Conservative Diary

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"Only 18 UK teachers have been struck off for incompetence in the past 40 years"

9.30pm, Monday 5th July: Congratulations to the BBC and its Panorama team for some very powerful journalism.  In addition to the headline fact about only 18 incompetent teachers being struck off in 40 years, the investigative reporting also revealed that just 0.07% of teachers are currently in training to tackle underperformance. An academic told the programme that teacher competence was a much more important factor in determining a pupil's achievement than class size; a long obsession of the last Labour government.

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, today announced that a greater proportion of school spending would go towards recruiting high quality teachers into classrooms. With budgets being squeezed, the 'teachers before classroom buildings' thinking deserves an A+. CCHQ press release here.

The Panorama programme should be on iPlayer - via here - to watch again very soon.


Not 18 per year but 18 in total. Not quite one every two years.

On a 1 to 10 scale of outrageous failures by the state where 1 is not a failure and 10 is comprehensive failure I think we can say that this finding from the BBC's Panorama programme rates an 11.

Chris Woodhead estimated that 15,000 teachers (about 5% of the total) weren't up to the job. How many tens of thousands of young lives have been blighted by the way bad teachers have been shuffled from one school to another?

The General Teaching Council had the responsibility for dismissing incompetent teachers. Michael Gove abolished it two weeks ago. Ed Balls and the teacher unions should hang their heads in shame for putting the interests of teachers before the education of children.

Tim Montgomerie


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