What keeps me awake at night

2nd January 2015 at 00:00
Robbed of my job title, I now fear for my status

My current post was advertised in 2006 as a "director of science" who would coordinate the teaching and learning of the three separate science departments.

I was aware that the money for the post came entirely from the school's second specialism of science, but at the time I couldn't have foreseen that the concept of specialisms was soon to be consigned to the dustbin of failed educational initiatives.

I've done a good job: I've spent my funding wisely, helped some less-effective science teachers to move on and appointed a team of excellent teachers for each subject. Results have improved steadily and, in 2013, the science faculty had the best GCSE results in the school.

But then my school became an academy, along with most of the rest in the area, and the funding cuts seem to have hit us especially hard.

The headteacher, in his wisdom, has decided that the three science subject leaders can run their own departments without the need for a director of science - or a faculty structure at all.

Other faculty leaders are also leaders of their own subject; I am not. My post will disappear and I will become an ordinary teacher again, just as I was from 1986 to 1993.

Of course, I have been offered a protected salary for three years but this has been made conditional on my accepting "extra duties", as yet unspecified, to make me worth the money that they will be paying me.

My union tells me that those duties cannot be ones I would have been expected to carry out as director of science and that is what's keeping me awake at nights.

If I'm asked to be responsible for the cleanliness of the students' toilets, would refusal endanger my protected salary? I've now been granted a meeting at which I'm due to find out how my role will be changing. Perhaps everything offered will be acceptable - but I doubt it.

The writer is a teacher at a Buckinghamshire grammar school

Tell us what keeps you awake at night

Email jon.severs@tesglobal.com


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