High teaching staff turnover - common?

(85 Posts)
PasMoi Sat 07-Jul-12 20:44:51

What level of teaching staff turnover do you consider unacceptable versus inevitable?

Background - affluent suburban area, 80% of class teaching staff leaving this year and almost all specialised teachers, not a single member of the teaching staff in post more than 2 or 3 years. The head is there about 5 years and most of the long-term staff left almost immediately then. However the board of governors is standing by the headteacher who is not popular with parents.

Trying to work out if it's time to withdraw my DC from this school, which of course will be very hard as multiple school places are as rare as hens' teeth around here.

Are teaching jobs that easy to find?!

yanbu123456 Tue 21-May-13 09:36:54

There aren't many responses on Parentview at the moment and it would need a lot of parents to fill it in for Ofsted to take notice I guess?

Would this be something the local authority will start to look at more closely or would they not be aware of the problem?

Yes we have parent governors so could ask them about it.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 20-May-13 20:22:22

Are there any parent governors you could approach? This seems way too high and would worry me. Does the head breathe fire?

Fuzzymum1 Mon 20-May-13 11:55:40

That would be very unusual - our school has 4 classes, the longest serving teacher has been there 13 years and the shortest almost 2 and she replaced a teacher who left after having been there about 10 years.

mrz Mon 20-May-13 07:01:49

Parent View?

yanbu123456 Sun 19-May-13 21:43:46

Coming back to this thread, almost a year on. So it seems that the school in the OP which my 2 dcs attend too is seeing staff leave again this year.

To recap all but one class had a new to the school teacher in Sept 12.

So far 3 out of 7 class teachers that we know of have been announced as leaving but there is an advert in the local paper for 2.5 full time equivalent class teaching staff that suggests more are going than we've been told about so far (some replacements have already been announced). This includes the key subject leaders and the third in command.

The parents are battle-weary and don't seem to have the energy to raise the issue again when nothing changed last year and no-one seems to listen.
There are other problems beyond staff turnover, although the children are largely happy and achieving quite well (but the latter is thanks to loads of families tutoring from yr2/ yr3)

Any advice?

mumnosbest Tue 10-Jul-12 16:07:11

You could always send a copy with a note: please find attached a copy of my previous letter which i dont think you received.
When the head says she did receive it you can say you assumed not as its been x days weeks with no reply. Also end the note with 'awaiting your reply'.

i would definately expect an acknowledgement within 2 days.

yanbu123456 Tue 10-Jul-12 14:11:09

Only from the office to say they'd passed it on.
I don't think other people who have written have had a reply either.

mumnosbest Tue 10-Jul-12 12:46:25

Have you had any acknowledgement of your letter?

yanbu123456 Tue 10-Jul-12 12:28:12

I don't think any of the letters sent by various parents required a long investigation.

I'm very conscious that it's the end of term soon and if we don't get a response before then, it'll drag over the summer holidays.

alphabite Mon 09-Jul-12 14:13:15

It depends on how complicated the letter is/the issue is.

I would expect acknowledgment of the letter within 72 hours but answers or a proper reply might take longer as they may need advice from Chair of Governors or the LEA.

yanbu123456 Mon 09-Jul-12 13:35:49

Can anyone help with another question related to our situation? How long is it reasonable to wait for a response from the headteacher if you write to them about an issue?

fjlgx Sun 08-Jul-12 22:14:32

I would be very concerned, especially if it extends into non teaching staff too. Even though some staff turnover is inevitable this is ridiculously high and stinks of bullying. Why have the staff left? Have they left with minimal notice so that their positions have been filled with temp contracts (sign that the school couldn't get what they wanted) or left mid year? When HT took over presumably if staffing was not as they wanted it should all have settled down now as they have employed? As a teacher I know that the SLT support and enthusiasm towards staff and parents is crucial to the success of the school. At my school you wouldn't dream of getting more than 1 member of staff leave, as promotions are usually filled within school and teaching staff are very happy. If they do leave they have very positive reasons and are sad to go. Guess we are very lucky. As a parent I would be really questioning why books are not only there to be seen but that my child didn't have the opportunity to show off and be proud of their work to me. With regards to governors it seems disappointing they are supporting HT but to reiterate an earlier thread they probably can't admit they are wrong. Don't give up. Govenors might think problem will go away. Fight for your child, the other children and the teachers too. I am a very strong willed person and like to think I wouldn't find myself stuck in a school where I was unhappy but I'm sure there are plenty of teaching staff who are not so
lucky. They deserve better! Good luck!

yanbu123456 Sun 08-Jul-12 16:45:56

The letter from our CofG was heavily praising the head so I can't see they get what the parents (and presumably the teachers) are complaining about as it is.
Presumably the CofG was involved in recruiting her.

The head talks the talk and has quite a good story on paper - has got extra grants for the school to improve the buildings and has got the school from satisfactory to good with Ofsted but I'd eat my hat if this is really what constitutes a 'good' school.

PasMoi Sun 08-Jul-12 16:38:33

Franticallyjugglinglife - that's why I am worrying.. A 3 year project to get the governors to start to manage the head out is too long a fight for me. In our case, ofsted rated it good recently so they have years before another inspection.

Yanbu - same here, no idea what happens during school hours as we didn't see any class work all year either. A strict 10 minute consultation with no access to their work twice a year is frankly not enough.

franticallyjugglinglife Sun 08-Jul-12 16:31:10

I think it does impact on standards eventually. Teaching is a vocation, and one where you need to give your all. Anything making the staff unhappy will impact on their commitment and drive, and therefore standards. We were originally an outstanding school then new, bullying head came in, and over 4-5 years we declined to satisfactory bordering on special measures - with falling roll numbers to match. We managed our head out last summer, and in the space of just one school year we have achieved a good, bordering on outstanding ofsted. This is with minimum changes of staff, just our new head - who is wonderful smile

The change in atmosphere in the school is palpable. I would be worried OP - particularly if the GB aren't doing much. Having said that, it took us 2-3 years to formally recognise the issue at GB and then another 12+ months to manage head out.

There must be a seriously bad reason for this. The school that I work for has been through absolute hell this year and will be even worse next year but still only 2 (smt) teachers are leaving...

yanbu123456 Sun 08-Jul-12 15:34:50

They get homework but the teachers never send workbooks or any class work home. As I say, the late June open evening was the first time I saw any work this year and I think it was the same in the other year groups.

nkf Sun 08-Jul-12 12:21:57

That's a bit odd. Don't they bring work home?

FallenCaryatid Sun 08-Jul-12 11:59:57

'the first time all of us got to see any of our dc's work was two weeks ago.'

Most primary schools have a parents' evening a term, with books available.

nkf Sun 08-Jul-12 11:55:56

I'd say 80% is high and it's probably a hard place to work. And the elements that can make it hard will be SMT, kids and parents. Or combinations of the three. But yes it's a problem.

yanbu123456 Sun 08-Jul-12 11:50:49

I think the teachers are sometimes stuck in the middle of parents who want to be involved and be partners with the school in their children's educations and a head who doesn't, for whatever reason, want them involved. Who knows, maybe some of us are pushy but she's frankly a bit...odd in some of her decisions.

One example - the first time all of us got to see any of our dc's work was two weeks ago. So if you suddenly find there's an issue and they are doing very different standard work at school to at home, it's too late to do anything about it. Is that normal?

FallenCaryatid Sun 08-Jul-12 11:42:44

That is a change I've noticed over the years, a lot of teachers will stay 2-4 years and move on, often out of the area. But the percentage is way too high for that to be the only answer.

mrz Sun 08-Jul-12 11:41:29

Not 80% of the staff at the same time

nkf Sun 08-Jul-12 11:36:17

They might be leaving because of lots of things including nightmare parents. Not saying you are but schools are hard places to work and the money isn't so great people don't always feel they have to stick it.

FallenCaryatid Sun 08-Jul-12 11:29:03

OK, perhaps I'm wrong (qualified IABU!)
I work full time, have a son with sn and have worked in very difficult schools like the ones mentioned here. I have a very good mask.
The staff used to keep up the pretence of happy unity very well, and the peer support was fantastic. Foxhole comrades, covering each other from snipers.

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