Letters extra: Working past retirement age?

29th June 2001 at 01:00

Has this happened to you? Are you a retired teacher continuing to work past retirement age?

The Head asked me to make an appointment with her to collect my `Excellence in School Threshold' result. She greeted me with the usual professional smile so commonly shown to us ordinary teachers that we never completely trust from "top management".

The Head went through my Threshold application, with frequent comments on the following lines, "of course, I don't know you" (the required comments having been written by the previous Head), and congratulated me on passing the Excellence in School Performance Threshold 2000. She handed me a letter of confirmation which states that I "met the national standard for effective teaching and am entitled to be paid on the first point of the upper scale.".

As I was getting out of my seat to leave the Head's office with warm feelings of having passed the threshold the Head stopped me, saying, "There is one other thing. I am not renewing your contract from September 2001 because you are beyond retiring age".

The pleasant feelings engendered by her statement of a minute before were completely crushed by this utterly insensitive and inconsiderate action, especially so coming from a newly appointed Head to a teacher with 29 years service to the school.

Surely the Head could have waited at least another day before dropping this bombshell?
On the one hand "congratulations on your excellent service" and on the other "you're fired"!
Having served the School loyally for nearly 30 years and having come back from retirement, part-time, at the request of the previous head because of my "outstanding organisational skills and being a dedicated classroom teacher", the new Head's treatment is simply scandalous.

K Brown

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