We must not let bullying management win

8th November 2013 at 00:00

I would like to express my thanks to Mike Kent ("Have they no compassion?", 25 October) for raising awareness of the extent to which school cultures are so often characterised by intimidation and bullying from the leadership team.

I am a highly qualified teacher of 40 years and have first-hand experience of bullying from senior management.

All was well until I fractured my spine in an accident at work. Finally agreeing with my union to claim against the school, I envisaged that there could be some retribution for this action. In fact, immediately after the complaint was forwarded, I received a letter announcing disciplinary proceedings against me based on "serious allegations". After three months of intimidating missives and a three-hour disciplinary hearing, I received a verbal warning to last for a period of six months, which was accompanied by a year's worth of punitive sanctions. I was warned not to appeal or further "evidence" could suddenly manifest itself to move the case into the area of child protection. I remain unaware of what I am actually accused of, but it seems to amount to a few students complaining to parents that I was "mean" because I gave warnings over homework lateness.

I offered my resignationretirement from Easter 2014 but have been informed that the pressure will continue until the very end of my career. It is a disgraceful finale to a lifetime's commitment. But thank you for acknowledging that I am not alone in my suffering. Perhaps, if enough of us courageously raise our voices, we can at least offset future pain for our colleagues.

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