We are experiencing difficult economic times with high levels of redundancies and unemployment of some very capable people.
I was astonished to read a recent claim by producers of Panorama that only 18 school teachers have been “struck off” for incompetence in 40 years.
This doesn’t include accusations of violence or sexual abuse. By comparison, more than 240 doctors were reportedly struck off, for a variety of reasons, in a 4 year period. Over 160 solicitors were struck off in the last two years alone.
Statistically, it would seem people who choose teaching careers are of a much higher calibre than the rest of the working population. I should cocoa! The reality is those who are responsible for monitoring standards are shirking and avoiding their responsibilities.
The real world is far more ruthless. Anybody who has worked in sales, commerce, industry or finance, will know if you don’t perform you receive guidance and retraining. Then if there is no improvement, you face a series of progressively stronger warnings until dismissal.
It means people in the private sector, ultimately driven by profit, cannot deliver an efficient, compassionate and caring service. At a time when we face huge fiscal cuts, good housekeeping is an obvious essential.
It is also grossly unfair to:
• Children & students who are not receiving the standard of teaching the education system promises & pays for
• The majority of other hard-working, dedicated teachers who are effectively carrying their under-performing colleagues
• Skilled, newly-qualified teachers and graduates who cannot find jobs
I am not advocating a witch hunt. I have sympathy for those who will never be world-beaters but try their best and do a reasonable, if unspectacular job. I can relate to that situation. In contrast, I have no pity for individuals, who exist in all walks of life, not just education, with an attitude. The bigoted and arrogant people with chips on their shoulders who are lazy and do as little as they can with in the knowledge other colleagues will “carry” them.
The head teacher’s role is principally that of a manager in a teaching environment. There is an expectation that managers manage and not take the easy route. By not avoiding addressing tricky issues, otherwise they too are under-performing.