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Weak teachers

Comment 9th July 2010

Before deciding upon whether a teacher is outstanding or simply satisfactory, look at the whole picture.  For example:

  • Do they have a particularly challenging class? 
  • How many children with SEN are in the class?
  • How much support are they receiving from Teaching Assistants?
  • How accurate are the grades awarded?

If the government wants to remove poor teachers, they cannot look at grades alone.

Why does this matter?

I have known some amazing teachers who work in very challenging schools.  The results that they achieve at the end of the year may not seem brilliant, but the effort that it has taken to reach those grades has been immense.

Headteachers want a smooth running school so generally will give the more challenging classes to the better teachers.  Whilst I understand the need to do this, should the teachers then be classed as simply 'satisfactory' due to the results?

I have also known some very poor teachers who have been given classes with self-motivated children and very supportive parents.  The grades awarded to the children at the end of the year may appear to be brilliant but are not necessarily due to the teacher's ability.  Why should these teachers then be labelled 'outstanding' due to their results?

I admit that I have worked with some terrible teachers.  These teachers mangage to stay in the job because they are cushioned by the system.  They are given 'easy' classes and are supported by outstanding classroom assistants whilst many other teachers have no support with more needy classes.  This practise needs to stop. 

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