Hello. This is my first ever posting or request for help and advice. We have had an horrendous time since a new head started at my school. If I tried to write in detail it would run to thousands of words and you would give up reading. The school is independent and used to be a lovely place to work. It is a familiar story. New head starts. Drives out many older staff or those with a long history with the school, replaces them with newcomers. All recent promotions have gone to outsiders. Staff stability is no longer seen as desirable. An older teacher was asked why they were applying for head of a subject "at their age". Some teachers see the writing on the wall and leave. Some, like me, have only a few years to go before retirement so try to stick it out. Some much-loved non-teaching staff have their job descriptions re-written to force them to leave, in an attempt to replace all admin staff with part-timers or new people. (It is a big school) Those who want to stay have to accept humiliating treatment, gloating and pay cuts despite the finances of the school being sound. Members of SMT are informed that it is unprofessional to be friends with mere teachers, and that they should certainly not socialise with them. Some staff become informants as a survival strategy. Head develops favourites with those that are useful. Working hours are increased. Open mornings multiply, as do informative evenings of dubious benefit. The head likes to offer after-school activities, so job descriptions are currently being re-written to coerce teachers to stay. TAs have already been forced to work longer or be replaced. A culture of unhappiness and moaning develops. Morale plummets. The head takes a dislike to me as I remain friendly with a member of SMT and do not massage egos. I am always polite and courteous but offer no Stasi-type extras. Last November the head instructed my line manager to "really reprimand" me for forgetting to complete an admin task, and that if I transgressed again there would be repurcussions. Two days later, I discover that four other teachers also forgot, but were not threatened. The cold fingers of dread gripped my heart. Many other small events occurred which accumulated into the certain knowledge that the head was out to get me. I found myself struggling to do my work and started to work longer and longer hours to try to cope, more than 65 per week, plus commuting. Workload increased with new initiatives, class sizes increased, PPA time was non-existant in KS1 but generous in KS2. (I taught in KS1). Playground duties multiplied, it was possible to have only ten minutes break between 1100 and 1530 for four days out of five. I was starting to believe I was losing my mind as I couldn't concentrate, relax, sleep or remember anything, and firmly believe I was about to conk out. The trigger came, not with a ridiculous complaint made by a staff/parent, but with the head's gleeful reaction to it. One of the grevous complaints was that I miss-marked two questions whilst suffering from a migraine! A preliminary investigation was conducted without me being told that was what it was. (I was told it was an informal chat to be performed by my line manager). There is a school of thought that says the letter of complaint was a "put-up job". Maybe. My union rep says the complaints are ridiculous and that there is no case to answer. I denied the ridiculous allegations, admitted the miss-marking and thought little more of the matter. A few days later, the head informed me that I would be subjected to a full disciplinary process and that there would be consequences. Nice. Other members of staff have done far worse than miss-marking two questions during the time the head has been there, and have not been disciplined in any way. My health crumbled, and I have not been at work now for many weeks. My GP diagnosed workplace stress, anxiety and depression. I have physical and mental symptoms which are most upsetting. I seldom leave the house. In that time I have learnt that the head has forbidden others to contact me (some brave ones do) and has written frequently to remind me that the disciplinary hearing will take place at some point. Despite sending in regular sick notes, I recently received a "get well" letter stating that if I was not back at work soon a medical report would have to be submitted. Having nothing to hide, I agreed. My GP stated I was very ill, had been so for many months. The questions asked of my GP all centred around the disciplinary process. A few days after receiving the report, the head wrote again badgering me to state all my concerns in order for them to be resolved so that the disciplinary hearing could proceed. I am obviously inventing my illness. Staff and parents who enquired where I was have been fobbed off. I have not received the usual whole-staff get well card or flowers, and there have been no concerned phone calls, because I am obviously faking it. The head really enjoys the application of power and the ability to humiliate others. I am so saddened and don't know what to do next. I can't afford to retire yet, and need a reference to find another post somewhere, but it is unlikely that a head bent on destruction will write a good one. My GP, family and Union have been very supportive, but feel worse with the passage of time, not better. I miss my pupils and job, but to return would be to face certain destruction of my reputation and to be hounded out as others have been.