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Summoned by the Head

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jdavie41, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. jdavie41

    jdavie41 New commenter

    Hello everyone.

    I had an appointment invitation via email yesterday from the Head and Assistand Head to a meeting. I am so worried. It’s due on 4th July so I am nervous whether it might be a complaint or something. Do I have the right to ask the Head what the meeting is about? Quite frankly I don’t want the assistand Head there because she can be shifty. If it is serious why is it that there are two SLT present and they haven’t advised me to bring someone.

    Advise needed.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Have you responded yet?

    I'd respond saying something like "Can you tell me what it's about please so that I can properly prepare?"

    If they don't or won't tell you, then I'd think about going accompanied, yes.
    aftabh2, Curae, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Defo ask the HT what the meeting is about. If he/she tells you then you can pick the next step.
  4. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    You can ask and they can give a brief outline but I doubt they would be able to convey any details. Just speak to your union and organise a representative to attend the meeting if you feel the need to do so.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Can you nip in before then and ask?
    Or just reply to the email with an "Of course. Any chance of knowing what it might be about?"

    It's normal to freak out when the head asks for a meeting, but usually it is nothing to panic about.

    4th July is ages away, so unlikely to be anything very terrible.
    strawbs, Piranha, Curae and 5 others like this.
  6. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Ask what its about and if possible an agenda. This will take the element of surprise out of any potential ambush. If at any point you don't like how it's going ask to stop the meeting and reconvene with a union rep present. I know this hanging over you will ruin the next few weekends and it will spin round your mind but try and see that there is a world away from their tiny fiefdom of pomp and circumstance. And remember the worst thing that could happen is that they can try and beat you up and thats highly unlikely. It's all going to be just words. How valid you think those words are is entirely your call. And if all else fails you can just walk. Believe it or not you'll always find supply work as there is a national shortage of teachers. Believe it or not they just can't get enough people to do this job!
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    You have the right to know what the meeting is about. You have the right to be accompanied, although if it isn't a formal disciplinary meeting not necessarily by a union rep and insisting on a rep can push managers into making things more formal.

    Best find out what it is before stressing. If you're being asked to organise your line manager's leaving do or told you're organising prize giving this year you'll feel a bit daft having asked for union representation.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes, what blazer says. You might be worrying about nothing. Or the head's reply might alert you to something that makes you want to be accompanied.

    You don't have right to be accompanied unless it's a formal discipline hearing or unless it says so in your school policies. They don't usually allow you to be accompanied unless it's a meeting that's part of the discipline or capability procedure.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Whatever you do - DO NOT attend this meeting on your own.

    It's not nice they are making you wait two weeks.

    I think you can assume though that it probably is something they consider serious.

    Be careful
    lardylegs likes this.
  10. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    I would say that’s pretty poor management, emailing you to ask you to attend a mysterious meeting two weeks’ hence. It’s bound to make a member of staff anxious and wonder what it’s about. Hardly a pleasant way to treat people.

    Don’t get yourself wound up about it. Go and ask what the meeting will be about. And make sure you get a proper answer. It’s a perfectly reasonable request. Then you will know whether everything’s OK and you can calm down or whether you need to prepare in some way.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter


    Or being asked to take on organising work experience for year 11s next year.
    Or being asked to set up visits from nurseries to increase the uptake of reception places.
    etc etc etc

    OP, do you have absolutely no idea at all?
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Are you seriously saying that no-one should ever go to a meeting with their head unless they are accompanied?

    Given we all have absolutely no idea what the meeting is about, it seems there is a lot of scaremongering going on.
  13. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    Find out what the meeting is about. If it’s harmless, then no need for a rep. However if you’re in the meeting and you feel like you’re being ambushed with something more serious than you were expecting then politely excuse yourself. Say you need more time to prepare an adequate response or else say you need union advice.
  14. mratcliffe88

    mratcliffe88 New commenter

    If you are worried take your union rep with you. As a rep I am trained to understand and re-assure the feelings of a member of staff prior and following a meeting they are nervous about. You are entirely within your rights to ask for an agenda for any meeting and that should clarify any issue.

    Don't forget also it doesn't have to be the union rep you take with you, could even be a friend or family member too.

    Don't panic, stay calm, don't agree to anything you aren't happy with and YOU CAN wait to make any decisions that are asked of you in the meeting, you do not need to make any decisions.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do NOT assume the worst!

    4th July is ages away!

    Just pop your head round the door and ask the fella/woman! "This meeting. What's it about?"
    agathamorse and Bumptious like this.
  16. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You are not entitled to do that. A workplace colleague as an alternative to a union rep, yes. A friend/family member, no.
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    You can be accompanied for meetings other than disciplinary - as a union rep I had a major ding dong with my HT over this issue, when a member returning from maternity leave was having their contract discussed, and they were entitled to be accompanied. The HT moved Heaven and Earth and told blatant lies to have me excluded from the meeting, because they didn't like their staff being on part-time contracts and didn't want a union rep present.

    As a bare minimum ask what the meeting is about before you go. Why would they not tell you?

    When you're in the meeting look like you're taking notes if it's in any way contentious.

    I'm not scaremongering by the way. I had the misfortune to work for a HT who's favourite ambush tactic was to invite you to a meeting at short notice with an unspecified agenda and one of their SLT lackeys present, usually close to a holiday to avoid any comeback. Then they'd tell you out of the blue that your GCSE subject was being dropped from the curriculum. They did that to four staff in the space of a couple of hours a few days before Christmas. It happens.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. jdavie41

    jdavie41 New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your amazing input. I will see the HT tomorrow and enquire. I’m not concerned about seeing the HT it’s the fact that he has the AHT with him and she hasn’t been kind to me in the past.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  19. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I remember being called in by the HT without explanation - and on arriving being offered a promotion and better conditions.... needn't always be bad, you know!
  20. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I don't think it's a complaint as they wouldn't wait 2 weeks to see you about that!

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