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"health check." Next week. Yes really. :-(

(15 Posts)
CatKisser Tue 01-Jul-14 18:04:03

New Head has decided next week would be a great time for a health check. Three SIPs in, 2 observations each, subject leader interviews, pupil interviews, book scrutinies. I'm so, so annoyed at the timing. And what gets me more is the way he raved on about how "it's a great time to show off what you can do," etc. when we're all knackered, desperate to start our shiny new curriculum next year....and blatantly the idea is for it to go poorly so he can take credit when the next one is miraculously better! I am just FED up of my house and garden being entirely neglected. I'm fed up of dreaming about lessons, kids, books and waking up at 3am. God only knows how you lot with kids cope!

Sorry - the point want to rant. It was to ask if anyone's experienced one of these, particulularly as Lit Co in Primary?

Any advice most welcome. [sob]

CharlesRyder Tue 01-Jul-14 18:40:41

Oh my god. I FEEL your pain. That is hideous.

No advice but much sympathy.

CatKisser Tue 01-Jul-14 18:47:51

Thanks Charles. Any sympathy gratefully received. Without sounding arrogant, I'm less worried about the lesson obs as I have a fab class, but the SL interviews and book scrutinies are filling me with dread.

CatKisser Tue 01-Jul-14 18:51:04

And also, (sorry rant time) if it were an OFSTED, we would all just pull together and say "hey ho, let's just DO it," and we'd do our absolute best. But it's the fact he's asked for's galling.
BTW, for those who kindly commented on my prev thread about this man - still no lesson observation feedback.

CharlesRyder Tue 01-Jul-14 19:08:24

I would be murderous.

I am anyway at just having to go in. grin

FirstVix Tue 01-Jul-14 19:24:36

They tried to do similar with us (secodary). We refused observations on the grounds that we've already had 'however many a year' we are 'accepting' in the Unions. We also rejected the interviews based on the weekly interviews that have occured all bloody year and basically redirected them to an area that would be worth looking at this time of year (how we measure and track progress and then set up intervention).
Would being absolutely bolshy/hard faced about it work for you?
I think the fact that we offered something useful that we were willing to do helped.

serendipityspeaks Wed 02-Jul-14 18:18:53

I had a similar situation a few years ago - the new deputy was given the right to rule with an iron fist and one late night as I was ploughing through the paper work I had to search my email for some info and saw an email from him demanding a similar list of such nonsense.

My temper got the better of me and I fired off a very firm, yet professional reply listing all of the tasks I was currently doing, a list of deadlines currently pending and a list of suggestions for better management of my schedule for further requests. I ended the email with stating that I would not be meeting with his requests in the time frame he suggested. Then I hit reply all instead of just replying to him.

It ended up stirring up a hornets nest and the deputy was furious that I had replied to all the staff, but I do feel that if I had replied only to him he would have batted me away like a fly. There is power in numbers!! He ended up calling a staff meeting and backed off a bit.

CatKisser Wed 02-Jul-14 19:02:56

Thanks you lot. I wish I could be certain we'd all stand together on this one. Thing is, there are only 6 of us teachers - 3 who are feeling very edgy and have expressed concerns about getting new jobs at their age, etc. atmosphere is vile and I can feel it all "falling apart." The other day the new Head brought me the Reading SAT papers and we went through them. Out of relief I laughed at something and by the end of the day I'd received a couple of snide comments about "being pally with X." FFS.

I looked for jobs today. Nothing. Will look again in Spetember. Going to have to go through this nonsense next week. I just don't know what's expected of me in the subject leader interview. Emailed contact at county but no reply. Reports in on Fri. Struggling.

serendipityspeaks Wed 02-Jul-14 20:52:58

Hey CatKisser,
I feel your pain. I ended up leaving my position a few terms after that incident. I signed up with a supply agency, got head hunted to work in another school before doing any supply and things have kind of fallen into place as I've gone along. Would signing up with an agency be a possible option for you?

Worst case scenario - if you just did your job and didn't worry about what they were asking of you - what would happen? There were a few times we were asked for extra things that I ended up not doing and a lot of times it wasn't even noticed.

Where are you teaching at the moment? It's crazy how absolutely intolerable it is getting for everyone.

rollonthesummer Wed 02-Jul-14 21:46:59

That's awful. Sounds like he's looking for faults to get rid of people? Or to ensure that nobody meets their PMR targets so he doesn't have to give you any more money??!

toomuchicecream Wed 02-Jul-14 21:54:37

Ow! I was wondering how you got on with your observation feedback and how your school is in general. Now I know sad

I went through one of these at a previous school. I was in the worst frame of mind possible as I'd spent the preceding week preparing for a Deputy interview for a job I didn't get. It was the week before half term and I was on my knees. Anyway - the English leader (I was Maths) and I were interviewed together. I just remember almost sobbing and telling the visiting SIP that the HT needed to grow a pair of balls... Which was completely true, but possibly not the best choice of phrase or forum in which to air my views!

The question that stumped both of us was when the inspector talked about our increased role in subject monitoring as we'd never heard that before. It turned out that the SEF referred to this. We were both comparatively new at the school so we didn't know that we were doing monitoring that the previous post holders hadn't done.

So my top tip for you is to do everything you can to get hold of a copy of the School Development Plan and the SEF - at least where it relates to your subject. After all, the inspectors will be basing their questions on what the SEF says, so you need to know what has been said about you. I would also be ready with your list of what you've done this year to monitor your subject, along with how much time you've been given to do it. I would expect you to be asked about current strengths/weaknesses in your subject, followed up by how do you know?

You can legitimately argue that you can't answer questions based on your subject data as the year 6 SATS thresholds aren't published till next week. That has to be a silver lining, even if it's a tiny one. And if you can't get hold of the SDP or SEF then make sure the inspectors know you tried to get them but weren't given them. Oh - and be ready with ideas about how you're going to develop your subject next year (along with an explanation of where you've got the evidence from to support them being a priority).

Does that give you something to start with? Come back and let us know how you're getting on. Or pm me - I'm always happy to bounce ideas around.

CatKisser Wed 09-Jul-14 21:37:36

Thank you so much for the comments and advice - I'm sorry I didn't return. I think I went into a bit of denial and didn't ant to think about work too much.
Well, it happened today and was truly dreadful. I've never felt so stitched up in my life. I did not endear myself to them as we had been advised we were having 2x20 min obs. Then on the morning it was announced we would be having another "casual drop in" in the afternoon. I refused on the grounds that it was my PPA but I was expected to forfeit it (nobody asked) and that you need to give proper notice of observations.

Needless to say, they have found many, many areas for development, which we will no doubt hear about tomorrow. We dont get feedback from our own obs, but I think my lessons were Good, just.

We are all very down. I am job hunting in September. Been through this inevitable blame game before.

Glastogirl Mon 21-Jul-14 21:59:50

How did feedback go?

CatKisser Tue 22-Jul-14 08:34:23

Sorry, very rude of me not to update after the kind advice given. As predicted, it was a hugely stressful day and a couple of teachers really fell apart (by their own admission.) our books were deemed crap (untrue and insulting, they've previously in the year been praised as a massive strength), essentially it was terrible. However, our data is still undeniably excellent so I do think if we get ofsteded in term one of next year, we could be ok.

So Head has decided to move people's year groups in the last week of term which means everyone will be changing classrooms over summer. (Thankfully I've been left alone.)

The atmosphere by the end of last week was appalling and I've been really disappointed with a few staff members trying to whip up all kinds of hysteria. I'm very very aware of how nasty places can become in this situation -I've been through it before- but I do feel quite positive about September. Many, many issues that need ironing out though.
Thanks for asking! Sorry for crap typing, multi tasking!

toomuchicecream Tue 22-Jul-14 18:48:39

Good to hear how you got on - I've been wondering. Good to hear you've been left alone too and that you're feeling positive for September.

Definitely start the job hunt. Round here, there are still jobs for September in good schools - there seems to be a real recruitment problem. I know you can't get out that soon, but knowing you have an escape plan will make you feel so much better. Life is too short to teach in a crap school. I've done both (good and bad) - it's incredible how much happier life is with a decent HT.

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