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Teaching Assistant Bullied by Teacher

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by auditeetee, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. I have just been sacked as a TA without notice and for no reason other than the teacher I worked with did not like me. This teacher is now on her 4th TA in less than 2 years. I am worried I will not get another job - it was hard enough to get this one - I volunteered at the school for 10 months before getting offered the TA position.Any advice from others in a similar situation would be great.
  2. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    What reason was given for you being sacked - presumably not that the teacher didn't like you? did you have a permanent contract? If so there has to be a good reason for it being terminated - they can't just sack you and you could make a claim for unfair dismissal. Was this from a state school or an independent one - the latter often function as a law unto themselves?
    If, on the other hand, you had a contract on some kind of rolling basis which said your employment would only be on the basis of the school's needs then you may find it quite difficult to do anything about this. I am assuming that you are not a member of a union - I cannot emphasise enough to all school support staff how important it is to join one - I know that those on low pay feel they can't afford to pay the subscriptions but yours is a case which clearly explains one of the reason why it's worth every penny! If you think you have been unfairly dismissed you need to get some advice on your specific situation - if I am wrong and you are a union member get in touch with your local branch first thing tomorrow for their support. If you are not in a union you can still make the claim but will need to get some legal advice - if you still have Citizens Advice Bureau where you live they will be the best place to start.
    Do you have a TA qualification? If you do you should still be able to apply for other jobs (I do appreciate that these are few and far between these days but often the Spring term sees some people handing in their notice so jobs arise.) Are you concerned about a reference from this school? Were you told they would give you one for another job?
    Sorry not to be more helpful but without knowing more about it I can't really think of anything else to suggest -I wish you good luck in finding another job.
  3. Even if you are not a member of a union most unions will give advice if other union members at the same school.
    Could you go back to volunteering again? If there really was a problem with you or your work they would have to use that as refusing to employ you as a volunteer. Just dont go back and do your old duties as a volunteer otherwise the school is getting free labour! Dont be afraid to ask foe the reason why your work has been stopped I think they have t give you a reason temporary or not?!

  4. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I'm afraid this is a fallacy which also appeared in a thread on here a while ago - why would unions be prepared to advise people who do not pay any contributions ? It's bad enough that non-union members have enjoyed years of annual pay rises (not for the last three, though, and probably not for the next few either) which have been negotiated by the unions and therefore paid for by contibuting members. The annual 'cost of living' rise is also a fallacy - it was a negotiated deal every year and this year's negotiations with the Local Government employers are currently underway, though the likliehood of anything being offered is virtually zero since central government are saying it's okay to continue the public sector pay freeze.
    The only way a union rep might get involved in a situation like this would be if they think they will be able to persuade a large number of non-members to join by doing so - i.e. if they think they can get the person re-instated and that other employees will be happy abut it. As the OP hasn't come back to add to the original post it may be that there were actually genuine grounds for what has happened.
  5. Thanks for all the advice. No I was not a member of a union - a BIG mistake but one that I will learn from. I can not claim for unfair dismissal as I have not been in paid employment at the school for 12 months - I had only had a contract for 10 months. Yes an independant school so no surprise there! CAB have advised me that I could possibly go for unlawful dismissal but I do not think I want any more dealings with the school. If money was no object and I felt a bit stronger emotionally about it all I would put it in the hands of solicitors and go to the press. I wrote to the Head and copied it to all the school Governors. The reply ignored all my questions apart from stating that as I had not been in a contract for a year they could terminate my employment at any time without notice. The reason given for my dismissal initially was that the relationship between the teacher and myself had broked down irretrievably and the relationship between the Head and myself had also broken down irretrievably. In the last letter the reason given is that there were concerns over my performance and attitude. At no time have I been made aware of any concerns about my work - I really enjoyed the job and had built a good relationship with the children. The teacher and the Head have a very close relationship and whatever the teacher wants she gets - so if she decides she doesn't like you then you go! The other Year 1 teacher who is new is having an awful time and I am not sure how long she will last at the school. I really want to work in a school and I hope not all schools are like this!
  6. I wanted to add that when I wrote to the Head I asked for a reference and in her reply she stated that in terms of a reference she would only put down dates that I have worked at the school and that there were no child protection issues. Luckily 2 other teachers at the school have privately said they will provide references for me. Anyway onwards and upwards...
  7. Hi everyone, as an investigative journalist (who has previously worked as a TA) I am very interested in this topic as I am currently gathering some stories relating to the workplace bullying of TAs, who I believe are the school staff members most susceptible to such bullying. The stories I have gathered so far have been positively harrowing (including one woman hounded out of her position after nearly 40 years of employment). If any of you would like to contribute to the piece I am writing on this subject, in complete anonymity of course, then I would be very happy to hear from you, either by email or telephone. This is an issue which should receive greater publicity, contributing to my piece will help raise awareness of this awful practice, which is so commonplace in our schools. here is my email address: seas.black@yahoo.com thankyou
    tracey74 likes this.
  8. Rockchick2112

    Rockchick2112 New commenter

    Unfortunately, some vague general claim about 'performance issues' is often used by weak, bullying headteachers as an excuse for pushing out someone they don't like (or is causing them problems). Staff in schools ought to have more protection from this kind of thing, regardless of whether they're employed on a permanent or temporary basis. I'm glad that you have other members of staff who are willing to give you references- the only problem you might have if you are trying to get a paid job in a school is that as part of 'safer recruitment' head teachers are supposed to get detailed references (ie not just dates) from previous head teachers rather than from some other member of school staff. Of course this leaves job applicants very vulnerable to the whims of vindictive head teachers, who may be intent on spoiling someone's chances purely because of personal dislike.

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