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To wonder if all Primary Schools are as bitchy, cliquey and nepotistic as this one?

(36 Posts)
GlitteryRollerGirl Thu 22-Oct-15 20:43:15

I'm currently doing a work placement in a local primary school. I'm enjoying it, I like the class I'm in (reception) and the staff in there seem really friendly to me but there is also a lot of bitchiness and general moaning about stuff going on. They are always slagging off other teachers in the school and in particular the headteacher.

The Staffroom isn't much better, lots of whinging about the way things are done, there seems to be a lot of people off sick. I don't know of this has anything to do with it being a toxic environment or not, but they do seem to have a high percentage of people who take time off all the time.

Also it seems to be a case of the school only employing people who know others already working in the school. For example the head teachers daughter works there as a TA, also the grandchildren of the head of the governors aere pupils and they seem to win everything going in assembly. Could just be that they are good at everything, but it seems a bit odd to me. The head is nice but they staff don't seem to have much respect for him, as mentioned up thread.

It's actually putting me off ever wanting to work in a school. Are they all like this?

TheoriginalLEM Thu 22-Oct-15 20:47:01

TBH most work places are like this - its worse than school!

LaLyra Thu 22-Oct-15 20:47:53

In my experience the atmosphere in a school is entirely down to the Head. If the staff don't respect the Head it can lead to a pretty toxic atmosphere.

It's not always like that though. I worked in some lovely schools.

DangerousBeanz Thu 22-Oct-15 20:48:59

Sounds exactly like the school I used to work in, I stopped teaching,

No they aren't all like that there are some great ones with brilliant head teachers and lovely atmospheres. Some however are totally toxic and suck the life out of you.
I hope you get a good one next time xx

FourEyesGood Thu 22-Oct-15 20:51:44

I work in a secondary school and it's nothing like that. The staff are generally very supportive of each other, and although most of us have lost professional respect for the Head teacher (long, boring story), we respect each other.
There's not really any nepotism either.

StarkyTheDirewolf Thu 22-Oct-15 20:58:00

Sounds exactly like the school I worked in. Sadly, I loved my job, atmosphere killed me, left after three years. Some schools are wonderful, have a fantastic atmosphere, there will always be at least one whiner. Intertwining seems common (I got the job by nepotism by proxy.) So yep, you could be in my old school. Sounds very similar.

laffymeal Thu 22-Oct-15 21:02:01

The morale in my school is terrible atm. I have a lovely class and job share with a brilliant teacher and have a marvellous PSA but I am very lucky.

The upper school seems to be crumbling. The problem stems from the Head who is a very nice person but hopeless manager/leader and the Principal Teacher who is a fucking arsehole of a "man". He has a class 3 days a week and spends the entire time singing them "protest songs" on his guitar (he's a middle aged champagne socialist who thinks he's still "relevant"). Between them they're pissing everyone off enough to just walk out and leave.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 22-Oct-15 21:05:23

This is why I chose to work in a predominantly male industry. I had witnessed at first hand the pressure cooker of a primary school staffroom and it put me right off teaching.

GlitteryRollerGirl Thu 22-Oct-15 21:33:53

I think laffy has hit the nail on the head here. The head is a nice man, kids seems to like him. He's approachable etc but he doesn't seem to be able to manage his staff, there is a real lack of leadership from him.

DrasticAction Thu 22-Oct-15 21:35:32

its sad to here this tbh and an angle that I have never considered.

teachers are on the front line its a shame if they work in a school with no back up and support.

cardibach Thu 22-Oct-15 21:43:40

Nice gender stereotyping and casual sexism, Perspicacia hmm

Egosumquisum Thu 22-Oct-15 21:55:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Egosumquisum Thu 22-Oct-15 21:56:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChiefInspectorBarnaby Thu 22-Oct-15 22:04:20

Work placements give no insight into workload.

WaggleBee Thu 22-Oct-15 22:10:32

I did a work placement in a school that was exactly how you describe. I was actually thinking it might be the same school until you said the head was male.

Is it in a small town or village? Maybe it's where the school is.

GlitteryRollerGirl Thu 22-Oct-15 22:31:30

The school is on the outskirts of a large town Wagglebee. It covers quite a large area. The Staffroom is large but there's rarely anyone in there at lunchtime usually a couple of TA's and one teacher, the same teacher everyday in fact. Others will occasionally pop in, but they never sit down in there. The teachers and TA's from my class never ever go in there, they take their breaks and lunches in the classroom.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Thu 22-Oct-15 22:34:58

Sounds exactly like my dc's primary school tbh. People getting roles because so-and-so knows them - their DH going on a school residential trip with the children (WTF), her DD now working for the school. Teachers huddled in corners whispering whenever I've been doing parent reading, previous HT leaving under a cloud, the PTA accusing previous HT of misappropriation of funds (!) I've even overheard the office staff gossiping about the children. erm... loads more. And that's as a parent. This is a naice school too.

WaggleBee Thu 22-Oct-15 22:41:12

So my small town theory doesn't work then. I'd put my experience down to it being a cliquey kind of town generally but perhaps not.

Fishfingersong Thu 22-Oct-15 22:57:09

I can't say about staff but omg some of the mothers and PTA members at our school are gossipy, one hand washes the other nepotism and empire building individuals. These women gossip about everything and everyone in the school from how handsome the headteacher's dh is and how she is undeserving of this to gossiping about the children all the while only genuinley interested in the perceived well being of their little angels. It has put me right off contributing to the school or participating in events. I have no time for such small minded toxic people. Shudder. I do feel very sorry for teachers who have to put up with self-entitled parents thanks a million for dedicating yourselves to th education of our dc. I mean it, I couldn't handle it.

LadyMaryofDownt0n Thu 22-Oct-15 23:04:31

I was training as a TA while I worked full time in another career. I lasted 16 weeks in one school & left, it was exactly like this & no one was at all welcoming. The kids hated their teachers and one teacher called a child "a little foreign fucker". angry

itsstillgood Fri 23-Oct-15 05:40:00

When I was training to teach I did time in one school which was absolutely horrible, they didn't allow TAs in the staffroom. That one was the final straw and I dropped out.
That said not all were like that my first main practice was in a school in a tough area. The teachers were tired but clearly dedicated and nice to student teachers (reaction to them says a lot).
But I think anywhere you get groups of people who spend long rimmed together you have potential for the negative dynamics to develop.

fitzbilly Fri 23-Oct-15 06:45:30

Not all schools are like this, I've worked in quite a few different schools and its all down to the head and any. I've school I worked in has a brilliant head and all the staff laughed lots, the staff room was a fun place where everyone gathered every lunch time and there would often be raucous laughing!

In another school the staff would all go quiet if the head came into the staff room, in another over the head would make sure no one worked through lunch too often, but in some the has are just useless and seen to forget that the teachers are only human and can't survive endless pressure and demands.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 23-Oct-15 07:21:33

I'm on supply. Most schools are friendly, supportive and welcoming with a lot of suppost for each other. Occasionally the SLT has built a Darwinian environment where the only way to survive is to put someone else in the line of fire, and where power is misused to take care of some individuals and not others.
It's why you should really get an over-view of as many schools as possible before choosing to apply for anything permanent.

GlitteryRollerGirl Fri 23-Oct-15 08:21:16

I've not heard any of the teachers criticising a child yet. It seems to be the head and other members of staff in the firing line.

GoblinLittleOwl Fri 23-Oct-15 12:18:41

Is it a village school? Very incestuous, far too many relations given positions in all areas. As to the Head, it is the same in most schools now; Heads are so pressured for results they have to pressure the staff, and everyone resents it.
Also, when you become a permanent staff member, all the gripes that seem so petty when you are not part of the structure suddenly assume enormous importance.

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