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"Successful" teacher not following policy

(28 Posts)
Atropa Sun 20-Oct-19 10:25:29

One of the young 'uns in our department, well-respected by the students, rarely any behaviour issues, great results. Loved by those higher up the chain, always hangs out with management, on the path to be a senior leader shortly.

BUT we have certain policies - behaviour, homework, marking etc. which they just ignore. I have to monitor this, pass this information on and it grates on me that we are all striving to follow policy, but because they are outwardly far better at their job and a high-flyer they get away with ignoring most of it. It also undermines those of us who share classes with them and follow policy that students disagree with, which then affects classroom behaviour due to endless discussions and subsequent poorer relationships.

Example: Students are meant to start lessons standing behind teir chairs. Colleague ignores this and allows them to sit down straight away, leaving us to battle with students protesting against this rule, which we have been told to follow.

How do you deal with a colleague like this and with the fallout this causes with students?

I'm fully aware of the trouble this will cause in Ofsted inspections also, but senior managers don't seem to care as they don't get bothered by this colleague as results and behaviour are great in their room. Yet I have to monitor, pass the information on and then... nothing.

OP’s posts: |
ChilledBee Sun 20-Oct-19 10:31:00

Maybe she thinks stupid rules like stand behind your chairs are actually what causes shit relationships so she cleverly skips them as she isn't a boot camp leader.

Atropa Sun 20-Oct-19 10:33:48

I agree that some of the rules are silly, but management have - despite protests - insisted we follow them. Whenever one of us has issues, the first thing we are being supported with is enforcing these rules, for the sake of consistency.

But said colleague appears to be exempt. And it's not the first time I've come across this set-up, either...

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Sun 20-Oct-19 10:34:22

Are the other rules as stupid as the chairs one?

AmateurSwami Sun 20-Oct-19 10:35:52

Have you asked slt why those rules only apply to you, and not this teacher?

ChilledBee Sun 20-Oct-19 10:38:14

Usually because they think that the other teachers will need those sorts of rules to have anything resembling control. It looks controlled when you force all the kids into army style regimes even if it isn't.

GreenTulips Sun 20-Oct-19 10:42:35

Interesting question

DCs aren’t allowed to swear but some teachers ignore it
They aren’t allowed to remove blazers unless whole school is announced - some allow it anyway
Some allow cheeky behaviour

Kids aren’t stupid!!

I would forward it to management and suggest as X doesn’t go by these policies with excellent behaviour perhaps you should all follow her example instead?

AppleKatie Sun 20-Oct-19 10:42:40

Three pronged approach OP-
1. Ask this colleague directly why they are flouting the rules and ask them to consider the impact on their colleagues.
2. Ask SMT directly why she is exempt and not you and point out the impact of this on you and others.
3. Look for a new job somewhere less regimented it sounds shit.

Atropa Sun 20-Oct-19 10:42:41

Are the other rules as stupid as the chairs one?

Depends.
Planners out, every lesson. Pretty standard in every secondary school, I would have thought.
Detentions done in silence. Again, pretty standard.
Homework set and checked regularly. See above.
Certain data and info sheets stuck in books. See above.
Common format for assessed work. Again, see above.
Seating plans in place.
Tutor time done in a set format. Planners, uniform and equipment checked. No phones out, even in downtime/ tutor time/ after-school interventions. Certain activities set and shared across the entire year group.
All PowerPoints in the same format (that one is silly, but a brand thing).

None of the above are unusual, but they are all rules this colleague does away with.

OP’s posts: |
emilybrontescorsett Sun 20-Oct-19 10:42:59

I would mention this to your colleague and make a written note of it.
Then if it persists log it down on email to your line manager in a factual manner.
So
Today in class there was an issue with behaviour, the class refused to adhere to the rule of standing behind your chair stating the reason as ‘ mr x doesn’t make us do it.’
This resulted in a loss of learning time as I then had to spend 10 minutes justifying this school policy.

Do this every time.
Do it in a way which shows you are simply adhering to the school policy.
Show what the impact that mr/ms x not following procedure is having.

I slt then decide to amend that policy all well and good.

dootball Sun 20-Oct-19 10:43:47

Have you explained the impact of him not following rules on other teaching staff? I've come across people who haven't realized the impact their methods have on everyone else.

noblegiraffe Sun 20-Oct-19 10:47:15

Yes, have you told this young teacher that while they might see the class rules as silly, they are causing problems across the whole school by not following policy and that what kids really need is consistency?

Do they actually mark work just not according to policy? Or do they not mark?

itsgettingweird Sun 20-Oct-19 10:51:22

My son seems to have a tutor like this.
It seems to be how they get everyone to like them - because the popular and strong willed kids get away with things.
But not all!

My ds gets trouble for having phone out even if the popular (gobby kids!) do.
When they throw things at DS and don't stop when teacher asks she asks him what he'd like her to do about it.
These kids also know they have her on side - so when management come in they behave impeccably so they can continue their easy ride.

I agree some of the rules are stupid. But things like assessment paper in book shouldn't be let go. As a parent and educator I'd be complaining about that as it does affect results (and also means she isn't properly tracking progress).

I've also seen the teachers who spend half they day slowly increasing the distance their head is up the arse of SMT.
SMT aren't usually stupid. They give these teachers "extra responsibility because they are obviously so in control" and get leadership stuff and policies sorted without paying extra (TLR).
The last one I saw do this was sure they'd get an internal permanent teaching post with TLR.
They didn't. (Because they'd not done the basics like planning on central system, assessments etc)

Atropa Sun 20-Oct-19 10:52:11

They do not follow school format on marking, but they do mark. Same with homework.

Yes, conversations were had. They pay lip service to it and then carry on ignoring what has been said. There is a certain arrogance involved as they are very aware that the students respond differently to their permissive style. They also outwardly take on problem students (e.g. making them do detentions with them), but then turn this into social time with food and chatter in their room.

I log and pass issues on, every time. Like I said, nothing gets done, because they don't cause issues for managers.

One of the many reasons I'll be leaving soon. I was brought up with the ethos that if your boss says jump, you jump. And that all changes are discussed and adhered to collectively.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sun 20-Oct-19 11:03:17

As Tom Bennett says “Consistency doesn’t mean the absence of personality. It means observing community non negotiables for the mutual benefit & support. Mavericks who do what they please just make it harder for everyone else”

twitter.com/tombennett71/status/1015248025239851009?s=21

TequilaAtJoes Sun 20-Oct-19 11:03:19

It must grind your gears OP, but if they are a favourite of SLT, nothing will be done.

If they are particularly vindictive, they will not look kindly on reporting his/ her every move.

If you’re moving on, keep your head down and get out.

BilboBercow Sun 20-Oct-19 11:03:22

Have you thought that maybe the teacher gets great results and has no behavioural issues purely as a result of knowing which stupid arbitrary rules to ignore?

Atropa Sun 20-Oct-19 11:08:28

Tequila I'm not doing this out of vindictiveness, but because it is part of my middle management job to monitor this. Adherance to rules, behaviour, homework and form time activities are all part of my remit and I am tasked with monitoring this across the department through frequent learning walks and data analysis.

Bilbo I'm not disagreeing with this, but I know that anyone else would be pulled up on not following the systems to the letter.

OP’s posts: |
BelleSausage Sun 20-Oct-19 11:10:53

I think what @itsgettingweird is saying rings true.

I worked with one of these ‘super’ teachers at my last school. They had their own brand- special fonts for resources, own way of marking, own behaviour policy, practically own schemes of work.

They also climbed the greasy pole fairly rapidly and began to come unstuck once they had to manage staff as well as students. Other members of staff are less likely to be impressed by the ‘personality method’ of management i.e- I know better and can’t be arsed with the rules.

What it does speak to is a failing by your SLT. The fact they are allowing this speaks volumes about them, quite frankly.

BelleSausage Sun 20-Oct-19 11:13:58

Also, isn’t that a chapter from the Michaela book? The one about super teachers. Schools are much more effective overall if everyone is supporting each other to be consistently good than if super teachers are trying to carry whole departments with flashy and time consuming ways of teaching.

I’ve come to the opinion that consistent, team driven departments are the best.

TequilaAtJoes Sun 20-Oct-19 11:14:38

I didn’t mean that you were vindictive OP- I was trying to say that SLT can protect their favourites and may not look kindly on you constantly bringing up their super star. It could backfire on you.

Mistressiggi Sun 20-Oct-19 11:18:20

Give it a few years and they will be back at your school as a behaviour guru.
If another member of staff decides to do this too, how can they be told off for this when they have the precedent set? Could be interesting to see what happens.

CalamityJune Sun 20-Oct-19 11:29:56

No advice but this sounds really annoying. It is possible to have personality and rapport with students while still upholding agreed ways of doing things.

We stand behind chairs in our school; it doesn't feel regimented at all. They come in, find their place, I greet them and quickly explain the starter and then they can do their unpacking and fidgeting and make a start while I take the register. Simple.

The behaviour in detention thing would annoy me the most I think. Detention should be pretty boring, not a get together with your friends.

LolaSmiles Sun 20-Oct-19 17:34:06

As Tom Bennett says “Consistency doesn’t mean the absence of personality. It means observing community non negotiables for the mutual benefit & support. Mavericks who do what they please just make it harder for everyone else”
Absolutely agree with this.
The problem with those bright young things who think they have it sorted is they are arrogant and lack the maturity or experience to realise that their actions make them a really shit colleague.

In fact, they're probably the ones who turn into the "fun' members of SLT, who climb up quickly without any real time in middle leadership, only to undermine middle leaders by bouncing issues back to departments, undermine classroom teachers who are trying to follow the policy from SLT etc. I'd bet my bottom dollar they're also the types of senior leaders who also tell staff that if a child misbehaves then it's because their lessons weren't entertaining enough, or they need to plan 32 children's learning around the popular culture interests of the 3 who routinely hinder everyone else learning. Theyll argue that if staff expect even the most basic expectations meeting then it's a negotiation with the students and maybe if they try to be mates with them then they'd not have as many issues.

It's perfectly possible to be a friendly and effective teacher with positive relationships without resorting to trying to be Mr/miss popular. Some people are too arrogant to realise this because they are too up their own backsides.

Mendeleev Sun 20-Oct-19 17:43:48

Are you in a Harris school by any chance OP?

I had experience of this when I worked in one. Very annoying! Time to get a new job...

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