Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Procedural Prison

You must realize that as soon as you have been suspended most communication channels are closed. It will be difficult to talk with your head teacher or any of your colleagues. There is an investigation underway and the last thing that they need is you ‘contaminating the crime scene’ - in my case, the head teacher is more than able to not only contaminate the evidence but he can add to and alter events. Weeks will pass by and no one will tell you what is happening - you might be told that a strategy meeting is scheduled but you never discover what that means or its significance.

I explored all sorts of possible support contacts - there are really only two ... your school and the LEA. You start to realize that no one is there to support you. The LEA will tell you that they are there in a purely advisory capacity for the school. The truth is that they are there to ensure that the policies and procedures are followed and that the Employment Act is obeyed - it is a cold, inhuman process.

Suddenly the light will dawn - you are alone - you have entered the world of the ‘Procedural Prison’ and you are being swept along the various paths of a procedural flowchart where no one will accept accountability nor responsibility for you.

I wrote to the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP and he said that I was experiencing “the effects of burgeoning bureaucracy and the consequent loss of personal responsibility and ‘common sense’”.

Your very heart will want to explode - you want to tell someone that you are not guilty and to relate your story - but no one wants to know and no one cares anymore. You have to wait until you arrive at the appropriate point in the flowchart - in my case, that is now 5 months !