Toxic management but not my school(8 Posts)
I left a school after a new head made it an awful place with the usual tactics of shite management - restructure in a way to force certain people out and create jobs for her mates from other schools, bullying, non-existence policy on behaviour, promoting favourites etc etc.
Since then results are even worse as is behaviour and morale. First Ofsted was early on in the regime so management looked ok- not time yet to impact results still RI. Results are even worse now two years later and ofsted is imminent. I’m really worried about some of the staff (including my DH) still working there. It makes me really angry.
I’m worried they’ll fool Ofsted again. Is there anything I can do? I want to complain to someone but I don’t know how/ who. The staff are all too fearful to speak up themselves.
I'm sorry that it seems to me from the way that you have written this post that you may have a personal axe to grind and therefore may not be taken seriously.
It is quite usual in these types of situations for new Heads to be brought in to get rid of people who are deemed to be under-performing and the"mates" you refer to being brought in may be teachers who already have proved their worth to the Head or other people on the management team/governors/trust.
If your DH believes there are ongoing problems as a current member of staff he should raise his concerns through the appropriate channels.
I am fairly certain no-one will take the views of an ex member of staff seriously especially if they feel there is an axe to grind. Sorry if that sounds harsh but you do sound very bitter.
I was going to say the same sort of thing.
I've worked in a school on special measures. Leadership was a major issue. New people came in and some staff left. To be honest, some of them were very quick to pass the buck and refused to take any responsibility for improving the school. They had their ways and that's what they were going to do (even if it meant not following whole school expectations). Some new staff came in and lots of them had some link or other to the new board but many didn't. Sometimes people do get jobs because they have proven themselves and they have a justifyably good reputation. (I've got a job that way. There's no way a friend of a friend would have recommended me if I was crap because thst reflects badly on them)
I've seen more people bullied out of leafy outstanding schools than struggling schools.
Bullying is horrible and is rife in schools.
Equally people moaning that mean SLT have asked them to change is also rife.
We can't know which it is without being there. You will havr to drop it though OP as you are too close to it and sound like you have a vendetta.
Fair enough, I can see why you might see it that way. It is pretty personal. I'm bitter because it's so unfair and unnecessary. But I think it's the powerlessness of everybody there to do anything whilst it's so dysfunctional that rankles most. The head even told an hod meeting that they would be able to work out who had written a negative staff feedback form for Ofsted. There have been countless union meetings etc etc, but nothing seems to change for the better. There are only a handful of staff left from when I left a couple of years ago, and they're all making plans to leave asap. Staff Absence rate is ridiculous and turnover also really high. It's gone from a school where the saving grace about a tough crowd was the relationships between staff and the fact that the kids quite liked school to a school where people (including kids and parents) are desperate to escape. And the people that know it best and care are just dismissed as moaners and have no means of forcing a change because they're too scared.
Now I work in a good school with decent management the contrast is stark. I am also a much much better teacher because a supportive management has let me flourish in a way that I didn't even know was possible. I can see so clearly where it's all gone wrong. I know I have to let it go, but I worry about my DH. He's an excellent teacher and it's just eroding his confidence to the point he doesn't seem to even want to apply for other jobs. I think he just doesn't believe anymore he's as good as he is.
It used to be him that genuinely enjoyed his job, rather than me. Most of the time I can tell myself that at least it worked for me and my DC won't have to go to that school, but now and again the rage gets me. At least I can vent anonymously and get told to shut up my strangers!
Just out of interest allthebest, what are the 'appropriate channels' in a school where people who express anything other than total compliance are treated to capability procedures, formal warnings, and being restructured out of a job? Beyond union representation and Ofsted feedback forms, what recourse does DH have beyond hoping he has enough resilience to outlast them because it can't continue forever? I know I sound ranty again, but seriously what can he do?
I don't know what your DH's complaint is though to suggest an appropriate channel or way of complaining other than the existing staff don't seem to like the changes being implemented by the not-so-new head.
Why do you/your DH think behaviour and results have worsened? Were they a poorly performing school to start with? Is that why the Head was brought in?
Usually Heads are brought in because of these things and the complaints are because discipline has tightened, more is expected of teachers etc. In this case are you saying it was a good school and has turned bad because of the Head. If so, I suspect their days are numbered anyway and it might be a case of DH sitting it out (or applying elsewhere if he feels he can't).
That's kind of the point. He himself has no major reason to complain- he wasn't given the head of faculty job after restructuring despite being far more experienced, qualified and with a long proven record of excellent exam results - and was told what went against him was that he'd never worked anywhere else. When a different job that would have been ideal for he was told not to bother applying because why would they want a non core teacher on SLT? Other than hugely knocking his confidence for totally unwarranted reasons, (and the person they did appoint is now being forced out for being a car crash) it's all fairly trivial and nothing to make a complaint about. But the same sort of treatment -and worse- is going on all over school - the result is virtually anyone any good has left, and anyone who was a bit crap is costing them a fortune in long term sick pay. (Because one of the genius money saving decisions they made was to cancel the cover insurance) The staff they've brought it have been the same- some reasonably effective but others awful, and most struggling with behaviour and low morale. Outcomes are worse, student surveys tell them they're miserable, staff surveys tell them everyone's miserable and sick of working in such a miserable place. Termly mocksteds to target this months chosen victim etc etc. Numbers are down and kids are leaving. Every week some teacher or other is hauled in for a formal warning or a bollocking for ridiculous things, and exclusions are up- especially smoking dope on site. There's never anyone on duty, and SLT take it in turns to 'work from home', even though they've walked up the offices in such a way so no one can get anywhere near them.
But all anyone can do is hope that Ofsted notice and see through the pile of no doubt exemplary paperwork. Why isn't there a whistle- blowing system? It adds up to a school being run into the ground, following the disastrous sequence so many RI schools seem to go through. It's always been a bit of a crappy school, for very deep rooted contextual reasons I won't go into- and it's been RI for the last 8 years. The previous head retired and had been fine, and got results up a little, but struggled to make much of a difference. (and tbh given the funding difficulties I don't know how anyone could)
I know I sound like an embittered loon, but I am honestly painting a fair picture! I just wish there was a way of bringing it to an end sooner.
Sorry - can only suggest he keeps on checking the ads for jobs elsewhere too.
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