How to apply for a probationary service in the Department of Education

A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named. I was about to start a new job. A period of probationary service, I’d been promised, a few years to…

How to apply for a probationary service in the Department of Education

A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named.

I was about to start a new job. A period of probationary service, I’d been promised, a few years to give me experience, if applicable, and to see if I was ready to take on further responsibility and work with troubled youth. I was excited. I was excited not because I was an attractive 26-year-old virgin with a penchant for the macabre, but because I had just moved to the suburbs to the North Coast of England from the bustle of London. It’s a nice area–a bit of a change…and the beach is…the beach. I looked forward to introducing myself to the students at the university and working with students who would soon be my peers. I was excited by the prospect of getting an internship with the police and getting some training for my future career.

…that’s when I found out that I was meant to report to the Department of Education.

The government had decided that having a new “permanent period” be defined on the letterhead of the Department of Education “would enable the Department of Education to assess the adequacy of our services to meet the expectations of society and to better identify if and where there are better ways of improving the performance of the services in line with their strategic objectives”.

No need. I was hired. That’s all. I was told–in the words of the woman writing down this letter, “I’m afraid we need to know what’s on your CV.”

The letter read:

Dear Mr. X,

Your application for employment has been accepted for an unpaid period of service to the Department. It is important that the position you are seeking is a permanent one, and that you have the qualifications necessary to undertake the job to its extent. The period you are seeking to serve in this position will be decided by the Department of Education after considering the strengths, skills, abilities, experience and suitability of you and your background. The period which you have been appointed to has been defined by the Education Department as a period of probationary service. This is only possible if the criteria for probationary service in the Department have been met. However, in the event that you are not able to meet the criteria in your application,

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