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Michael Gove seeks to makes it easier for headteachers to sack bad teachers

By Jonathan Isaby
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Michael Gove Sky News Today Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced a consultation on new regulations relating to school teacher performance management in England, with the aim of streamlining what are currently complex "capability procedures" for dealing with poorly performing teachers, which can currently result in it taking more than a year to fire someone who is struggling.  

His proposals aim to:

  • introduce simpler performance management regulations which set a few basic requirements, remove many restrictions (including the so-called "three hour observation rule"), and leave other decisions to schools;
  • introduce an optional new model policy for schools that deals with both performance and capability/disciplinary issues;
  • allow poorly performing teachers to be removed in about a term, a process that now often takes a year or more;
  • clarify that staff illness need not bring disciplinary processes to a halt;
  • scrap about 60 pages of unnecessary guidance.

The Education Secretary explained:

"We have a great generation of headteachers and teachers. We want to help them to do their jobs even better. We want to make it easier for schools to provide teachers with the training and professional development they need to fulfil their potential and to help their pupils to do the same.

"Heads and teachers also want a simpler and faster system to deal with teachers who are struggling. For far too long schools have been trapped in complex red tape. We must deal with this problem in order to protect the interests of children who suffer when struggling teachers are neither helped nor removed. Schools must be given the responsibility to deal with this fairly and quickly.”

The proposals have already been welcomed by the General Secretaries of both the National Association of Head Teachers and the Association of School and College Leaders.


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