What Do You Want To Do About Bullying Of Teachers?

There have been a couple of 'calls to action' in the past few weeks on the subject of bullying of teachers. It seems people are starting to want to do something about it collectively. But what is going to work, and what are we hoping to achieve from taking this action?

Check out this link to a survey, as posted on TES Forums: Short survey on bullying of adults in schools. The poster states that they are going to go public with the results and use the statistics gained from it to form a campaign.

Here, there is an e-petition: Bullying by Adults in Schools is unacceptable and needs urgent government attention. The aim of which seems to be to ask the government to 'take action to protect people'. 

Finally, there is a call for a national demonstration on the matter: National Demonstration of Teachers. It's more aimed at the excessive reforms that seem to be an attack on teachers, and from the other responses is not a popular idea.

I think there are enough teachers that this is happening to to warrant doing something about it, but none of the above seem to have gained enough momentum or support at all. Particularly in the last post, there seems to be a consensus that any campaigning will have zero effect, is not a mature or professional way to go about things, and teachers should just get over that.

I think there is also a lack of clarity on what we are trying to achieve by doing this. An end to bullying of course, but how specifically? What exactly needs to stop? The first survey does show different types of bullying behaviour, and I'd be very interested to see which occur most often in schools. But again, how do we stop that? What needs to happen?

Sometimes I don't think that collective action is the right way to go at all. Sometimes I consider individuals fighting their own battles to be more important, taking things to employment tribunals and publicly naming and shaming academic institutions notorious for bullying. Perhaps supporting more teachers to do that rather than bow out gracefully and save themselves is the answer.

Evidence will be important as well. Evidence and statistics that back up any claims that a campaign will make. Where will this come from?

I'm considering working on these issues in detail, particularly now that I am on maternity leave, and perhaps trying to answer these questions. I'd love to hear your views on these matters, you can comment below, or email me.


The Edudicator said...

Some replies on TES forums at the following links:

Health and wellbeing

Pay and conditions

Workplace dilemmas

Maggy said...

Well done for raising this and good luck with the campaign.
School leaders who bully are more often than not supported by toxic work cultures in the wider local authority. These in turn are shored up (as far as complaints about bullying go) by HR departments whose role is to keep management from ever being challenged, and to keep themselves in a job.
So I feel that for lasting impact, this campaign needs to be able to have an effect at local authority level.
I wonder if there is a role for your campaign to exert pressure on unions to do their job and properly represent their subscribers?

The Edudicator said...

I agree that union non-activity is a concern, they all seem to pick and choose their battles too much. So we have strikes over pensions, when there are bigger issues like this to deal with first.

Anonymous said...

I was bullied out of my job following a return from mat leave and refusal to reduce hrs. Union was in good relationship with HR and got me paid off (small). I'm flattend by the whole thing.

The Edudicator said...

One of the problems is that everyone knows why someone has been targeted and it's quite often unlawful discrimination - but I bet not one person admitted that you'd been targeted because you'd had the audacity to have a family, however obvious it was. I bet they found some other reason, or manufactured evidence against you.

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