Have you noticed?

HAVING been assured all along that governors would have nothing to do with threshold appraisal, I was rather alarmed to read suggestions from the teacher unions that their members should use staff grievance procedures if they fail to collect their pound;2,000.

Of course, my school does have a grievance policy in place, but like most other forms of insurance - fire, theft, death - I had hoped never to have to use it.

I am gently beginning to cyber-surf in the shallows of the Internet these days, so I checked out the "teaching reforms" website for information on teachers' right to appeal.

No information, but a phone number to speak to a real person at the Department fr Education and Employment.

"Who do staff appeal to if they are not satisfied with their threshold appraisal?" I asked.

"The headteacher," came the

confident reply.

But don't the heads do the appraisal? Does that mean they should also hear the appeal?

He played me some music while he went off to consult a colleague, or possibly to examine some cockerel's entrails.

He sounded just as confident when he came back with the second answer. This confidence is, I suppose, what civil servants are paid to project no matter what the circumstances.

"There is no appeal," he said.

I think I had better dust off that staff grievance policy.

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