Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

A New South Wales Assistant Principal's story.

Anthony (name changed) has been a member of the New South Wales Teachers' Federation since 1979.

He began his teaching career in a school in Western NSW.

He worked as an Executive in Western NSW for several years.

Then, in 199i, Anthony won a transfer to be an Assistant Principal at a school in the town where he now lives.



Anthony has devoted almost the whole of his teaching career to this school.

He developed successful Creative and Performing Arts programs, including annual school musicals.

He has exceptional Information Technology sills, so the school has always had a 'technician' on site.

He has coached sporting teams both in and out of school.

He has been a member of various committees.

He has put the needs of the school before the needs of his own children (missing several important events in their lives in order to attend to school business).

Anthony's life has revolved around his school and the community.


Over the years, Anthony has acted as a Relieving Principal at several other schools in his local area.

He did this to broaden his experience - but he never applied for a permanent position as principal at any other school because he was so much committed to his own school and his own community.



In 2007 the principal of Anthony's school retired and Anthony applied for the principal's position.

He was selected for interview.

But he was not given the job.



Anthony was content to continue as Assistant Principal.



But the numbers of students in Anthony's school rose and fell every year.

"Staffing" warned Anthony that the school would lose the Assistant Principal position if the student numbers declined and remained low for a certain period of time.

In early 2012 "Staffing" told Anthony that his school was going to lose the Assistant Principal position - and that he was going to lose his job. 

"Staffing" offered Anthony an Assistant Principal position at another school.

But it was far from his home and would involve a lot of travel every day.


Anthony wanted to stay at his own school.

"Staffing" told him that, if he wanted to stay at his own school, he would have to relinquish his Assistant Principal position and go back to being a classroom teacher.

He was told that the Assistant Principal position would be reviewed if the student numbers increased dramatically over the next two years.

And that if that happened, Anthony might have to re-apply for his old Assistant Principal job back.


Anthony was made Acting Principal at his own school while the permanent position was being advertised.

Anthony had acted as principal at the school many times.



Anthony applied for the permanent Principal's position at his school.

But he was not even selected to be interviewed.


Then things began to go really down-hill.


Anthony was demoted to classroom teacher.

His salary (and superannuation) was significantly reduced.


The new permanent Principal arrived.

Unfortunately she was recovering from medical procedures and so she was unable to fulfill the role to maximum capacity.

She attended school for only part of each day.

During this time another staff member was given the Acting Assistant Principal role - even though the Assistant Principal role no longer existed at the school!


Nine months later the Assistant Principal position was advertised again - even though "Staffing" had advised Anthony that his position would not be "reviewed" for two years!


Anthony applied to get his old Assistant Principal position back.

He was not even interviewed - for the position that he had held for the past 24 years!


The new Assistant Principal had much less experience than Anthony.

She began to closely supervise Anthony's teaching.

And then she put Anthony on a Teacher Improvement Program!


So Anthony - after 24 years as the respected Assistant Principal of the school - suddenly found himself demoted to the lowest of the low - a classroom teacher on TIP!


What a very odd chain of events!

What was really going on?


It has been suggested that, in several NSW schools, teachers nearing retirement are being moved around like chess pieces.


What is the NSW Teachers' Federation doing about this situation?

What did the NSW Teachers' Federation do for Anthony?


After Anthony had been on the TIP for ten weeks, a report was written stating that he was unsatisfactory as a teacher.

Anthony was served a notice to leave the school.



He was not even allowed to go to his classroom, collect his belongings and say goodbye to his class!



Anthony submitted an appeal to the NSW Employee Performance and Conduct Directive (EPAC).

EPAC deemed Anthony unsatisfactory.

The EPAC report - it is alleged - was based purely on the responses of the new school Principal and new Assistant Principal.

It is alleged that they were just protecting each other.

EPAC gave Anthony no opportunity to respond to their allegations.


The NSW Teachers' Federation advised Anthony to take his long service leave and then to resign.



Many people in the local community support Anthony.

They are as disgusted as his friends and family at the way that he has been treated.

But the whole situation has been so strange that Anthony is concerned that some people in his community may conclude that he must have abused children - because nothing else would seem to explain this sudden, mysterious chain of events.



The public humiliation, the stress, the loss of his role and his identity, the feeling that his employers and his union have let him down in his hour of need and that something VERY, VERY ODD is going on have all affected Anthony's health.


Is this really the way that the NSW government treat their experienced teachers?


How to contact the editor of this webpage.

Anthony's story was emailed to me directly by a concerned friend.

I am publishing it in good faith.

I believe it is true.

If you feel that this story concerns you and that it does not represent your point of view properly, please email


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