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Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Trendy Art, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    I started a new post as HoD and replaced a teacher who put up with a lot of problems.

    I taught a group of 39 Year 9s last half term and then changed the groups to balance the numbers out. While other colleagues supported, the second in department, steadfastly refused to teach the students and sent them back to me.

    I wrote a note to say that all colleagues must share the numbers and sent the students back. They returned and I had to make other arrangements.

    Having discussed the matter with her, I had informed the team via a weekly newsletter that I had taught the group for a term and that the changes would happen. She said that nobody really reads newsletters and I responded that it was a professional responsibility and that the team share it.

    I was told to go back to Senior Leadership to deal with it, and that she would not take any more students.

    I walked off then she told me that she could have two students as some had left her group. I said 3. She walked off saying 2.

    What should I do now?
  2. I assume you are not asking your colleague to teach more than 30 students. And if her room has space for the number of students you are proposing that she takes from your stupidly large group, then she has absolutely no professional, legal or contractual reasons to object. Course of action I'd take: Have the students moved into her group on the school management system so that when she logs on, they are already in her class list for registration. Then I'd tell her she has no right to refuse the move and tell her when it will come into effect. Thirdly, I'd tell her that if she repeated any of the antics that she has tried already, it will taken as - and here you will need the right order of words from someone fierce on SLT - failure to discharge contractual duties and disciplinary procedures will be started against her. For good measure, I'd point out that I had taken it back to SLT to deal with and that was the outcome! Yes, I favour full on confrontation on this sort of thing. She needs to know that you are boss and she has to do as you instruct. If the rest of the team are happy with it, you don't have a huge problem only a problem with one individual. I'd also be inclined to write up everything and keep notes about what she does and does not do from this point forward.
  3. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    I am asking her to teach 31. Only because I have a 28 capacity room and will be still over myself. I did instruct my SLT line manager to change the class list bur this wasn't done, hence this was used as a reason for having the students sent back. There have been some issues already with this colleague and this is the latest episode.
  4. Now is the time to lean on SLT and make sure it's done pronto and ensure your SLT link is supportive of you. You can't have her calling any shots.
  5. finamar

    finamar New commenter

    Maybe your approach via a newsletter and not face to face was part of the issue!

    I would always use the person to person approach in a situation like this .

    How would you have felt if it had been the other way round and you had been notified by way of a newsletter?
  6. Surely the route cause of the problem is the fact there are too many students for the accommodation you have. Bring that up with your SLT and bandy the words Health & Safety and see how quick they are to resolve class size issues.

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