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Any Scottish teachers/EIS members about?(3 Posts)
I'm trying to help my DSis, who qualified as a primary teacher in Scotland 2 years ago. She is on permanent supply, which is fine for her at the moment as she wants to get experience in different schools before settling down somewhere.
Her school this past year has been awful. She has p4 and the behaviour from a significant number of pupils is really, really bad (as in violence and repeatedly calling DSis a cunt). A number of pupils are also completely illiterate (I don't know how common this is at this age) and there is very sparse learning support provision so she basically spends her whole day dealing with these two issues. She has been offered a year's mat cover in a school for children with ASN for August and was delighted as this is what she really wants to do, where she has the most experience and where her strength lies. She accepted this and it was all sorted.
However, the HT of the current school is now saying she won't let her go because she is underperforming and needs to be monitored. This is the first DSis has heard of this - all of her observations have been fine. Unfortunately there are no written accounts of her observations. HT and deputy say the support meetings they had with her a few months back were due to underperforming, not to supporting a recently qualified teacher with a challenging class, as was DSis's impression. Again, no minutes, nothing in writing. She hasn't been sleeping and is feeling really unwell. I suggested she take a sick day tomorrow as she'll be no use to anyone if she feels so shit but she says that the HT recently told her that when she had a sick day in December (vomiting and diarrhoea) that she went into her classroom, looked through her diary and saw (unspecified) evidence of underperformance. Earlier in the year/end of last year DSis was spoken to about poor/decreasing literacy results in the class - kids who can't read or write now apparently could at a P3 level last year. But it later emerged that the previous teacher had input results onto the spreadsheet which were completely unconnected to these students' actual levels and DSis was told she was in the clear. The previous teacher was another NQT who is now somewhere else (as all the other teachers of this class have been).
I work at a uni, and if you didn't sign off appraisals in writing and get the approval of the person being appraised you'd be flaunting the behavioural code. As you would if you didn't minute meetings re: performance and ensure your staff member knew this was what it was about. As you would if you rooted through someone else's workspace without permission. As you would if you used such ad-hoc 'inspections' as a way to discourage employees taking sick days. The Union would be on you in a second.
But I don't know how it works with schools - to my mind, you can't force someone to stay in a post when they've been offered another but a union person DSis spoke to suggested it may be possible as she's on permanent supply. I told DSis to raise the issues I've highlighted above re: ethical conduct and to, if necessary, make a FOI request for any emails between HT and deputy regarding her underperformance, observations and support meetings. Can anyone think of anything else to suggest to her? Does what's happening sound right to you?
Is the ASN job on the same permanent supply contract? it may depend where her base is? Unless she is a probationer this sounds unusual...
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