Employment laws don’t appear to apply at Waterloo Road, the fictional failing Rochdale Comprehensive School. This may be a neoliberal vision of the not too distant future. But, for now, Michael Byrne, the new super head would not have got away with interviewing and appointing candidates for the post of deputy alone. Technically though, he didn’t interview anyone, as, right on cue the tragic personal lives of pupils Phoenix and Harley Taylor interrupted proceedings. The suspension of the interview process did not, however, prevent both Tom Clarkson, and new teacher Sian Diamond being appointed deputy head teacher.
Due to her poor spelling, Byrne decreed that Janeece is now on probation. Apart from an instruction to pass a training course, there appeared to be little reference to a performance review or appraisal. Surely this would form part of any self-respecting LEA’s contract with its employees. He then failed to act upon the sexual harassment of Janeece by a gang of new pupils. It would appear that neoliberal heavens require crap managers.
A neoliberal vision of the school of the future might not, however, include Byrne’s discipline policy. Maybe he hasn’t yet read Behaviour and Discipline in Schools: A guide for head teachers and school staff. A reading of this guide hardly provides an endorsement for Byrne’s response to the criminal activity of new pupil, Tariq. While his gang were given a series of detentions, Tariq was given a prefects badge. This was due to his apparent leadership qualities. Perhaps Byrne thinks he is dealing with a member of the Bullingdon Club?