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‘Support plan’

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by postieno1, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. postieno1

    postieno1 New commenter

    I know this has been mentioned in these threads a (lot) but I was looking for some guidance. I have recently been placed on an informal ‘support plan.’ Is this the time to get out?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

  3. donrickles

    donrickles New commenter

    It depends.
    Informal support can be informal. It can also be step one in the play book to remove you. Would need more detail.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    It depends. I think the teacher recruitment crisis is starting to swing things our way. What career stage are you at? Do you feel targeted or do you think that you could do with ‘brushing up’? Have others come out the other end?

    Start with an open mind and get out if you feel it’s unfair.
    tonymars and pepper5 like this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well it's not that clear cut.
    If you have been placed on a plan and it is your judgement that actually you're doing fine and this has come out of the blue having worked well as a teacher for quite some time, or following something nasty but unrelated, then maybe yes.
    But if you have been placed on a plan and that's after all your kids failing all their exams and most of their parents expressing concern and all your observations leaving your observer speechless, then, no, stay and enjoy the plan,it is there to help.
    tonymars, phlogiston, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  6. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Yes get out as soon as you can. Simple as that.
    lardylegs and pepper5 like this.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I have to agree with @sbkrobson (which makes it 2-all). Support plans can be err.... supportive and it largely depends on your circumstances. Not just the obvious ones (like a recent slump due to a messy divorce) meaning you will soon be back to your brilliant self and support will speed this up. There's also the school asking itself, "If @postieno1 goes then how easily can he/she be replaced and at what cost (time and money)?"

    You can assess the first point yourself but the second requires knowledge that you won't get from this forum. Do you know anyone who could help? The union rep could do if he /she exists.
    phlogiston and pepper5 like this.
  8. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Start looking now for a new job.
    lardylegs, pepper5 and sooooexcited like this.
  9. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    Yes, get out!
    Who gets the blame when a student doesn’t make progress? Not the student!!

    If your leaders were effective at leading, why would anyone need to go on a support plan?
    Run away!
  10. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    Yes. Leave. Immediately.
    In theory a support plan could be justified, proportionate, achievable, measurable and sensibly applied. I have never seen that happen.
    It is simply a tool for incompetent management to a) beat teachers with to achieve their own nefarious ends b) get rid of annoyingly expensive or non compliant teachers. c) give the manager a nice warm glow from exercising power without any cost to them, but lots of upside in terms of their career.
  11. crocked

    crocked New commenter

    I think it's about you knowing the slt/whoever put you on it. Are they supportive of staff? Have they done this before? Do they have a point about the areas of your teaching that is the focus of the plan? I've known it work out for people if the management are doing it for the right reason. I had it done to me and it was clear from the outset that the new head wanted rid of as many of the old staff as possible. I was too trusting that all people in education are generally kind caring types.
  12. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    IMO SLT can't be supportive if there answer to a 'struggling' teacher is to instigate a procedure which is basically step 1 of a formal capability procedure.

    How many 'struggling' teachers are honestly going to get better if they are made to have a few high pressure observations and mark books mindlessly purely to look like the books have been marked?

    Instead - imagine if the answer was a quiet word to say 'we can see you've been struggling lately. Why don't you take a few extra free periods to get up to speed with marking. Come and observe some teachers teach and if there's any behaviour issues you're stressed about tell us the names and we can have a severe word with those students and tell them their behaviour will not be tolerated.' - surely that would then give the teacher a massive lift, allow them to tackle workload a bit better and stop the main threat to their teaching, poorly behaved and disruptive students who know they can get away with it.

    That's why I don't buy any 'support plan' as supportive. It isn't. It ramps up pressure and doesn't make you a better teacher. Just a tired and anxious one who may get through 6 weeks and mark a lot of books to satisfy a nonsense SLT policy but then what? Will all the problems just melt away?
  13. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    grumpydogwoman and agathamorse like this.
  14. TroubledTeacher1

    TroubledTeacher1 New commenter

    Yes! This exactly! Surely if books aren't marked or the teacher isn't putting enough time into planning, surely the reasonable thing to do would be to give them extra free periods to get all their work done.

    Surely the workload needs looking at!
  15. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    How come WE can all see the sense in this gloriously humane support suggestion by ProgressNerd, but it never seems to occur to those offering the ‘support’ plans?

    It’s almost as though they don’t want it to work....
  16. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    So much depends on the circumstances.
    The Number 1 trigger is the HT's performance management (I mean their own).... if they have been given a target to improve teaching, they need to pick some poor fool to improve. If they have also been given a target to reduce finance, they might want to shed some pricey teachers.

    If you are on UPS, you are at risk. They won't pick on a cheapie teacher unless they really really don't like them.

    Support Plan is like a Big Red Flag. "I have you in my sights." "You are the next out." "You are too old for the job."

    Or, you might just be **** at the job.

    Who knows?

    I have been on numerous support plans, just play the game and tick the boxes and then move on.
    If you can find another job, get out quick.
    If you can't (because you are old and on UPS) then make sure you do what they want for about 8 weeks and then relax.
    Sure, they will come back next year with the same old same old (not enough progress, teaching environment not stimulating enough, books not marked to school policy, students not challenged/engaged, blah de blah de blah Growth Mindset......)

    Just blag it on out. I kept on doing this for years, until they finally had to make me redundant to get rid of me.
  17. shipscat

    shipscat New commenter

    So well said - commonsense really!
  18. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I think the problem is that some SLT make a judgement to start this kind of process, but they do not experience the sleepless nights, the permanent feeling of "being on edge", and the guilt that is heaped on the poor soul who is targetted.
    Teaching is not an exact science. There are so many variables,and many of these factors are outside a Teachers control, and so this requires a sympathetic approach from Management. An approach that encourages a Teacher to improve, using peer observation or SLT observation. Alongside this the SLT need to do some serious "soul searching" to ensure that they play their part in assisting the Teacher concerned, and do not undermine them, in what is a highly skilled and demanding job .
    agathamorse, CalypsoDalma and install like this.
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    This must be stressful. Its time to see a gp. And its time to contact your Union. 'Informal' does not mean it isn't being written down somewhere.

    And sometimes, Informal support plans can be down to slt ego trips and cover ups. So - a few questions:

    1 What is the informal support plan for?
    2 Have you recently upset anyone?
    3 Are you new to your school?
    4 Is your line manager supportive/ new?
    5 Has something else happened?
    6 Anyone else on one that you know of?
    7 Do you get much support/assistance with learning or behaviour?
    8 Do you record lots of behaviour issues?
    9 Has someone complained?
    10 Are they covering up the lack of support you have had with tough classes?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  20. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    If you are on UPS, bear in mind that you will now be denied pay progression for two years, as you will be told that you can't be considered 'highly competent' in all aspects of the teachers' standards if you've been given 'support'.

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