I was employed at a school for 11 years. I had been promoted several times and held the position of Head of English. Just before I was due to go off on maternity leave with my second baby, I was asked to see the head teacher about a concern that targets in the department were not being met, although the department was doing equally well as other departments. I had held numerous positions of authority and had always been highly thought of by the head and SLT.
When I was alone with the head she suggested that I should step down to second in the department and let somebody else take over. I was then told that if I didn’t step down I would be put on ‘capability’ which would mean that I would have 4 weeks to improve my work, even though there had never been an issue previously. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and due to go on mat leave in 3 weeks. As I was terrified of losing my job and not being able to pay our mortgage, I had no choice other than to hand in a letter to say that I wanted to step down as I was told to. She then gave the Head of English to another teacher from the department. And yes, I was scared and screwed.