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Unprofessional conduct... Asked to lie in an Ofsted inspection.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by cleproy, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. When I had been in a Preschool Teacher post for 2 weeks we were Ofsted Inspected. At the time I was working in a setting that had a complete disregard for all requirements and every day I was expected to take a class of 23 children on my own. Half an hour before Ofsted arrived I had informed the manager of the setting that I had a stomach bug and needed to go home (I was being sick every twenty minutes or so). The manager (less than happy that I was inconveniencing her in such a way) assured me that she would take over my class as soon as she could and I would be able to go home. When Ofsted turned up she informed them I was suffering from morning sickness but that I had heroically volunteered to carry on (she did not clear this way but merely announced it whilst giving me a suggestive side glance). I went along with the charade as I was young and two weeks into my dream job. I left the job after sticking at it for a miserable 18 months.
    The sad thing is that the lies and deceit earned the setting a 'good' inspection when it should have been put in special measures. I felt awful afterwards for my part in the whole thing and have always been honest with ofsted inspectors (sometimes too honest!) in the three inspections I have participated in since.
  2. Sadly, this is so true.
    I'm an NQT who qualified in December 2004, but have never finished my NQT after being bullied out of my first and only teaching post. My year group partner was 'seeing' the deputy head, and she was jealous of the fact that I was working with him. When a new head came in, the deputy made sure that the head was anti-me. Within 2 days of my first post, I had an observation - it went very badly, with the closing statement being "this is the classroom of a teacher who doesn't care"! From there it went from bad to worse. I'd be stopped in the corridor with my insulated mug to be asked what was in it (only ever cold water), when no one else was stopped with steaming drinks in open mugs; I'd walk into the staff room at the end of the school day to find that there was a staff meeting taking place which I'd not been told about; I'd send chn to her for swearing/physical abuse in the classroom, only later to find out that they'd been playing games on her computer or had a sleep on her sofa (!!!). Needless to say, when the school was restructured into a single form entry, some of the parents were looking to move their chn to other schools, and guess who got the blame for discontented parents? I told her I couldn't take any more and went off on work-related stress. When we had an re-intergration meeting, I took my husband, who had just taken an employment law course, and he said that the head was one of the most manipulative women he'd ever come across (and he works in the cut-throat financial sector)! It was a year before I could go back into a classroom, and that was as a TA.
    I was there for 4 years, with a head I would have walked on hot coals for, if she'd asked. Unfortunately, she moved to a much bigger school, and we had a new head. Now 2 years after she arrived, I find myself unemployed once again. It seems that although I was good enough to cover for absent teachers, take SATs booster groups each year, do one-to-one tuition, and cover for my Y6 teacher (a 20 year veteran who'd been bullied so he felt he couldn't come to work anymore) with no TA support for nearly a term (not enough to count towards my NQT), I wasn't good enough to do the Y6 TA post I'd been doing for 4 years - and I'm a damn good TA!!
    "Sour grapes" I hear you say? Too true that I'm upset. I take comfort in the fact that on the day I left, so did more than a third of the teaching and support staff- so it wasn't me, it was her! And despite the negative comments and concerns made in my resignation letter and those of the other members of staff who left, there was no follow up from the LA - and she still has the full support of the Governors. Go figure!!
  3. Sorry, just to say that my comments were in response to broberg (item 38) about bullies in the staffroom.
  4. tomkins15

    tomkins15 New commenter

    I really felt for you when I read this. I was an NQT in a very high-standing school and I had the worst experience of my 40-odd years. It was a school with a new head who immediately set her attention to preparing the scheduled OFSTED visit - one and a half years later! I started the induction period in the January as fixed-term, full-time PPA cover teacher (which I later discoverd should not really happen). I did not find out who my mentor was straight away, had no introduction to the NQT process, and, when I did find out who my mentor was, I had to approach her to suggest that we arrange a meeting. She responded that she didn't know what was happening, with me being PPA cover, and that it might be different when I had a class of my own (due to happen 6 months later). I felt that I flailed through those 6 months. I felt that she had made her position clear, especially as she made no attempt to have anything to do with me at all, let alone mentor me. I was constantly chasing teachers to tell me what lesson I was teaching - or even subject. Sometimes I was not told until 10 mins before the lesson. It was hard - sometimes 3 year groups a day, with no mentor to support. I let my Head know what the mentor had said to me at the feedback to my first PM obs (during my second term) - I just felt that as not even the head had bothered to check on me, that I did not matter. I felt I couldn't approach my mentor, or my head. Even more so when the Head did nothing at all to act on what I had told her - she just said I needed to ask more. I did ask - but nobody wanted to mentor an NQT when it wasn't their allotted duty. I did try once or twice more to seek guidance from my 'mentor' and she was rude and offish with me. This was all exacerbated by a really bitchy year group leader, known for driving 2 NQTs out who she "couldn't stand" (her words). She bullied me from the moment I started the new September term (my induction term 3). I know I should have said something but she was highly esteemed at the school, a complete control freak who added extreme and unnecessary pressure to the work load of her team (3 hour team meetings was the least of it). My class in that final induction term was extremely challenging and generally low ability. I coped but was extremely unhappy and felt I had no one to support or guide me. I had not meetings whatsoever with my mentor or head regarding my Induction, not even regarding the term end reports. These were handed to me on the last day of term by my 'mentor' - I was told to sign it, add my comments, give a copy to her and the head and put it in the 'out tray'. Not even my final report was discussed. The only feedback I got was after a termly obs by my mentor (10 mins feedback and once with no written feedback. I also had the PM observations all the way throiugh my induction - which I later found out should not happened. I was graded from the beginning. I went from being 'Good' with elements of outstanding, to 'satisfactory', which was not satisfactory for my school. They did not take into account the lack of mentoring or the extreme challenges of that class for an NQT. They did not know about the bullying - the bully told me that comparisons had been made between me and a more junior member of staff (a GTP student who had previously been a classroom assistant for 3 years. He was a popular young man, very touchy-feely with the ladies and the school darling. No, I was not jealous - he was pleasant. I just used to see him with his mentor every week, going through things and discussing his development, and I felt the lack of it in my experience. In my final induction term, I got a satisfactory grade for my observation and they brought in the Borough school improvement officer. I was told I would need to be 'Outstanding'. I felt so sick - especially as they tried to mask over the reason - then someone told me the truth. I was sick that day. The AST came to me alone and said that she didn't know if I had really been sick or had 'made myself sick'. I was physically nauseous and dizzy form the night before and it may well have been a reaction to the stress - but this has never happened to me before - even in my highly pressurised previous career. They left me alone for a while, and I passed the induction - I only found out when the Head congratulated me and another NQT in the weekly meeting. 3 months later, they got the borough SIP Head in again to see me. I got 'satisfactory' with good elements. As they read back the feedback, a weight lifted off me. I knew it had been a good lesson (- and I am my own worst critic!), yet to hear the subjective points the Deputy was making, you would have thought it was dire. I realised then that this school, having severely failed me as an NQT, had overlooked their own failings and placed me in a box. When my job was readvertised as a permanant position, I made the decision not to reapply. I am now supply (just started) and it is not ideal financially. Yet, I know. that for me, I did the right thing to leave that school. What your school did to you was appalling - it seems that schools like this always have to have a scapegoat. I don't think it's to do with personality, I always got on well with everyone else - and even tried with the bully. No, I think it is down to who they think is the most easily dispensable - just in case they need someone to blame.
  5. The first person, whom i knew, who got into trouble over an early OFSTED was the senior caretaker. He was a 'real old Londoner', who 'told like it is'. At the end of the week, he came into an adjacent lab for some reason and mistook the lay inspector for a supply teacher, with whom he comisserated for having ' a right bunch of *****'. We were brimming with admiration for this man, as he had made the only worthwhile, accurate comment during the whole inspection.
  6. I have worked in a couple of so called "Good schools". I was a member of SLT in one of them. This is not unusual !! The system of OFSTED inspections encourages this.
  7. I'd like to say that I was surprised by this, however sadly I am not. The inspection system is broken. There isn't a way for teachers to be able to whistle blow safely. Staff can see when the management is trying to cover up their incompetency.

    Well done you for not going along with their lies. I think it was unacceptable and unreasonable of both schools to expect a professional to cover up. Ofsted should not be the enemy and if SLT think they are then that shows there are problems at that school!
  8. Teaching itself is the most unprofessional situation I've ever been in. I got more respect as a programmer in Excel on "side jobs". No, really, what I've been thru that's unprofessional is the entire bloody IGCSE system and the continual succession of children who haven't mastered the most basic materials necessary promoted to the next year based on AGE ALONE. This is tantamount to teaching being entertainment so the kids have something to do all day because in the end, the test scores don't matter for promotion...well, what in the he!! is the point of the tests, then? When a student fails a subject, they should be forced to retake said subject, age promotion be dam_ed. The complete lack of mastery of fundamental information in the British system of education is as unprofessional as it gets!
  9. More unprofessional?

    I left this ****** profession last year after 13 years, the final 3 years as head of faculty (Humanities and BTEC). Basically I was left with the threat of my future career being in tatters if I didn't framework the coursework and pick the exam providers to get the best possible results. I had to hit 72% ("whatever it takes"), so ran the numbers and wrote the coursework for 23 students (6 never even saw the coursework apart from to sign saying it was their work) to hit 73%. OFSTED inspected the school and I was held up as an example of an outstanding practitioner - it was the last straw and I handed in my notice with no job to go to.

    Now I'm back in business again I don't really mind shafting the competitors, frankly they deserve it if their prices are too high - but at least I'm not crapping on kids by giving unrealistic expectations. Many of the students who I got a C [sic] have since given up on college, dropping out to do god knows what.

    Oh and I also managed (bullied) a colleague out of teaching. She was a pretty ordinary teacher (at best) and had been through unsatisfactory teacher proceedings twice before I arrived. I "supported" her so much that she ended up taking redundancy rather than stick it out. Looking back I now realise that bullying is endemic in many schools. SMT bully heads of dept / faculty, who then bully colleagues, staff and parents to hit their targets. OFSTED is effectively institutionalised bullying. In fact the seminal realisation from my experience in education is that I'm aiming to make enough money to send my kids to the local private school rather than the local (and very good... according to OFSTED) comprehensive.
  10. The trouble with these forums is that they attract embittered cynics who appear to foster a culture of depression and self-loathing amongst the rest of us with regular "isn't this awful" stories. Getting boring I'm afraid.
  11. Too true, and in fact I still miss teaching a group of 30 odd students at GCSE. Especially when you have a group with really good dynamics. Nothing beats delivering a great lesson, I always imagined it being similar to an actor or comedian giving a great performance on stage.

    I had many fantastic times as a teacher, fieldtrips around the south and to France stand out as well.
  12. Surely it is time for school inspectors to operate like the HSE. It would be far less stressful and honest to have spot checks on daily procedures and lessons rather than the orchestrated and rehearsed falsity of the current system. At the end of the day most teachers are trying to do their best in difficult circumstances but those that aren't can hide beneath the lies and deceit of planned inspection visits. As an astute year 10 pupil said to me recently "If it's such a good school why is everything different just because the inspectors are in?"
  13. sorry not safe for me to comment
  14. Sorry but they also attract committed hard working and successful teachers who are worried at the things they see and experience while doing the job.
    I love teaching and left industry with the support of my partner who luckily still earns good money to become a GTP then NQT and now experienced teacher. yes I love tyeaching enjopy working with studenmts of all abilities and like working with collegues who in the main are very hard working and committed, OFSTEAD observed 3 times nothing worse than a good with outstanding elements. The students know how to play the game and enjoy the change from the normal lesson which tends to be graft-take a breather and graft again because its a 100% coursework option subject.
    If these hardworking teachers express upset and concernsover corrupt and bullying management please dont denigrate them and assume they are embittered and or cynical
  15. At a school in past years the head encouraged leaving staff to give a farewell speach and alsoarranged for a light good hearted roast from his deputy who had a fine sense of humour. The new head alowed a handsake gave a bottle of £3 wine and gave no opportunity for anyone to speak we said goodbye to 9 members of staff in under 10 mins they would all have likd to say why they were leaving
  16. Nope, I have been fine. I had the proof off the doctor anyway and as I am not a teacher it was not my issue to plan, prepare, and deliver a lesson for ofsted.
    I would not have had any of the data needed as I did not and still do not have access to the system, (although it was fine for me to cover at the time). I am just the classroom support, I do the shopping andordering and setting up of lessons when I am in.
    They should have gotten in supply to cover the lesson not expect me to set the coverwork and set it all up.
  17. I absolutely agree that corruption and bullying needs to be exposed and that there are many committed, hardworking and successful teachers. However, my point (which I could have worded better) was that there appears to be more interest in negative stories than bad ones on the forums. It would be nice to see more evidence on there that the majority of teachers enjoy their jobs and are very committed to it. The public for instance seem to rate them highly.
  18. This reminds me of an old bit of unprofessionalism. My big brother was being taught by a student. Before an observed lesson he arra
    This reminds me of an old bit of unprofessionalism. My big brother was being taught by a student teacher. Before an observed lesson the teacher arranged for all the pupils to put up their hands in answer to questions and he'd just pick those he knew would know the answer. Unfortunately my brother was against this and so when picked pretended he didn't know and answered that he just put up his hand because he'd been told to.
    Have to say though that this teacher was actually fantastic -one of the best I had and last I heard was a depute.
  19. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    You are entirely right, ther are a lot of embittered, negative and hurt teachers on these forums. However, do a search on me, I hope you would see my ABSOLUTE PASSION for this job and the children.
    Added to which, this issue is so important, so fundametal and so corrupted, that we appear to have Head teachers, SMTs, NQTs and I think every strata of our profession saying that the system is wrong.
    But you know what.... nothing will happen as OFSTED are part of the sysytem and need to support the status quo, regardless of what happens to the children, as if they fail, they lose out as well, and people will ask where OFSTED come from, (a couple of years on the chalk face at best) and who they've asked, (NEVER THE TEACHERS)

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