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Can old school tell new school your reason for absence?

(9 Posts)
YesMudder Fri 07-Nov-14 18:14:17

Asking for DH not myself. Sorry that this is a long post, just wanted to give the background and not drip feed!

DH gave notice before half term to leave at Christmas to start his new school in January. He wasn't having any specific problems when he decided to job hunt and accept another post - his teaching was good and management seemed happy with him. However, he really disliked the school - daily 'walk about' inspections, constant book checks, last minute deadlines, unreasonable targets, a negative and critical atmosphere. A lot of his colleagues are very unhappy and trying to leave. It wasn't a school where he wanted to stay.

Since giving his resignation, management have unleashed both barrels on him with pressure. He is struggling and really stressed, and pretty worried by the head's comments of 'ooh, I bet your new head wouldn't be impressed with that ... that's not a threat, ha ha' (unsmiling).

He has suffered with depression/anxiety previously and realised he needed to see his GP. His GP has diagnosed depression/stress/panic attacks and signed him off until the end of term (so he won't be going back at all).

He is relieved and needs the mental break. However, he is now panicking that his current head will let his new head know what is happening. References, health questionnaire etc are complete (and he disclosed the previous depression etc). He is worried about looking weak/unprofessional with his new head. It's complicated by the fact that the new school asked if there was any chance DH could start earlier than January and so the heads spoke before half term and agreed that if current school could find a suitable replacement, he could leave sooner.

So my main questions are - can the current head tell the new head that DH is off sick and why? And would you get in touch with the new head pre-emptively? The new head, btw, is at a school where DH did a long term cover not so long ago and so far has been really supportive, friendly and encouraging of DH.

Maidupmum Sat 08-Nov-14 11:51:22

I'm a HT & would appreciate a 'heads up' from your husband. He needs to be careful not to be unprofessional & slag off the old head though.
Maybe "I've been signed off with depression/stress, its been hard there since I announced I was moving" would cover it.

YesMudder Sat 08-Nov-14 15:32:17

Thanks for the advice Maidupmum. He definitely wouldn't criticise the old school - he was positive about the school in interview even and would have had a perfectly happy and amicable exit if they hadn't started all this nonsense! Would heads normally get in touch with the new school to tell them this info, or would it be confidential do you think?

maddy68 Sat 08-Nov-14 15:35:08

If he already has the job it's likely that they have already had the references. In teaching references are normally requested before the interview

YesMudder Sat 08-Nov-14 20:00:03

Yes, they already have references and he has accepted/had job confirmed ... it's more that he's worried that his old head will get in touch with the new head, and that the new head will think he's unprofessional/incompetent/dishonest for not telling her about this. I think he's going to tell her pre-emptively, keeping it factual and not criticising the old school. Finding out from someone else is always worse, I think.

ChillySundays Sat 08-Nov-14 21:31:08

Not a teacher but surely if reference have already been given surely it would be a breach of confidentiality for the old head to contact the new head?

Strictly1 Sun 09-Nov-14 08:07:56

Tell him not to worry - I agree with maidupmum. Sadly I've seen and heard of this happening quite a lot. They were obviously impressed enough to offer him a job and if they have anything about them they will wait to see how he performs rather than listen to sour grapes. Good luck ��

Maidupmum Sun 09-Nov-14 09:52:52

There might not be a formal contact but if they're local the the heads might see each other.
I hate to admit it but us headteachers can gossip with the best of them!

WhyTeach Sun 09-Nov-14 15:05:08

He needs to be very careful and to contact his new school tomorrow morning.

Read the assault thread in Education, a lot of what happens to teachers who are bullied by staff is echoed in that thread.

Heads talk, not all Heads are fine upstanding members of society, this one sounds like they might cause trouble.

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