Bradford union official calls for support for underperforming teachers (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford union official calls for support for underperforming teachers
Underperforming teachers should only be ‘weeded out’ as a last resort, a union has urged.
Ian Murch, Bradford spokesman for the National Union of Teachers, was responding to a new 15-point action plan for driving up standards in the district’s schools.
One of the suggestions in the draft report was a review of the Council’s human resources policies to make it easier for head teachers to tackle staff who “may not be right for our schools”. Mr Murch welcomed the report overall, but raised his concern at this suggestion.
He said: “The report has many good qualities, and it is a tribute to Bradford councillors that they care enough about the future of young people in the district to put in the amount of investigation and analysis that they did.”
But he said struggling teachers should be offered all possible support before dismissal was considered. He said: “It is true that teaching is a difficult job. Without anyone’s intervention, it has a very high drop-out rate, and some teachers sometimes have difficulty with their performance. The Government, and its agent Ofsted, have recently put a very strong emphasis on trying to get schools to ‘weed out’ teachers, in a way that can deflect attention away from the bad consequences of some of its own decisions in education.
“It is surely right to be cautious about ending someone’s career, writing off the investment in their training and damaging their lives, and everything possible should be done to support them before taking this step.”
The report will be discussed by the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Comm-ittee on Wednesday. If approved, it will be sent to the Council’s Executive with a request to take action within a set time-frame.