How not to announce bad news

The teacher stood up in the Science office and told his colleagues he had something he felt he needed to tell them.

He said that he had heard a rumour that three teachers in the department were going to be made redundant. Instantly, the Head of Department reacted angrily saying it was an “inappropriate” thing for him to say and asking him to step outside the office to speak with her.

At the end of the school day, the Headteacher's secretary turned up at the office. She was visibly upset. She had to give each member of the department a letter which informed them that three of them were going to be made redundant. Each of them should begin to prepare to reinterview for their jobs.

The Head of Department wasn't there. The Headteacher didn't put in an appearance. Apparently, the original plan had been to send the letters home but the rumour had forced the school to act faster.

The redundancies were inevitable. The school's roll is shrinking and the smaller budget cannot support the current number of staff. And yet this is a painful process which should have been have been handled thoughtfully.

As an aside, this department must now spend the run-up to GCSEs working together while also competing with each other for their jobs.