28 May 2013

On valuing staff...

 (This post has been deliberately delayed by a couple of months)

Earlier this afternoon, I managed to grab a moment with a colleague from one of our associate colleges to arrange a visit and to contribute a guest session to the course at her centre. We agreed the date and how my session would fit into the overall scheme of work. Straightforward. And then to the logistics--routine and trivial, of course.

Not any more. Not only have I been unable to observe students' teaching practice on several occasions because I have not got a CRB* clearance--I haven't "failed" it, but the university won't pay for it, and I don't see why I should do so from my own pocket... But at a completely different level, my colleague informed me that the date we had just agreed was also that of her routine annual "performance review". Without going into detail, this is all about targets. And if she does not satisfy the inquisition  panel she may no longer be employed by the time I get there.

(She continues to be employed, but this kind of punitive approach to management is getting ever more common in colleges--I was prompted actually to post by this reminder of an alternative vision, albeit in the school sector.)

* Now the even more Orwellian "Disclosure and Barring Service"; isn't it oxymoronic (or just moronic?) to call such an agency a "service"?

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