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How easy is it to get rid of poor teaching staff?

(66 Posts)
Amaaazing Mon 11-Feb-13 22:36:44

Rumour has it that DD's primary school is seeking to improve by getting rid of poor performing teachers, but how easy is it for this to happen?

I don't work in education but I would have thought that performance managing staff out in schools would be tough.

BubblesBuddy Sun 25-Jun-17 13:18:26

No Governor should make judgements on the quality of lessons and never go in with a clip board. I do, however, monitor my section of the Improvement Plan and I am always accompanied by the Subject Co-ordinator for my area. We discuss what the school needs to improve upon and I look at how they are doing this. Nearly all schools have good teacher/governor relations these days and if Governors do not go into classrooms, they get a big black mark from Ofsted - and so they should. They must know the school. Governors and staff work together. I have only experienced animosity from one teacher about 20 years ago but these days it would be rare in most schools. We are, after all, wanting the same good outcome for the children.

Regarding the original point of removing a teacher, this is when it really is up to SLT. The Governors make no judgement on the professional competence of a teacher. There is a lot of support available and we also have our learning trust in to look at teaching to verify and what we are being told. Sometimes they do not agree and they look again. Lots of mentoring is available if needed and relevant courses and advice. That is a perfectly healthy situation. A Head that lets poor teaching go on and on loses the confidence of the other teachers and the parents.

shanefolan29 Sat 24-Jun-17 19:11:12

''Also makes me chuckle that parents/the media et al think they are qualified to assess what good teaching is, based on a few observations or conversations here and there.''

makes me chuckle harder when teachers and slt who have a teaching degree think they are suddenly child psychologists and come up with reasons [mostly delusions] as to why kids misbehave or 'what sets kids off' and in their delusions believe that if a kid behaves with them or in 1 subject then if they misbehave with another teacher then it must be the teacher's fault or because of some underlying issue with the child... Amazing how little those 'professionals' in education sometimes seem to understand about children and behaviour.

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 21:24:46

Banging my head who said the governors are standing in a classroom with a clipboard or passing judgement?

MaisyPops Fri 23-Jun-17 21:23:28

As many have said teachers are not sacked they are just bullied until they can't take it any more and resign.

And with that goes many excellent teachers who just don't quite have the right face for the powers that be.
One school I worked at had an amazing reputation. Over a dozen members of staff left one year. Some by choice. Others just vanished and we were never told what happened.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Fri 23-Jun-17 21:19:29

But also apologies if you think I meant that I was agreeing with User (whats the name above) over your comment. Merely agreeing that governors should not be observing and making judgements unless they were observing with a qualified member of staff (or maybe someone external, but qualified nevertheless) who could then support, clarify or dubunk their comments, opinions etc if they believed in their professional opinion it was unwarranted or not applicable.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Fri 23-Jun-17 21:14:35

About your hair yes!!! As we all do!!

But are you going to stand in a hairdressers, with a clipboard and watch a hairdresser cut and style someone else's hair and pass judgement on it????? Could you absolutely know what you are talking about when it comes to the skills???

A governor who may be have the skills of a forklift operative would not know the knowledge and skills needed to successfully teach a class and pass judgement on learning behaviours, whether the activities and work was suited to differing abilities and progressing the students and providing sufficient challenge for different types of learners.

Would you know the suitability of shampoo and conditioner for each type and condition of hair?
Would you know which pairs of scissors to use?
Would you know whether a hairdresser had mixed the ingredients, the CORRECT, ingredients to colour hair?

You make the judgement based upon what is done to YOU, not others.

Likewise, I would pass judgement on the delivery of a course leader and the content based upon my needs and whether the content and objectives were delivered successfully by assessing what I knew and could do before the course, against what I know and could do when the course had completed!

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 05:33:47

And yes I do make judgements about the person cutting my hair - I don't go back if I'm not satisfied with their skills.

mrz Fri 23-Jun-17 05:32:48

*"*^*they said is that no governor is qualified to be observing lessons and*^ _^*giving feedback and making judgements*_^*"* where did I say they make judgements or give feedback? The governors observe lessons at the staffs request. We have good working relationship and they are extremely supportive.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Thu 22-Jun-17 22:38:31

I have to agree with user1497480444 we had an OFSTED inspector in our school last half term to give us advice about the facts and myths and one of the things they said is that no governor is qualified to be observing lessons and giving feedback and making judgements. They can observe WITH a member of teaching staff but they alone are not allowed to make judgements on teaching and learning. They CAN make judgements about the state of the classroom and behaviour but that is it.

Afterall, I have my hair styled at a hairdressers. But I am not qualified to judge the work of a hairdresser nor any other profession that I am not trained in.

user1497480444 Thu 22-Jun-17 20:32:25

our governors observe teaching and share work scrutiny with subject leaders.

well, they are not fit people to do so, and have absolutely no right, speaking as a teacher and a governor, if I was told to do this, I would refuse, and if s a teacher I was told a governor was doing this, I would leave the classroom and ring my union.

mrz Thu 22-Jun-17 17:14:57

*"*^*The few of us on this thread who are Governors have to rely on the SLT*^*"* our governors observe teaching and share work scrutiny with subject leaders.

jellyfrizz Thu 22-Jun-17 15:35:32

This is also a very interesting read on observations from CEM at Durham University; an important read for governors I would think:

www.cem.org/blog/414/

jellyfrizz Thu 22-Jun-17 15:19:30

They do not make judgements on teaching performance in classrooms but they do scrutinise data and listen to the Head regarding evaluation of the school and what needs to improve.

You know that it's the very same teachers imputing the data don't you? It is very easy to make data look good, or bad.

Very few members of SLT or even data managers know anything about statistical methodology and yet use that data to come to all sorts of decisions. Interesting thread on this on TES forum:
community.tes.com/threads/how-is-data-misused-and-misinterpreted-in-your-school.759680/

NoHopeToday Thu 22-Jun-17 12:17:29

But it's not all about data!

What do you do then, when the data is excellent across the board, but the head has other concerns??

Because that was my colleague's argument. How could she be failing is the data was good?! Nope. The head 'saw' enough to concern her and the excellent progress was down to the children not the teacher.....angry

VeryPunny Thu 22-Jun-17 12:14:29

Any Govenor that doesn't challenge the SLTs data is a poor govenor. We have several ways of judging validity of data presented to us - does it tally with the local authority monitoring visits? Does performance in SATS correlate with the school's judgement? Are our school results in line with similar schools? And that's just of the top of my head.

And yes, I expect all our children to do well at school. If they are not doing well, then it's our job to ensure the school is identifying children who aren't and deliver improvement strategies. If whole class data is failing to meet expectations, then you can be very sure we are investigating teacher performance. And it is rammed home to us that evaluating teacher quality is not our job, but it is our job to make sure the SLT are doing so in an appropriate manner.

NoHopeToday Thu 22-Jun-17 10:36:13

1 I am a school governor
2 I have left the school (but it's not that simple y'know - especially on UPS3
3 It's not a case of 'spitting bile', it's anger. Based on observation.
4 My point is not about how good/ poor the governors are. My point is that you are only as good as the evidence presented to you. Good, honest evidence - great. Flawed, dishonest (downright lies in some cases) evidence and how can you be good with that evidence? No matter how well meaning you are.

We have witnessed teachers be taken out by this. It just takes a comment here or there in an observation. A throwaway comment in an email every now and then and before long, you have a body of evidence against someone.

The unions can't help, because the head presents the 'evidence'. In my colleagues case (who was not the first, but the first I was close enough to know for certain that the head was telling lies), she couldn't fight as how could she 'prove' something hadn't happened that the head had 'witnessed'. The teacher couldn't argue against it, because of course, she would deny everything! Funnily enough, after she had 'resigned', the head turned on me. Same lies (small enough to slip in, but when gathered together make up a 'wealth of evidence'). I left.

There's a scandal in schools waiting to get out. Often down to money and cost cutting.

So next time the head tells you something that happened. Just think to yourself how you know (beyond doubt) that you have the evidence and proof it happened (not just the work of the head). Don't let those smiles win you over.

*obviously there are many, many great heads and SLT about, but sadly some are not. Some SLT are there because they don't want to be in the classroom anymore. Some are there because they love children.

BubblesBuddy Thu 22-Jun-17 10:13:59

The few of us on this thread who are Governors have to rely on the SLT. Having doneextensive training on this topic, there is no other way teaching can be judged. We are not allowed (and nor should be we be) to go into classrooms to judge teachers. We do not have that role. We can observe lessons because we have a focus but we would never say to a Head that we thought a lesson was unsatisfactory. It is the job of the Head and SLT to support teachers who are struggling. Putting them on capability is the last resort but we clearly want good teaching for every child and I will defend that position.

The mistrust NoHope has in good Governance is rather upsetting to be frank. We challenge the Head. We ask for evidence. The Head carries out performance management. There are no snap judgements made about anyone. If you feel you are working in a school that has Governors that just support the Head and do not challenge them, then you need to move if you are not happy. However, when it comes to teaching quality, governors have no option but to trust the SLT because they cannot, and must not, judge teaching themselves. I suggest you find out more about the role of the Governor before you spit so much bile towards people who work for nothing and try and do a good job.

NoHopeToday Wed 21-Jun-17 21:47:31

(Of course there are some great heads, but more and more there seems to be a wave of younger, cheaper, less experienced heads who have rushed out of the classroom and onto leadership why?).

Some teachers are good, some aren't. Same for governors and heads, but it's not black and white.

Good teaching is about far more than levels and grades and (dare I say it? Constant progress).

NoHopeToday Wed 21-Jun-17 21:43:32

It's funny though, isn't it. The governors know exactly what's going on etc etc they have absolute faith in the head etc etc they back the head all the way etc etc

Yet, all they have is the word and 'evidence' of the head.

I've seen (and have now experienced) this 'evidence'. Unless you are there in the classroom days in and day out, you (as governor) cannot comment. Though you think you can.

Do you know I witnessed an awful incident at work yesterday. Awful behaviour. I witnessed something that cold have been dangerous and gave me cause for concern. Yet I didn't. Or did I? You don't know. You only have my word. Of course, the teacher will deny it. They don't want to go on a support plan, or worse, capability, do they?

BubblesBuddy Wed 21-Jun-17 21:11:45

VeryPunny says Ofsted confirmed what they knew. Therefore they didn't use Ofsted observations. Ofsted confirmed no progress. I agree that good heads are hard to find but Governors have to rely on the SLT. They do not make judgements on teaching performance in classrooms but they do scrutinise data and listen to the Head regarding evaluation of the school and what needs to improve. Any decent Governor has to ensure quality first teaching and teachers who will not change are supported but in the end the children matter more.

mrz Wed 21-Jun-17 20:53:07

I would hope that heads and governors are aware

admission Wed 21-Jun-17 20:49:15

Sorry user1497480444 but your last post says to me that you might be the last person suited to even try and assess a teacher rather than VeryPunny. At no point did VeryPunny say that they were assessing a teacher's performance, they were taking the professional opinions of the head teacher, the LA and Ofsted and backing their judgement of someone who had clearly lost their way as a teacher.
It might be impossible to objectively quantify teaching without reaching for a tick box mentality but it sure is easy to see a lesson where pupils are engaged and learning well and one where they are not.

NoHopeToday Wed 21-Jun-17 20:03:04

^agree

user1497480444 Tue 20-Jun-17 21:53:53

It is possible to assess teacher quality. it is impossible to objectively quantify.

Our intake is very solidly middle class, we have few SEN pupils, we are a small school, parents are involved and staff know every pupil well. Our children should be flying

and the staggering ignorance apparent in basing this conclusion on these observations leaves me in no doubt that you are the last person suited to even try to assess a teacher.

shanefolan29 Tue 20-Jun-17 21:45:27

''Interestingly they walked straight into a job at another local school.''

considering how hard it can be to recruit teachers nowadays that's not in the lease surprising or interesting-just the way teaching is today, i know in my current school we have had staffing problems throughout the year.

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