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New job in an academy
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leccybill · 17/09/2017 10:15

I've started a new teaching job in an academy (secondary).
I think now I was possibly naive to think it wouldn't be much different to previous schools I've worked in. How wrong I was. It's a short term contract luckily but I'm already counting down the days until I can leave.

I've worked in schools in special measures, schools in very deprived areas and Outstanding schools with very pushy parents so I'm no stranger to hard graft and pressure but good grief, the expectations here are enormous and there is zero work life balance. I guess what I'm most annoyed about is that I know it doesn't have to be this way. The children are great and the non-SLT staff are friendly and kind. But the culture is horrible.
There are lots of bright-eyed NQTs who will burn out before long and be put off teaching by this poor example of how staff are expected to work and comply. Staff just seem resigned to it all, through fear of losing their jobs.

Ugh, already dreading tomorrow. Anyone else in a new job and feeling uneasy about it?

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ComingUpTrumps · 17/09/2017 23:41

Sorry to hear that leccy :( I didn't want to read and run. What is the culture like?

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JoJoSM2 · 17/09/2017 23:44

Good thing it'd only temporary. An awful culture at work is a real mojo killer.

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Tw1nsetAndPearls · 17/09/2017 23:49

I am not in a new job but hoping to stay away from working in an academy which is almost an impossibility. Hoping to manage it for a few more years before giving up teaching in the UK

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phlebasconsidered · 18/09/2017 06:08

We've just been.forcibly academised and it's awful. We've had new systems implemented and are all being performance managed with observation in our second week. I expect many.of us will fail and be capabilitied out.

The new behaviour system is awful. The atmosphere is fearful. The expectations are daft. We are told off for not being in early enough or late enough. Our directed time is controlled massively. I've been told to work on my days off. As a part timer I expect to be ousted. Unqualified and cheap staff have magically appeared.

It's awful. I'm desperately looking for other jobs but two academy chains have my area sewn up.

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leccybill · 18/09/2017 16:46

I guess some academies are more intense than others. Mine is like phlebas above - fearful culture, lots of young 'yes men' and very long hours, obligatory Saturdays and lunch duties.
Having always been a firm backer of the teaching unions, I feel like I'm selling myself out working here after everything we fought so hard for (rarely cover, protected PPA, no other meetings in a week with Parents Evening etc). Sad

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phlebasconsidered · 18/09/2017 19:58

Well, we all got the news today that apparently our last year's performance doesn't matter when it comes to performance management. We're all going to be assessed on an observation delivering a new scheme we've only had a few days to learn.

And then they handed us our observation and learning walk schedule. 3 observations and 4 book scrutinies before Xmas plus learning walks.

Fuck the fuck off.

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AnonymousTomato · 18/09/2017 21:11

I don't know why anyone thinks some academies work conditions are ok
I left and am back in a LA school. Much better

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bettyboo40 · 18/09/2017 21:16

I'm feeling really angry for those of you having to put up with such appalling working conditions. I teach in Wales where there are no academy schools. We obviously still have pressure but no where near as bad.

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ohreallyohreallyoh · 18/09/2017 22:47

Speak to the union - isn't it something like 3 obs per year unless under capability procedures?

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leccybill · 18/09/2017 23:40

No union reps at all in the academy I'm in.
No staffroom either Sad

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cricketballs · 19/09/2017 06:18

If no union reps on site then call your helpline or regional rep

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phlebasconsidered · 19/09/2017 06:51

Spoke to my union last night. They can do nothing. The 3 times a year is guideline only, the statutory part was removed in 2012 by the Coalition. So they can do whatever they like.

Personally I think this is their way of getting rid of staff. One of their other schools is wall to wall NQT this September.

And to add the icing on the cake we haven't received the 2% pay rise either!

I'm desperately searching for other jobs. Everyone is. They've made it clear that leaving to pick children up before 5 is unacceptable, we now have two twilight a week, and no Slt do duties so that now falls on us. The marking requirements are impossible and the data entry is every week. I am waiting for a "terrible" observation that will put my part time and expensive ass on capability. And it used to be a lovely school.

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mnistooaddictive · 19/09/2017 06:55

So sorry to hear it is like this. So angry teachers are being treated so poorly.

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MaisyPops · 19/09/2017 06:55

Sounds lile the type of place who wants a constant stream of blue eyed NQTs and unqualified staff they can run into the ground / promote above their experience if they conform and are liked and then replace with more inexperienced staff

Not all academies are like this though. I find this happens more in big chains with a macho ethos over smaller trusts/stand alone converters.

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Stillwaitingforsummer · 19/09/2017 13:58

We are currently looking at converting to academy status but pay and conditions won't change. I've visited other academies where staff say they haven't noticed the change.
Are these bad ones primary or secondary? Have you changed from LA or moved schools to be on this situation?

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ohreallyohreallyoh · 19/09/2017 17:26

I find this happens more in big chains with a macho ethos over smaller trusts/stand alone converters

I had a bad experience in a small trust. Really bad. One set of bang on national average exam results and I was being observed right, left and centre. I resigned before they got the satisfaction of starting capability and was so stressed, I couldn't bear to involve the union. A colleague involved the union for me - it was a huge relief and got the bastards off my back. I am now supply and love it but am lucky cos I am Secondary shortage subject so there is always work.

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Tw1nsetAndPearls · 19/09/2017 17:56

I don't know why anyone thinks some academies work conditions are okI
left and am back in a LA school. Much better*

I agree but in many areas you can't find a non academised secondary. I don't want work to in a grammar school, I don't want to work in a free school or an academy. I don't think that there is another local school that I can apply to - hence me looking to leave UK teaching

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TheFallenMadonna · 19/09/2017 18:03

There are no non academies in my area. However, in the two I have worked on before moving to Alternative Provision (also academised!), there was no difference in terms and conditions or ethos compared with pre-academisation. Nether were part of big MATs though.

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MrsWooster · 19/09/2017 18:13

Sadly, I think This Sort of Thing is endemic in education generally. I'm in a proper, old skool school and it's all Learning Walks observations, book scrutinisedobservations, and observations. The unions can do nothing - and I'm the union rep. Like so many others, I am getting out and the tide of bright eyed nqts will carry on, thinking this is all normal, until they try and have a family or a life and leave in their turn.

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TheFallenMadonna · 19/09/2017 18:24

I think it's tone, isn't it? We have Learning Walks and Work Scrutinies, but I don't feel hammered by them. We get lots of positive feedback, which is lovely, but more importantly we get to talk about it all. Being a small stuff helps, but we are about the same size as a core department in secondary, so what works for us should work there too.

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TheFallenMadonna · 19/09/2017 18:24

A small staff

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