Saturday, 10 November 2007

The good and the bad

Why is it that whenever anybody makes the fairly obvious point that bad teachers should be removed from the classroom - if, after plenty of support, they simply can't hack it - we're told that this is "demoralising" for teachers? Since those who make this point, as Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, does today, also go out of their way to praise the competence of the majority of their colleagues, it cannot be because they think their critics are anti-teachers per se. And surely it is rather more demoralising for the majority of good teachers and heads to have to cover for their incompetent colleagues until they are replaced?

1 comment:

Jim Jepps said...

Surely the point is that incompetant teachers can already be sacked if they cannot do their job.

The implication is that there is a *swathe* of teachers who should be sacked - that is bound to be demoralising, especially in those schools where teachers feel they are unable to do their job effectively - for whatever reason.

Instead of offering support, the whole emphasis has appeared to be on the failure of teaching staff and schools, blaming those teachers and schools for what is often (not always) out of their control.

If someone can't do their job, or is below par the worst thing you can do is start blaming them and labelling them failures. We need to address why they are unable to do their job (if that is the case) and I believe in many cases this can be addressed without sacking much needed teaching staff.

This culture of blame, coupled with targets, over-testing, and deskilling of the profession is a real problem. Let's support staff rather than make them feel there is an axe constantly hovering over their heads.