Sacking teachers in weeks is welcomed

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

Left to right: Derren Jones (4), nursery manager Cathy Carley (50), Poppy Wicks (2) and Wanda Steward (36). 

Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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PLANS to make it easier to sack failing teachers from September 2012 have been given a cautious welcome by the chairman of secondary heads in Portsmouth.

Mike Smith says allowing schools to get rid of weak teachers in a single term rather than the normal time period of at least a year is good – providing there are checks in place to ensure the speedier protocol is not abused.

He said: ‘I welcome this move but you have to be careful heads don’t use this to bully their staff. We can’t see this a pretext to removing the rights of a group of people who are exceptionally dedicated.

‘Teaching is the worst job in the world if you are not up to it, as you’re constantly confronted by your inability to do it. The majority of teachers who realise they can’t cut it will leave before they are pushed.’

Currently, heads can monitor teachers for only three hours a year and the process of sacking one takes at least 12 months.

But education secretary Michael Gove wants teachers to be assessed annually against simpler, sharper standards.

Mr Smith, who is head of City Boys, said the biggest hurdle when trying to dismiss a teacher is their ability to take up to six months’ sick leave which can delay competency proceedings and impacts the school financially as well as children’s education.

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