Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The teachers' MOT is a good idea

The final White Paper package showed imagination, with the five-yearly teachers' MOT providing a surprise addition on the day. It makes sense to ensure teachers' skills are up-to-date, though it will be important that the focus is on what matters to good teaching, and not on simply reinforcing passing fads. But given the reluctance of too many governing bodies or heads to remove incompetent teachers, it is potentially a good move. And it is good that the government apparently plans to continue to publish performance table data alongside the Report Card: all the data should be on a single government website if it is genuinely to be accessible. More details are obviously needed on what is to replace the Primary Strategy in terms of quality and pressure to improve, and it remains to be seen how good School Improvement Partners are in their extended role, but with the reinforcement of the importance of trusts and academies, this is a reforming package. It places a considerable onus on the Tories now to give real detail about how they would do things differently.

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