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Allegations and unpleasantness - what should I do?

(8 Posts)
bravenewepsilon Sun 10-Jul-11 08:38:49

I work in a school and last year a new manager joined who in my view has had trouble maintaining classroom control. There is a horrible atmosphere at work with information being given to some but not others, whispering, that kind of thing. I have tried to express my concerns but been stonewalled ...however last year a colleague commented on the behaviour issues and I was frank in admitting a problem existed ..which has not helped matters. Every day I dread going to work. I now have the possibility of a new job elsewhere, but a few days ago I was summoned by the HT who proceeded to give me a verbal warning for professional misconduct. He alleged I'd been discussing matters with parents, which I denied. He said a parent had told him I'd made a derogatory remark about the manager but could not give me an example. He said the manager had been to him six months ago (around time colleague commented on behaviour issues) in tears saying I hated her and that the atmosphere had been picked up in a recent ofsted inspection. Also that I had made cynical remarks about ofsted (true).
I was pretty shocked by what he said. I confirmed I have been concerned about the behaviour and lack of unity at work but not in any personal way. I have never discussed issues with parents. I asked why no one had mentioned the issues to me before. I said my views on ofsted were that best practice should be an all round matter, not a two day show of compliance (a bit more diplomatically). He backed down a bit. All the time he'd been taking notes but he said he wouldn't put them on my file and that I should talk to manager. He said I would be working for her directly next year if I stayed, not my current line manager who also has concerns. I didn't ask him about the change in role but from what I can infer it will be a demotion in terms of job content.
I immediately talked to the manager, I was keen to stress my concerns weren't personal. She said she knew I didn't hate her and had never said that to HT. I reiterated my concerns and asked what she thought was the way forward. She said she didn't want to be there and she didn't really care. There has been no planning for the class since ofsted.
I very much hope not to be there next year, but should I pursue the issues? HT has since apologised to me and said he was 'angry' -still haven't seen the ofsted but I don't think it went the way he wanted. There is no way I discuss stuff with parents, for instance. I don't want to stir things up uneccessarily but I don't want untrue stuff on record. And was it a verbal warning, or not? there was no notice, it came out of the blue, and I had no chance to take anyone with me; I've had nothing in writing. Should I just let things go and leave as soon as I can?

Littlefish Sun 10-Jul-11 08:57:59

You need to speak to your union or check your school disciplinary procedure to find out whether the correct procedures were followed in order for it to be a verbal warning.

bravenewepsilon Sun 10-Jul-11 09:26:41

I am not in a union and I can't find any info about disciplinary procedures. The acas guidelines suggest that a verbal warning would be documented and that you would be allowed a witness/representative.

Putthatbookdown Sun 10-Jul-11 11:13:20

The disciplinary procedures will be in your contract.I had this- asked to go into Head's office and screamed at- she was furious. I got an oral warning 2 months later. Apparently I was somehow to know this. no rep as per contract.They are also supposed to investigate any wrongdoing- going on gossip and tiitletattle is not a proper investigation.You may find it better to go for that new job-any form of unfairness can sour things for you and leave you bitter

bravenewepsilon Sun 10-Jul-11 11:29:18

all I had when I joined was statement of terms and conditions and a very short letter about dates. Terms and conditions says that disciplinary info has been put together by governors and is available from the school and to consult the HT in first instance. So really no help at all.
I know I have to leave, realistically, but I don't want stuff said or written about me that is not true without any chance to explain.
Sorry you went through this ptbd. It's horrible, when you have worked hard and given your very best.

LatteLady Mon 11-Jul-11 16:23:19

Every school will have Disciplinary, Capability and Sickness procedures. Ask the school secretary for a copy of the Disciplinary Procedures and check what has happened against what should have happened.

Then go and join a Union, it is situations like this that they are there for.

LatteLady Mon 11-Jul-11 16:24:00

I forgot to add, also ask for the Complaints procedure... you may need it!

bravenewepsilon Mon 11-Jul-11 21:19:19

yes I will join a union for future matters. not sure whether to pursue this now or not, has been stressful enough already. have seen report now and there is nothing in it like the head threw at me (ie my session was rubbish) or about disparaging remarks. it's quite complimentary about everything in fact. the manager is off sick. I might ask for copies of the disciplinary and complaints procedures but I'm not sure I have the energy to take it further. Even asking for them will be seen as inflammatory. there is usually at least one person there who is bullied, he was horrible to a young nqt candidate last year and everyone else is just glad it's not them.

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