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Why are so many Head's blind?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by deleted964, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. I do not wish to sound aggressive but after years and years of watching Head's come and go I really need to know why it is that most Head's turn a blind eye to poorly performing and inadequate staff? Please someone explain why this is tolerated time and time again in schools?
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    You mean those who have no idea about when and when not to use a simple apostrophe?
    For your information, that should read 'Heads' (plural).
    You do not sound aggressive, just illiterate.
  3. Thank you Nomad, I did not believe what a colleague had told me earlier about this forum. She said that my spelling and grammar would be picked to pieces and the actually topic avoided. She will no doubt read this post and have great fun in saying "I told you so" tomorrow!
  4. Well done, Nomad. Not.
    You've helped to perpetuate the the 'them and us' culture that prevails in some schools.
  5. Because they can't be bothered to go through all the fuss or they don't have a clue, which phase do you refer to.
    Come on Nomad, let's not be defenssive und us grammer and spilling correcttion's. shall us!
  6. but, then again many do what's required.
  7. Well despite our previous clashes, I find myself in agreement with Nomad! Although I do try not to be a pedant and make mistakes myself sometimes (of course), I do feel that if I were going to post such a brash statement, about heads (plural no apostrophe) on the heads' forum (plural with an apostrophe for possession) I might ensure that the grammar in my title was correct (I await the response of the individual with nothing better to do than search all my posts and point out all my errors!)
    However, let's (apostrophe for contraction there) tackle your point head on.
    Firstly, where is your evidence that these colleagues are inadequate? Have you the experience and skill to make this judgement? What understanding and awareness do you have of competency criteria and procedures? If you are not on the senior team, you would not be informed of any competency procedures in place and heads (plural no apostrophe) may have initiated processes without your knowledge.
    Take care with your next lesson observation (I am assuming you are a teacher), if the objective is 'To be ale to understand the difference between plurals and the use of the apostrophe for possession' as poor teacher knowledge can lead to an inadequate lesson and your head may need to implement competency procedures.
    If you genuinely believe that there are inadequate staff in your school, have you raised your concerns with the head(s)?
  8. Is it really the job of the head to address the poorly performing staff what about the middle management inbetween? Personally I am responsible for the performance in my faculty and when I need support with a member of staff then I will ask the leader of teaching and learning about it. Although I grant you they will be as much use as a chocolate teapot, but that is because they are clueless not because the structure isn't sound.
  9. I think the tone of the OP has perpetuated the 'them and us culture'. To post such sweeping statements on a heads' forum with no information/evidence/background will not engender genuine debate.

  10. Dear Babybelle,
    Because of my blindness I am unaware of any colleagues 'turning a blind eye to poorly performing and inadequate staff'. Most HTs will firstly support teachers who need help, set realistic targets to focus progress and if appropriate take disciplinary action. Be careful what you wish for my friend, because if you have an 'off year' and your pupils don't make expected progress, you might be praying for sympathy and tolerance!
  11. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    A curious OP indeed. I think the head teachers you accuse of being 'blind' may be better accused of being 'discreet' - It is surely no ones business how another employee is supported or dealt with where their performance is concerned. If the OP is such an excellent teaching with eyes wide open, why not endeavor to offer ones fellow human workforce a little compassion and support too?
  12. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Also it seems head teachers cannot win... be 'blind' and try and support, or be a 'bully' and get rid of said and thus accused useless folk.
  13. Thank you all for your comments. As I have previously stated, a discussion took place earlier in school as to what reaction I may get after posting such a question and including such an obvious mistake. With regard to my initial question, I rest my case.
    Heads only see what they want to see, hear everything and listen to no one.
  14. Only the ones that answered your OP, or should I say walked around it!
    The answer is this:
    Schools set expectations of performance
    Heads shoild ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation sytems and practices are in place
    All should know the part they play within the system
    All problems shoul be identified at an early stage, ie. before end year data is produced
    Early intervention should be targetted to those that are failing to meet expectations,
    If support and intervention fails to work, it's bye, bye time!
    System not robust
    Middle management do not support system
    Not enough evidence
    M&E findings not used to inform next steps
    Fault for above: Lies with HT, so excuses are pointless
    Why are some heads blind?
    Because their eyes do not work and they cannot see what's needed, therefore they take no action.
    Of course the arguments regarding how the above is constructed will go on forever, as will the excuses for not doing it........ emotional responce, blame others, talking about bad punctuation, explaining Lesson Intentions or the use of contraction etc.......

    Your friend made an excellent prediction
  15. mychuck

    mychuck New commenter

    I agree with DaisysLot. HT are bashed for tackling poor teaching etc and called bullies. I suffered this to some extent when I first took up headship. However, I was not prepared for any child to experience poor teaching and my mantra was 'if it is not good enough for my own child then it's not good enough for anyone elses'.
    There can be a hard core group of staff who like to gossip in the corner and are not pro-active in promoting and sharing good practice. The OP needs to ensure that she/he doesn't fall into this category especially as they seemed to have made their mind up about the comments they would receive from HTs before posting.
  16. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    As a head I've tackled poorly performing staff on a number of occasions. In some cases the performance improved (it was in those cases largely down to lazyness or the need for training to get them up to date with new practice) and in some it was clear the teachers concerned could not improve. They were dismissed.
    Is that what you want to hear?
    I cringed at your inability to use an apostrophe correctly, too. Are you attempting to suggest now that it was a 'deliberate' mistake?
  17. <u></u>
    * Laziness

    Double cringe.


  18. I accept that the punctuation issue is, &lsquo;to a degree&rsquo;, a tangential one and I don&rsquo;t usually get involved in it. However, I question the wisdom of anybody who posts on the HT forum in this manner (mistakes and tone).

    I don't think the issue was 'walked around' at all. I don't think 'the issue' was clearly outlined and it needed clarification. If you are going to ask a genuine question on the forum ensure it has enough detail and is phrased in way that encourages helpful answers. If it's a rhetorical question, I suggest you find somewhere else to post it!

    To 'answer' the question 'Why do so many heads turn a blind eye...?' would be to accept that 'so many heads' do, which is not my experience of the heads that I have worked with or what I have done personally as a head. I am unsure how anyone can make a judgement about 'so many heads' when they have probably worked for only a handful.

    Perhaps the question would have been better phrased, 'Is there are reason why some heads are so reluctant to undertake competency procedures?' Followed by a rough outline of the OP's experience- a little emotional intelligence goes a long way.

    Ofsted on the war path; parental complaints; litigious action- not to mention the ethical values that drive them to ensure that children get the best possible education in their schools. If they don't tackle it, they themselves will be subject to competency procedures.

    The process is not an easy or short one, and it is (of course) argued that nor should it be. We are dealing with people's lives and livelihoods here and we have to ensure the process is fair- for staff and children. It involves several months of significant support and monitoring, many targets and a vast amount of paperwork/evidence; it involves lots of meetings with staff and unions and an awful lot of emotional pressure (on both sides). BUT, where the evidence is sound, all heads I know/have known take action and move to dismissal if need be- in the best interests of the school and the children (and I know/have known quite a number).

    And finally, IF the inaccurate use of the apostrophe was deliberate in order to test a prediction- well how very amusing/scientific/mature!! Who would have thought that a group of people who are reponsible for the standard of literacy in the UK, would have an issue with such an 'obvious' mistake posted on a professional forum! Whatever next?
    P.S. Middlemarch- laziness! I'm sure you'll get me back!
  19. Beaten to it- took a while typing!
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Okay, back to the content of the OP.
    I did not originally answer the OP's question because I considered it to be crass, ill-informed and shallow. More along the lines of a 'flaming' post than a question to which an answer was required.
    Most heads? On what basis is the adjective 'most' used? Are there any research findings to back this statement up? Or even a link to a press article? Or is it based entirely on the OP's experience of "years and years of watching heads come and go"? And if that is the case, should we not know the number of heads observed and the number of schools in which the OP has undertaken these observations?
    On what authority, qualifications or experience does the OP determine which staff are "poorly performing and inadequate"? Is he/she an OfSTED Inspector? An HMI? A senior member of staff who has observed the lessons? Or just staffroom gossip and personal viewpoint?
    Furthermore, how does the OP know that the headteachers in question are turning a blind eye? I have a teacher currently under informal capability procedings and there is no other member of the staff other than the DHT and the HOD who knows about it. I am hardly likely to post this information in the weekly bulletin or on the parents' notice board.
    Like Middlemarch I could easily recount how I have put staff under capability (informal and formal) and whether or not this has led to dismissal. However, the OP did not pose a question which requires for that type of answer.
    The question asked by the OP exudes bias, prejudice and ignorance, which is why I decided not to answer the content.
    I think the OP did that quite adequately without my help.

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