POLITICS: Poor Teachers Face Chop in Race for World Class Education

The Birmingham Post (England), December 12, 2007 | Go to article overview

POLITICS: Poor Teachers Face Chop in Race for World Class Education


Schools Secretary Ed Balls yesterday announced a crackdown on weak teachers as part of a drive to make state education "world class".

All new teachers will be expected to gain Masters-level qualifications under measures in the Government's new 10-year Children's Plan.

But ministers will consider new action to tackle the "rare cases" where incompetent teachers need to be removed from schools.

Mr Balls said: "Our aim is to make this country the best place in the world for our children and young people to grow up."

Over time, existing teachers will also be encouraged to improve their skills and gain Masters degrees, he said.

But the Children's Plan report set out the Government's willingness to consider striking off teachers who are not up to the job.

The document said: "To be sure that parents and pupils can continue to have confidence in the skills of the workforce, we will look with social partners at whether more can be done to address the performance of teachers who have the greatest difficulty in carrying out their role effectively.

"This should include helping them to leave the profession if that is appropriate."

The report said ministers would work with the General Teaching Council, which registers qualified teachers, "to examine whether action is needed to ensure that in the rare cases where competence falls to unacceptably low levels their qualified teacher status is withdrawn".

This would mean that "they are no longer permitted to teach as a qualified teacher in a maintained school".

Last month Sir Cyril Taylor, a key education adviser to the Government, said there were about 17,000 bad teachers in England who should be thrown out of schools. These staff were unable to control their classes and damaging the education of about 400,000 children, he said. …

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