Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Why Should Failing Teachers Get a Free Ride?: Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Why Should Failing Teachers Get a Free Ride?: Opinion

Article excerpt

Even when we know that a teacher is failing their students, we keep quiet and say nothing. Because reporting that teacher would break a universal, yet unspoken, code of ethics: you don't speak out against your own.

It's a source of constant frustration for me that I know of at least three teachers in my high-achieving 11-18 school who are not pulling their weight. Yet there is nothing I can do about it. While the rest of us strive to improve our teaching, putting in extra hours and seeking out extra opportunities, these teachers do the bare minimum. They do little planning, show little creativity and demonstrate little care for their students. The children suffer and the rest of the teachers pick up the slack. It seems that it is very easy for bad teachers to hide in schools unchecked.

Therefore, when it was announced that performance-related pay was to be introduced in the UK, I was very welcoming of the initiative. I don't believe that current methods of target-setting have had any impact on rooting out poor teachers.

Linking pay more closely to performance is a good way of shaking poor teachers out of their comfort zone. …

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