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What constitutes unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sanriku, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. sanriku

    sanriku New commenter

    Hi all

    After a bad Ofsted a little over a year ago, Senior Leadership at my school have instituted a number of changes that have drastically increased staff workload. We are a unionised school and we have been in negotiations with management about the nature of these changes, some of which were almost certainly necessary but all of which have been implemented with no regard to how much extra time they will entail or to their impact on staff wellbeing. SLT have nodded along with some of our concerns but the workload continues to increase.

    Last week we got an email with a timetable for year 11 intervention. I have been offering extra support all year but am now being told I must do 1 hr and 40 minutes extra classes on one day - before and after school. This will take me well over directed time (assuming 2 hrs a week for planning and 2 hrs for all marking with no extra time allowed for exam marking). Like all teachers I expect to do a fair amount of overtime but to me being asked to do this much extra in one day is extremely unreasonable. Has anyone else been asked to do this much extra on a single day? What would you all consider to be unreasonable?
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    What you've just said.
    bonxie, agathamorse and Catgirl1964 like this.
  3. sanriku

    sanriku New commenter

    As in - you think I am being unreasonable or this particular demand is unreasonable?
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This is unlikely to be part of directed time.

    It is hard to know if the intervention is reasonable or unreasonable, without knowing precisely what else is being asked of you. Having both on one day is a bit of a pain, is it possible to swap with another member of staff or ask the person who made the timetable to swap one to another day?

    Meet as a union ASAP, ideally all unions in the same meeting, with a branch or district rep in attendance, and decide on a way forward. You will need to stand together to achieve anything.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    ...and OFSTED still wonder why some schools struggle to recover,
    As you put it out, it sounds unreasonable on the part of the school
    Sadly, all this intervention will probably not have the impact your leaders hope.

    I can see several ways of looking at this.
    1. Bite the bullet, work together as a team to try to extricate the school. Trouble is, it probably won't be a one off this academic year, and few will thank you.
    2. As a staff team, think about what will have the biggest impact in both pupil success and supporting your beleagured managers.
    3. If you resist change too much, you may find school becoming very unpleasant. The leadership team will be replaced, this may not solve anyone's problems.
    I would be stepping back from discretionary help for kids.
    So, you need to ask how they will support you if you do this. When will you get a coffee and a chance to go the loo? How will the time be made to prepare these sessions? Will you still get support if some of the kids kick off?
    Will you get admin support for printing all the extra resources?
    Will they givve you extra budget to cover the extra teaching and learning that will happen?
    (Thought not)_
    Good luck. Time to polish your CV.
    caress, agathamorse and letap like this.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Intervention like this has no effect whatsoever.

    It encourages a culture of dependancy
  7. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    I agree with peakster.
    You mention the school is unionised - is it not worth convening a meeting with other union members chaired by the union rep. A collabaration with a common cause is likely to yield greater results than a single person.
  8. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    It’s completely unreasonable!
    Like most teachers, I give a lot of my own time, but it’s on a ‘goodwill’ basis . If I was directed to, I’d stop doing it.
  9. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Collectively request that a whole staff stress risk assessment is done.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I don't think planning and marking counts towards directed time, does it?
    Piranha likes this.
  11. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    How many hours are you working a week? We can't really comment unless you give us some quantitative information.

    Not how many hours are you teaching, how many hours are you actually working?
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    Regional Union.

    This will no doubt lead to illness and stress. So see GP too. Are you sure it is a directive to start work earlier and stay later than usual? Or is it a request? Has the request / directive been made clear in writing and are you certain about the extra planning and marking time also? Do all Yr11s / teachers / support staff/ slt attend?

    If so, your slt sound like they are in a state of panic. And your Union might suggest a better more practical approach. Short of a vote of no confidence in your slt imo, it seems a better, practical solution from your Union might be for the rest of the school (and not Yr11s) to go home early one ht a week. That way intervention can be done in the normal school day.

    Additionally, I am sure you all have family lives and commitments outside of work. Your employer has a duty of care after all to allow your working day to be as stress free as possible.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  13. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    How are the pupils supposed to deal with all this intervention? If the average is 9 subjects how many will be expected to attend intervention every day or even twice a day. Is this a good thing? Mental health?
    caress, Pomza, letap and 2 others like this.
  14. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Unreasonable? Yes. If I was coerced into doing it, the extra lessons would be silent working by the students whilst I marked/prepared lessons.
    Catgirl1964 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You can't count the prep and marking as directed time. How long are you facing kids, in meetings, seeing parents, training, actually directed?

    Count your 1265 hours and what you're doing. Your union should be all over this. That's the point!

    I am sure I must be wrong about this but you weren't suggesting you'd plan for 2 hours to deliver a lesson lasting 1:40 hours. And then spend 2 hours marking? No need for that.
    Steg86, Pomza and install like this.
  16. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi! I have found that reasonable is whatever a particular SLT say it is (to my disgust). In the case where this definition is not rooted in reality (which appears to be the case for you), I echo the advice of those who suggested conserving your energy and keeping your options open (e.g. polishing your CV; working with your union) until you can leave the asyl_er school.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful or optimistic than this!

    Best wishes

    AT Fan
    caress likes this.
  17. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    This is wrong in every way.
    Management are trying to save their own necks by abusing the staff. It will pretty much certainly not have any positive outcome for pupils. Stuff them.
    This attitude is part of the problem. If teachers grew a spine and said no, schools would be much better.
    caress, jlishman2158, Pomza and 5 others like this.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    caress, bajan, tall tales and 3 others like this.
  19. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Often workload isn't recorded so plans are implemented my management with little thought on the overall pressure it puts on staff. Could your union ask the school to start recording workload in a simple model that accounts for marking, planning etc?
  20. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    I worked at a school where we were given a day for our 2 hour voluntary support session that all staff would attend, it was not included on the 1265 hours directed time. I think the Senior Leadership really did not see how ridiculous it was

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