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5 yearly competence checks for teachers - good idea?

(50 Posts)
2kidzandi Wed 01-Jul-09 09:27:27

The government is thinking of assessing the competency of teachers every 5 years. Those who don't pass the checks will have their teaching licence removed. Is this a good idea? I think teaching is already over prescribed, and if anything, teachers are already subjected to OFSTED inspections and have too much paperwork and not enough time to concentrate on the children already. But then I haven't known any really awful teachers, so maybe i'm biased.

isittooearlyforgin Wed 01-Jul-09 09:32:23

I am a teacher too and think it is a good idea. I have met a handful who are completely rubbish and it is so hard to get rid of bad teachers. I think its a shame that children are being failed year after year, over the course of a career that runs into hundereds of children. I'm not just talking teachers who would benefit from training and mentoring, I'm talking those who are really incompetent and should never have embarked on a teaching career.
I think it should be accompanied with support, training and mentoring to reach a minimum standard.

FAQinglovely Wed 01-Jul-09 09:37:22

but surely if we made sure that only cometent teachers started teaching in the first place there would be no need for a 5 yearly check?? I don't get it -

Crap teacher starts teaching - after 5yrs of failing pupils they suddenly find out via an assessment that the teacher is crap and get rid.

Well how did they end up actually stand in front of a class in the first place????

Jux Wed 01-Jul-09 09:46:00

Seems to me to be just another level of admin stuff being shoved onto what is a failing system. This is to make everyone think the Gov are doing something. If they'd just leave people alone to do their jobs then they'd do their jobs better.

captainpeacock Wed 01-Jul-09 10:15:39

Agree with isittooearlyforgin. I work in a school where there are a fair few very poor teachers and they are impossible to get rid of. I also have 2 dcs in a different school and they also have some poor teachers. My dd has just had a year of very bad Science teaching and I am just hoping that my ds doesn't have the same teacher next year. My ds has a form tutor who talks to him like he is a piece of rubbish quite frankly if he worked amongst adults and talked to them like he does to my ds and other students he would end up in big trouble, some teachers are just plain nasty to kids just because they are in charge. Having said that there are also some fantatic teachers in both schools who achieve good results and I don't see what the advantage of assessing them every 5 years would do.

2kidzandi Wed 01-Jul-09 12:01:15

Don't Head Teachers already have the power to remove bad teachers, send them for more training or follow up on parent concerns? If a parent has a child suffering verbal abuse from a teacher, why can't the shools use the power they already have? Why the need for another outside body to take charge? Or is that too simple? Just worried that there is a shortage of teachers as there is.

captainpeacock Wed 01-Jul-09 12:17:14

Some of the teachers that I am talking about have been in their jobs for years. It is very difficult to do competancy on teachers. Also when I complained to the school about my dds grade falling a whole point in a year because the teacher couldn't control the class I was told that my dd doesn't focus an doesn't behave. She had given her a good mark on her report and she has good or outstanding on all other behaviour marks. Some school's just won't have it that it may be the teacher at fault.

hellywobs Wed 01-Jul-09 14:49:49

One thing about all this is the completely inaccurate comparison with lawyers. I don't know about barristers, but solicitors do not have a licence to practice. We do have to get a practising certificate each year (and pay £900 odd for the privilege!! - usually your employer pays, thank goodness) and self-certify that you have done 16 hours continuing education that year. No check on performance or anything like that, other than anything your employer does privately.

I don't have one now as I work in legal publishing rather than as a practising lawyer.

I would have thought that yearly performance management would be sufficient.

flatcapandpearls Wed 01-Jul-09 18:01:39

I think it is too easy to become a teacher, and agree that too many teachers are starting off crap. It should be much easier to move teachers onto schools that suit them or just sack them.

Yearly perfomance management should be sufficient but it should be more honest, crap teachers are often protected for too long. The children come first.

brimfull Wed 01-Jul-09 18:11:59

I have complained about 2 different teachers in dd's school.

Both times the head dealt with the problem by moving the crap teacher to another class.Great for dd but not so good for the other class.

I think heads need to have more power to get rid of crap teachers.

I also think 5 yrs is a long time for a crap teacher to do a lot of damage.

brimfull Wed 01-Jul-09 18:13:01

I must add I was one of many parents complaining..I don't have that much power smile

saadia Wed 01-Jul-09 18:19:49

I agree with isittooearly...on the separate issue of providing one-to-one/small group children who are falling behind, I don't understand why they cannot just commit to smaller class sizes for all. I think that would be the single best thing they could do to improve the education system.

quirkychick Wed 01-Jul-09 18:41:43

What hellwobs and flatcapandpearls said about performance management. This is already in place why not make it more efficient and fair?

bigTillyMint Wed 01-Jul-09 19:51:42

I agree that too many people are qualifying as teachers who are not up to the job - that is down to the initial teacher training providers who could do something quite easily, ie chuck them off the course.

I also think the 5yearly MOT is a good idea, as it can be very difficult for heads to get rid of poor teachers. They need to think the system through very carefully, though - so that good and even average teachers in difficult circumstances (ie school) do not get penalised unfairly.

Also, smaller classes would be great, but there will always be some children who need very close support to make good progress - I think the possibility of 1-1 teaching is a great idea. But this must not be left till Year 6 and just be a matter of teaching them to jump through the hoops required to get a level 4 sad

popsycal Wed 01-Jul-09 19:53:53

i am a teacer and think it is a good idea
it is very very hard to get rid of bad teachers

llareggub Wed 01-Jul-09 19:56:28

If Headteachers can't manage performance effectively through annual performance management then the Headteacher is incompetent and should be sacked.

scienceteacher Wed 01-Jul-09 19:56:37

There should definitely be accountability, but it is hard to see how the government's ideas would work in practice.

Any decision about competency/incompetency should be based on evidence - what is the timeframe of this evidence gathering? And if at the start of the assessment period it appears that a teacher isn't up to the grade, the powers that be should be helping them to improve rather than wait for them to fail.

The teaching environment is also key. Some teachers may not be so good at the academic side but may be wonderful at pastoral care, and for other teachers it may be the other way around. Some schools may value pastoral care as the key competency, so it would be a shame for a nurturer to not make the all-round grade and be struck off. Similarly, other schools may have room for a quirky teacher who is second-to-none on their subject teaching.

I feel, from inside the teaching profession, that a square peg in a round hole is simply not going to be happy doing their job and they will move on voluntarily. There will always be a few who fester at the bottom of the heap, but this is no reason to punish the vast majority of teachers who are in the right place at the right time or at least recognise for themselves where they need to go.

trickerg Wed 01-Jul-09 21:11:46

You still won't get rid of anybody if they can pull the stress card and call in the union.

neversaydie Wed 01-Jul-09 21:29:36

I agree that there are a few shockingly poor teachers out there. DS has suffered one such for the last year who has left him switched off, pissed off and bored.

Unfortunately, given that the existing ways of dealing with her ilk are not being used, I am none too sure that a new system would be, either. But something needs to be done to stop the damage that can be done by such poor teachers.

janeite Wed 01-Jul-09 21:35:13

If they made sure that PM systems worked properly and effectively (and fairly) in schools, this would be less of an issue. Now that PM has changed and is related to pay, it may well sharpen up the process anyway.

The school SEF ought to make it very clear where there are issues of poor teaching and from there, heads ought to be spelling out precisely what is being done to aid/measure/improve these teachers. This, linked to proper PM, ought to cover it.

Bramshott Wed 01-Jul-09 21:35:52

Surely there should be an easier way of getting rid of bad teachers than testing ALL teachers every 5 years???

janeite Wed 01-Jul-09 21:37:09

And yes, the 'stress card' is a major issue because it is so hard to measure. Of course there are genuine cases of teacher-stress but doctors seem to assume that if you are a teacher you must be stressed and allow very long periods of time off, which of course then makes it much harder to return, which leads to more time off etc etc so is a vicious circle.

teafortwo Wed 01-Jul-09 21:42:23

I listen to radio 4 as I fall asleep at night.

As a result sometimes in my mind my dreams and radio news get confused....

I thought this was the dream I had last night.... and I am not talking a good one! hmm

Does anyone know - What form are the tests planned to take? How much will it cost the education sector to carry this out? Do the government realise that being a good hoop jumper doesn't automatically mean you are a good teacher???? wink

trickerg Wed 01-Jul-09 21:43:06

Even more than that, janeite - yet to get the confirmation, but I think a 'stress' year can count as a successful year under PM. Need to check this out. Anyone know?

wrinklytum Wed 01-Jul-09 21:45:25

I am a nurse and like every public sector job we are measured and assessed to the nth degree.We are subject to a competency framework and have to meet targets annually and show we are doing post reg education and practice as well as annual ppdr.AFAIK teachers must have similar guidelines in situ,OFSTED inspections and such.

Sounds like yet another pile of crap dreamed up by some government bod who has no idea of the mounds of paperwork and general crappola we allhave to put up with whilst trying to do the important job of actually teaching or nursing or whatever.

Will watch thread with interest.

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