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Vote of no confidence in head teacher?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pinkwellies, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Any advice re awful situation at my school. HT was suspended following allegations of bullying, harrasment/ professional misconduct. He has been given a final written warning for serious professional misconduct following a disciplinary hearing and plans to return to school in coming weeks. Staff are universally opposed to him (large majority of parents also - several having moved chn to other schools already). Gov body has collapsed following their total faiure to hold HT to account and IEB has taken over.
    Staff are split - some are suffering from extreme stress and cannot bear thought of being in same room as Head, often in tears on medication remaining staff are mutinous and are refusing to work with him.
    In the past he has been manipulative and lied without hesitation (98% staff turn over?!)
    A vote of no confidence in the head teacher has been registered with the interim SMT - what happens next?
  2. My first advice to you would be to keep yourself quite visibly out of and above any gossiping etc about the HT. What will be will be. Concentrate purely on your own classroom practice and resist any temptation to join in. Try to see this another way - even if your HT is a manipulative bully - and these are still only allegations - he is still entitled to due process and fair treatment, and being part of a group ganging up on anyone is personally demeaning as well as unprofessional.
    Secondly, keep very close to your union rep. Keep them informed of your concerns and ask advice constantly - it's what you pay your subs for. If you aren't in a union - now's the time to join one.
    This situation will be addressed using set procedures by the local authority and it will inevitably take time. You will not see a rapid 'cure' arrive from on high, and the period of transition if / when the HT departs will be painful for the school. This period may be coloured by views formed by LEA personnel about the professional calibre of individuals on the school staff, and so you can as a staff expect a time of intense scrutiny before things at the school resemble 'normal' again.
    So for these reasons you would be well advised not to associate yourself with any 'side' but to batten down, do your job as agreed by the school, and try to rise above the rest of it.
    mothorchid likes this.
  3. Dear Pinkwellies
    If your head has been given a final written warning following a disciplinay hearing, then he has been found guilty of the allegations made against him.
    To let the head return to the same school after being found guilty of those particular allegations would be extremely difficult. I assume that staff were interviewed prior to the disciplinary hearing and they would have hoped that their views and opinions would have been noted by the people investigating the allegations. They would have been honest in their interview and may believe on his return he will hold this against them.
    Having been through a similar experience, I believe it impossible for the head to return to face the people whom he has bullied/harassed. To return, would place the staff, parents, etc who made the grievances (which were found substantiated) in a very stressful and distressing situation, this would be detrimental to the school in terms of staff morale and would, no matter how professional a member of staff you are effect the role you play in the school and the way the school operates.
    You have said that some parents have moved their children from the school already. Was this directly because of the headteacher? If other parents feel the same they have the right to inform the L.A of their thoughts and feelings. Are they aware he intends to return - you must not tell them, it could leave you open to a telling off! In my experience the parents are often more informed than staff over matters!
    The L.A MUST follow procedures, however if you believe along with other staff members, that his return to school would be detrimental to the mental welfare of staff (which it clearly is), then I believe staff have a duty to do what they believe to be right.
    Having an I.E.B put in place shows a serious breakdown in the heads competancy and capabilities and the Governors not holding the head to account. You will be under a lot of scrutiny, but if you are confident and competant in your job then the support will be only beneficial to you and the school in the long run.
    Have the parents been informed of the I.E.B taking control of the school? It is important that the parents are told the correct reason for this very serious measure. Support and a united front for the parents will be essential if you don't want any more children to leave the school.
    Stand together, inform the L.A you have no confidence in the head. They are duty bound to protect you.
    Don't forget if he has been given a final written warning it was for SERIOUS PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT, this is not just a slap on the wrist. The L.A authority will be aware of the bullying/harassment and professional misconduct charges and MUST legally do everything to support the staff members. Failure of them doing this may result in a large number of staff claiming constructive dismissal and end up costing the L.A more than telling the head that he is dismissed because of a staff vote of no confidence and a follow up tribunal.(No cynicysm meant)!
    You should say to yourself, do I have confidence in the competance and capability of the head should he return? Is it in the schools best interests? If not, stand up for what you believe and tell the L.A.
    In my experience, once a manipulator and liar, always a manipulator and liar!
    Good luck
  4. Have spoken to my union who seem to know little about the details of HT suspension or the findings of the hearing. He has been away from school for sometime and his return has come as a surprise from what I can gather. I am in my 3rd year of teaching with a partner(recently redundant) and mortgage - can't afford to get out of the school. I have only been there a short time and fear how odd it may look to try and move on.
    IEB is common knowledge and children left at same time as the deputy.

  5. Presumably you were informed of the final written warning from the L.A. They must let you know of the intended date of the head's return. Are they not suggesting mediation? I don't see why you should have to move on. Do you think you could work with the head should he return? If you can then you don't need to move and if you don't think you can like you say the other staff are claiming then collectively you are legally allowed to lodge a vote of no confidence in the head to the L.A. The L.A must respond to this.
    You can't be made to leave your job because you can't work with the head. Your Union rep. should be able to advise you want to do next.

  6. Having worked in a school where there were "issues" my advice is trust your union, be guided by their advice and stay well away from any gossiping. Sounds very much like you need to protect your own position by remaining neutral given personal circumstances but don't worry about applying for different posts, people move on for lots of reasons - more responsibility? different year group/keystage? Union will also help you with job applications and how to "explain" why you are applying elsewhere.
    Good Luck keep your chin up.


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