. The person needed dumped. I did not intend to defend them in my last post. You used Capability to get the result that was required. The fact that the teacher resigned suggests that they felt that they had no option and their perspective (as for all bullies) will be quite different from reality.
    The issue still remains that if the people using the proeedures are bullies then decent people will be shafted as you have seen attempted on e.g
    <h3>Capability... it feels out of the blue! </h3>It is an unreliable tool with no effective safeguards. Ideal for bullies. Once again, i am not suggesting that all HT's are bullies.
  11. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I seem to remember the process had many safeguards to prevent it's misuse. I agree a system is only as good as the people who use it. But if the safeguards were'nt there Froggy's case would've gone all the way wouldn't it?
    And for your information I was not on my high horse. How rude!
  12. Your :-
    'I agree a system is only as good as the people who use it.'
    Is the crux of the problem.
    The people who will make most use of it are the bullies at the top. Had Froggy not had the support, i think it likely that the outcome could have been quite different. Normal decent people expect to be treated fairly and that the systems and procedures ar reliable. When they find the reality different, they are usually too far down the line, isolated and shafted to fight back. That is why i continue to push my message so that people are aware of what can and often does happen when they fall prey to a narcissistic or sociopathic individual above them.
    <h3>'Kangaroo courts' -- Never ! -- Our systems are both fair and reliable.</h3>might be worth a read as might
    <h3>Bad Apple Bullies - Who would ever be fooled?</h3>In the case you describe, presumably the GTC should have been involved and the person suspended from teaching rather than being kicked out with presumably an agreed reference which could be used to get back in to schools and to use and abuse all over again. (Of course, involving the GTC can be another means for bullies to use. Its back to .......I agree a system is only as good as the people who use it.
    Re the High Horse -- That's how it read to me - no offense was indended and you can be quite rude yourself -- if well meaning.
  13. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    The crux of the problem is that all too often support for people being genuinely bullied is inconsistent.
    However, that does not mean that capability should never be used. In the school where I worked 70% of the teaching was judged as outstanding by ofsted, but we were told we would never be any more than satisfactory while she was in the school because she literally ignored pupils with SEN and belittled others (all in front of ofsted inspectors).Pupils went backwards in her class and were terrified of her. When given her feedback by inspectors she shrugged her shoulders and said "so what?". This was so frustrating and demoralising for the rest of the staff who suffered because of this woman, but even worse for children. Having gone through the system, I found that there were many many safeguards, in fact it often felt like we were fighting the system to try to get the best for our children and everything seemed to be skewed in this bully's favour. I don't know what your experience of capabilities is, I can only share mine.
    The question I think people should ask before they presume that capability = bullying is "would I want my child in that teacher's class?" Of course on here it isn't possible to know, because you only get one side of the story. But there are some truly awful teachers (and heads) out there, and let's not forget capability is used on heads and SLT too.
    And you can be quite patronising.
  14. Truce?
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I wasn't aware we were at war!
  16. That's good enough for me.

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