Tuesday 17 January 2012

Requires Improvement

Critics have tried to dismiss David Cameron's intention to scrap the 'satisfactory' judgement for school inspections & replace it with 'requires improvement' as mere semantics.  However I believe the PM is absolutely right.  Our schools should aspire to be at least 'good': 'satisfactory' isn't good enough!

On a similar vein I was delighted by Michael Gove's announcement last week to make it easier and quicker for Heads to get rid of poor teachers.  Why should our children have to put up with anything less than 'good' teachers?  I know the Education Secretary's reforms have alarmed Unions, but hope that with careful thought the latter will realise it is wholly appropriate. 

The vast majority of teachers engage & inspire their pupils, making learning fun.  There are teachers out there who, for whatever reason, are unable to do this.  Their pupils know this and switch off or muck around.  Being taught by a poor teacher for a whole year can have hugely damaging consequences on a pupil's future education and life chances.

It's obvious to fellow teachers and it creates tensions in the staff room.  They know if inspectors observe a teacher delivering a poor lesson this can drag down the Ofsted rating of their entire school. 

This policy should enable Heads to dismiss teachers who cannot or will not improve their teaching despite a targeted program of help from advanced teachers.

Surely therefore for all these reasons Gove's desire to speed up the capability process stands to reason?  Our children deserve the best chance of a decent education: not to be turned off by someone who would probably be happier in a different career.