At last Ofsted have suggested that consistently weak teachers should be removed. Our teaching resources have been battered by constantly changing Department for Education policies. But as each campaign emerges many Head Teachers struggle to achieve targets due to poor teaching standards and find themselves powerless to resolve the issue. Head teachers need to be granted the ability to promptly sack weak teachers.
Christine Gilbert, departing Chief Inspector of Ofsted, highlighted the situation all too well, “I certainly think if a teacher is really, really poor and struggling and he or she is not getting satisfaction from that job, there should be other things that person might like to have” she said. This diplomatic soft approach is perhaps the real problem. If a teacher is not suitable the Head Teacher must ensure they are promptly retrained or sacked. Sounds brutal but this are the only way that the school can prosper and provide an effective educational service to its pupils.
The school league table is criticised by many schools as not providing an accurate picture of their true performance. Manipulation of exam techniques, teaching to test, streamlined curriculum all conspire to mask the hard truth. The teaching resources at the disposal of the Head Teacher must be beyond reproach. Frequently this is often not the case. Judging by the incredibly low national departure rate of poor teachers, Heads are stuck with what they have.
An ineffective teacher is a double disaster. Unable to inspire children, the resultant educational achievement is restricted and could well influence the direction a child takes for the rest of their lives. They drag the child, class and school down. They also drag themselves down. It would be kinder to all parties to swiftly remove the failing teacher from the school, and maybe from the profession. Any tendency to provide an inflated reference as a means of moving the teacher on frankly dupes another school is akin to passing an infection on.
We need inspirational teachers that can fire the enthusiasm of children in the learning process. This will inevitably improve the overall performance of the child, classroom and school. Ofsted have spotted the problem but appear reluctant to issue a clear cut edict that gives schools the unequivocal clout to deal with it.