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Toot toot!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Flowersinspring, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Occasional commenter

    A colleague (honestly!) is leaving in July and it has been suggested to them by a higher - ranking colleague that they may well want to do a bit of whistle - blowing as there are some rather unusual practices happening . Well, more than suggested. A form was handed to them. My colleague has their reference, a new job lined up and believes whistle blowing to be anonymous.
    The question is - to toot or not to toot?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If your colleague hadn't been planning to do so before someone suggested it to them, then no they shouldn't. If they didn't feel strongly enough about it to whistle blow themselves, then it seems daft to do it on someone else's behalf.
    The senior member of staff should be blowing the whistle themselves if they think it is necessary.
  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Whistleblowing is a professional duty.
    If it needs doing, it must be done.
    But, you don't tell someone who is leaving to do it, you do it yourself.
    drvs, Laphroig, thistledoo and 8 others like this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well neither of those responses consider the repercussions of whistle blowing, which is the actual reason why getting somebody who is out the door already to do it is preferable to the person who suggested it. It's all round damage limitation.

    For the blower, as it were, it occurs to me that a lesser moral being than myself would want to charge for the service....hmmmm

    **teases chin in moral regret**
    cb324 and sabrinakat like this.
  5. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Occasional commenter

    It must be damage limitation, I think. Will we have people crawling all over us if the whistle is blown? It's the odd decisions made by SLT that my colleague wants exposing and it's also an opportunity for my colleague to show how nasty this workplace can be.
  6. HotRoo

    HotRoo New commenter

    Morally it is the right thing to do but it can have horrific consequences on your own career. Think very carefully and it is never anonymous as there is a process to go through. I thought my organisation should know what was going on but they then felt I was not suited and created a situation to get rid of me.
  7. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

  8. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Occasional commenter

    @slingshotsally -thank you for the links. Will pass them on to my colleague.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    "Odd decisions" and "nasty" are par for the course for anybody in teaching. And they can both be so nefarious that the resulting sense of yuk means we seek to solidify the wrongness into something pursuable. How else to make sense of an increasingly punishing regime in school life?
    The hardest thing is to pinpoint the wrong doing. And almost always the wrongdoing is a result of HT doing right according to their remit, but in a way that falls below into a messy puddle of overwork, tactlessness and recrimination.
    How do you distinguish the "almost always" from the "rare occasion" when things are done illegitimately from the top? That's gotta be time consuming. I'd love to spend my days using a metal detector to find the hairpin on the beach, but then I'd never get my lessons planned for the kids. In other words surely you ought to spend your time on the job in hand? Erm, rather, I mean your colleague.

    Testing you.
    Oops, again, I mean your colleague.
  10. TailwindTurner

    TailwindTurner New commenter

    Make sure it is wrongdoing and not just unusual doings - big difference.

    Aaahh, whistle blowing. That awesome protectionist policy that is to protect staff who whistle. In the words of Ricky Tomlinson " My Aarsenal".
    Once you report this as a protected disclosure you are now the prime target of hunting season. Weapons,knives.daggers so to speak will appear from everywhere. And dare your disclosure implicate the ivory tower.

    Sorry for the doom and gloom OP, but I speak from experience, It may not be like that in your school. Schools will do anything to protect themselves first and then establish damage control. With the whistler no longer there it may join others under the carpet.

    I suggest you get a copy of the whistle-blowing policy and follow it to the letter, to the letter, as I've seen cases thrown out on technicalities. Make detailed notes ((time,place,person,info,witnesses, hard evidence,witness statements if you can) of everything and then consider if it is really wrongdoing and your way forward. You may want to involve your union before you blow that whistle.

    Be prepared for nastiness at unprecedented levels and make sure you have the enthusiasm and energy for this. The cases I was involved with took more than 18 months to reach conclusion. If is wasn't for persistent and incessant harassing for progress updates it would probably still be being investigated or no case to answer. You have to be prepared to fight dirty.
    If you do proceed you may wish to submit your signed and dated statement to the HT, Gov's, Authority or as my colleague did his local councillor. BOOOM, it hit the fan, but this was after 16 months of impotence from the HT. Needless to say dear colleague's life has been absolute hell since to the point where it became a legal matter.
    sabrinakat, sbkrobson and bevdex like this.
  11. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Occasional commenter

    @sbkrobson -erm I'm not aware that I'm leaving in July! If you know otherwise then that's, erm, lovely ! Test away - it's not ME!:)
    I too would love to have the time to fight all injustices in the workplace - preferably with a suitably be- suited sidekick - however I have neither the time nor energy.
    I hope my colleague has both of these. I'm not sure they do.

    And so it goes on ...
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Sorry, that clearly was misinterpreted.
    I was not testing the veracity of you versus your colleague researching this query.
    I was testing the will to whistle blow by anybody. Generically.
    If a union is consulted, they will do the same. They will advise-this will be messy, you (collectively, generally, universally, not "you") may be wrong, this may have repercussions, you might need to spend lots of time on it, you might not get the outcome you want etc etc. A good union rep will start by testing whether it really is the desired course of action.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding there; effective irony was never my strong point.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  13. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I just read about "off rolling" less able children from a cohort to avoid GCSE result slump and drop in the league tables in the Guardian.

    Why not just call them up and do the deed that way? I think they have ways of anonymising emails etc.

    BUT then again, I still would be concerned about future implications of this action. It might haunt your colleague for a long, long time. Most organisations brush accusations off...
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  14. saluki

    saluki Senior commenter

    I whistle blew in a previous life. After I left the position. The person I whistle blew to said "what's it got to do with you anyway? You've left" (substitute 'you're leaving' in OPs scenario).
    Some posteriors were kicked, some stuff was swept under the carpet and some things were hushed up. Basically life carried on much as it did before.
    Was it worth it? I got personal satisfaction from seeing the wrongdoer squirm. If I had stayed in that career area life would have become difficult; but I didn't, so it didn't. Did it bring about change? Not really. Did I have the moral support of my ex-colleagues? Yes. Did they speak out and back me up? No.
    Would I do it again? Only if I felt very strongly about something. As it has been 'suggested' to the OPs colleague, I am guessing the colleague was not already raging with a sense of injustice. Therefore, do not become a pawn in someone else's game.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I would say that it depends on what the issue is. Does the person leaving think it serious enough to have to be reported? If 'yes', they should do it anyway. If 'no' then leave it to the persion who asked them to do it. It may be part of some nasty little power struggle at a senior level.

    On reflection, I might be inclined to tell the more senior person to do it themself if they are so concerned about it. Delegating tasks you don't like is not an attractive trait in a manager.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It is an act of cowardice on the part of the higher-ranking colleague. If there is genuine wrongdoing then it should be reported.

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