Pat (above right) and Mary (above left) have worked, researched and published together for more than 20years, producing very many research papers and journal articles as well as conference papers and key-notes, national reports, chapters in books, and their 2006 book, ‘Missing Men in Education’ (published by Trentham). Their work has been disseminated through multiple national and international educational conferences, most recently with a focus on teacher health and bullying. Pat Bricheno is an independent researcher, focusing on social justice issues. She worked as an industrial Chemist for 7 years, then as a Secondary school Chemistry teacher for 15 years, before completing her PhD in Education. She moved on to work as a research associate at various universities, including the Universities of Hertfordshire and Cambridge, focusing on social justice issues including bullying, and for the Education Support Partnership on teacher well-being. Mary Thornton was a primary school teacher in Brent before transferring to Teacher Education at the University of Hertfordshire. There she led the BEd primary teacher education programme, and later Faculty of Education research and its international development. She became Assistant Director at the university’s Learning and Teaching Institute in 2002, a National Teaching Fellow in 2004, and Professor of Education in 2007. Her research interests include equity, justice and gender issues. As school teachers, teacher educators, academics and researchers, Pat and Mary have been immersed in the prevailing educational environments of UK schools for over 30 years. They both have extensive personal experience and historical memory of how schools came to be as they are now, in 2016, alongside depth and breadth of knowledge within the field of education. They knew from their earlier research that many teachers had left teaching because of workplace bullying, usually by more senior staff, and that large surveys suggested that bullying of teachers was increasing. So, most recently, following 'almost' retirement, they have by personal choice been engaged in extensive research travelling across the country to hear from volunteer teachers, senior school managers and union officials about the bullying of teachers in the workplace. It is something they hadn’t directly addressed before, but both knew that it was important, to the teachers who increasingly suffer it and all our children whose education is seriously affected by it. 'Crying in Cupboards: What happens when teachers are bullied?' is the result.

Author news

The book Crying in Cupboards is still available. Please contact Mary ([email protected]) or Pat to access a copy. We are trying to rectify the lack of availability via the web site or on-line ordering, but there are definitely copies of the book available. Crying in Cupboards explores teachers' experiences of being bullied at work. It is written in a reader-friendly style so that their stories can be shared with a wide audience of people who are interested in what is actually happening in our schools. If you are a teacher being bullied at work, a relative or friend, and finding it difficult to make sense of the experience; or a workplace manager wishing to prevent or address bullying in your school, then this book is for you. It describes adult to adult bullying that takes place within school settings, how school managers react and deal with it, and what Unions can and can’t do to help those being bullied. It is based on high quality, recent and valid academic research, the essentials of which are included in order to meet the needs of the educational research community. However, accessible story-style narratives form the core of the book: these are anonymised to maintain confidentiality regarding individuals and their schools or Unions identities, while at the same time giving voice to the teachers (and Senior Managers and Union officials) real-life experiences of bullying in the educational workplace. When we first interviewed the teachers many were ill, and some were very ill indeed. But they willingly gave their time, and opened up the pain of being bullied into ill-health, to two stranger researchers in order that we could help to tell their stories. They actively keep in touch; most of them regularly updating us on their personal and professional progress, which we hope is towards a full recovery. Most of our bullied teachers are now in a better place, but as the reader will see their scars endure. The 'churn' of teachers, including their potential departure from the profession, is exacerbated by the bullying that takes place in schools. But it is rarely named as such because more acceptable labels are preferred and negotiated, in order to maintain good references and a career, to facilitate moving on, or to avoid the additional stresses imposed by often unwinnable conflicts and official tribunals. Crying in Cupboards tells the reader about the bullying of teachers by other adults in schools. It demonstrates the impact bullying has on their personal and professional lives, their health and their future employment, and it explores reasons for being bullied, actions taken to address it, and possible ways forward for teachers and their senior managers. Previewing the book in draft format, Dr Priya M. Vaidya, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai, has commented: 'Your book is thought provoking. It made me think "go back": think of bullying of any sort happened with me or some others. I am sure this book will help to bring some reform within institutes and among the so called educated. This text should be a prescribed text in Schools of Education in the world.'