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

(28 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.

ReallyTired Fri 15-Feb-13 10:18:13

What frustrates me is that bad managers are not got rid of in state schools fast enough. The shit has really hit the fan at my son's school because the teacher assessments have been a complete work of fiction. In reality some of the children have made no progress in writing in the last two years.

The deputy head is starting a job at a new school after Easter smelling of roses. She has been able to run away from the shitty mess she has created. Our head teacher has gone on the sick and the local authority has taken over the running of the school.

I believe that if bad managers were got rid of then we would not have to worry about bad teachers.

heggiehog As parent I cannot assess teachers, but I can assess whether my son is behaving himself and what he is like in class. I can tell my son off for not having any equipment and ask him why he is picking his nose rather than doing his work.

deleted203 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:09:59

Thank you heggie. That post was spot on!

As to parents observing, Past I wouldn't have a problem with it, personally. I'm never bothered at anyone coming to have a look at what I'm doing, and have frequently had NQTs, trainee teachers, etc come and observe a lesson to try and help them if they are struggling. Teaching secondary though, I suspect most of my teens would be mortified if their mother came in for the day!

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 19:20:13

When I worked in the private sector I don't think I was assessed once in 15 years hmm

heggiehog Thu 14-Feb-13 18:10:06

Yes, I have encountered similar teachers, mrz.

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.

It'd be like watching a movie at the cinema and then thinking that makes you qualified to direct a film. Personal like or dislike of a performance is not a good measure of the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Feenie Thu 14-Feb-13 17:59:45

What annoys me is that in the private sector employees are assessed regularly

What annoys me is that posters who have no idea what they are talking about can post garbage like that.

As heggiehog says, we are assessed constantly.

mrz Thu 14-Feb-13 17:56:57

I always chuckle when people mention parents assessment of teachers. The worst teacher I ever had the misfortune to work (briefly) with was adored by all the parents who fell for his charm and the stories he spun blaming everyone but himself for his failure

heggiehog Thu 14-Feb-13 17:50:37

"My understanding through my SIL (teacher) is that teachers are not assessed enough and poor to satisfactory teaching is extremely common."

What rubbish.

All teachers are assessed numerous times throughout every term in various ways, as part of their performance management. We have several lesson observations throughout the year, one each term minimum. These will be conducted by the Head, senior management, and subject coordinators. Not to mention Ofsted though thankfully that doesn't happen too often! There are also learning walks and times when senior management simply drop-in on lessons (almost a weekly occurrence in my school).

Most schools have weekly staff meetings that underline key areas for teaching and identify any areas that the school needs to develop.

Then there is the constant assessment of children and associated paperwork. We have to complete an evaluation form for every child at the end of every core lesson, along with updating the child's personal targets whenever an objective is achieved. We level up the children at the end of each half term, and yes, we are held accountable if any of them are slipping behind, even if their performance is down to factors unrelated to the teacher (poverty, trauma etc). These children are identified through pupil progress meetings and are then offered extra support where necessary. If a child is not identified early enough and does not hit their targets by the end of the year then the teacher will have to explain why.

As a teacher I am held accountable for almost every single hour of my working life in the form of hourly objectives, success criteria, tick lists, marking, and evaluation forms. I very often don't have time to plan "motivating" lessons, though I would desperately love to. It's why we do the job, after all.

If your school is allowing mediocre teaching then it speaks volumes about the management. Of course there are bad teachers out there, there are bad apples in every profession, but in general I have found that if there are a "number" of bad teachers in a particular school then it's down to management.

Either the management is so weak and silent they are not providing enough support for their staff, or they are coming on too strong and are stressing their staff out to the point where they don't have the energy to be "motivating" anymore.

To say that teachers aren't assessed enough is rubbish.

bacon Thu 14-Feb-13 11:21:02

My understanding through my SIL (teacher) is that teachers are not assessed enough and poor to satisfactory teaching is extremely common.

It is usually parents who have had that teacher a couple of times are pretty good at assessing and in our school is are a number of mediocre teachers. How does a head move on poor/satisfactory teachers if they are just that - not failing but sadly un-motivating and plodding. If a teacher has been in the profession for say 20 years who do they keep fresh and motivating is it just safe to keep plodding for the security?

What annoys me is that in the private sector employees are assessed regularly and on a salary of £36k plus poor teachers stay that way and sadly poor teachers are pushed out but then are taken on at another school. Do poor teachers actually leave the profession especially all it carrys the pension and other perks which people outside the public sector dont get?

It saddens me when we've had post grads in covering maternity leave these teachers have been amazing but when the average teacher returns to all goes back to normal.

ReallyTired Thu 14-Feb-13 09:22:05

Lots of schools welcome parents in the classroom. It can be a great way to make a relationship between the school and the family. Many parents have no experience of the national curriculum.

I believe that a struggling teacher needs support from someone outside their school. There also needs to be an objective look to see what is going wrong within a school. Some struggling teachers have useless managers who do stupid things like giving an NQT all the bottom sets. Sometimes there are major issues across the school like a poor whole behaviour policy.

If a school employs an incompetant teacher then I feel that those who interviewed and selected the teacher should be held to account. If you pick an employee then it up to the manager to support them with a good induction.

Schools are strange work places. Lots of decisions are made on the spur of the moment. I did IT support in a school and I found it utterly mad that you had to decide whether to take a job on the spot. I feel that this policy in state schools leads to poor selection decisions. Prehaps the "inadequate teacher" would not have picked a particular school if they had had time to think.

PastSellByDate Thu 14-Feb-13 06:30:22

All I can say is 'gosh!' to that article - are they seriously going to allow PITA parents like me to observe teaching? I'd love to know what goes on, of course, because I've no idea - but that's a lot of pressure on people.

I think this is just such an emotive thing - in an ideal world with support, good training and effort, I'd like to think that a struggling teacher could improve and become a successful teacher, but I've also seen colleagues (outside of education) use 'the system', do as little work as possible, blame others when things aren't done or claim they didn't understand it was up to them to do it and therefor I am aware of how hard that can be on the rest of the team and what bad feelings it can generate.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 13-Feb-13 21:35:33

Trouble is, if someone is performing poorly on a consistent basis, then any kind of process to address that is going to be tremendously stressful. That is true in any job. Both DH (not a teacher) and I have had colleagues who go through the process, and it is brutal wherever you are. And the person concerned generally leaves before the process comes to an end.

I just get worried about words like 'rumour' and 'poor teaching staff' - as much as I hate the idea of people being bullied out of a job ....

Sometimes the 'bad' teacher turns out to be the one that gets results ....

TeamEdward Wed 13-Feb-13 21:26:29

I took sick leave for stress, came back for a few months and was "bullied" out. Too easy for Heads to get rid with underhand tactics.

Bubblenut Wed 13-Feb-13 21:21:29

You don't get sacked - you get bullied and have a nervous breakdown till you leave.

I've seen it happen to so many.

happyhev Wed 13-Feb-13 20:55:43

I echo the above. It's incredibly easy for heads to get rid of staff they don't like. Sad thing is they're often those staff most loved by parents and children. A couple of months of bullying and even the best teachers will up and leave.

heggiehog Wed 13-Feb-13 20:26:42

"Rather than sacking the victim is reduced to a nervous breakdown where they are incapable of functioning yet alone teaching."

Pretty much.

Of course moronic newspaper articles like the one posted above will still insist on reporting nonsense figures like "only 17 teachers have been sacked in the last 10 years" etc.

Sigh.

ReallyTired Wed 13-Feb-13 19:54:16

Rather than sacking the victim is reduced to a nervous breakdown where they are incapable of functioning yet alone teaching.

mercibucket Wed 13-Feb-13 19:51:12

As others have said, it's mostly about bullying them til they choose to leave. It doesn't take long to make a teacher's life a misery if you put your mind to it.

mercibucket Wed 13-Feb-13 19:51:11

As others have said, it's mostly about bullying them til they choose to leave. It doesn't take long to make a teacher's life a misery if you put your mind to it.

deleted203 Wed 13-Feb-13 19:41:49

Agree with Lady and heggie (although I've seen more than one sacked, TBH). Teaching is a tremendously stressful job at the best of times and SMT are in a position where they can increase the stresses of the job tenfold if they are determined to. Don't know about primary, but in Secondary schools I've seen people given horrendous timetables, full of subjects they are not qualified to teach, with difficult classes whilst SMT hover in the background, repeated checking on them and criticising and then cooing that they are concerned the person isn't performing adequately.

LadyLech Wed 13-Feb-13 19:36:06

I've only seen one teacher sacked as such, over my 15 odd years in teaching. But I have seen many 'managed out' or forced into situations where they quit. This is far more common ime than teachers getting sacked.

heggiehog Wed 13-Feb-13 16:42:42

I've seen it happen a few times within half a term.

Teaching is such a stressful job that it really only takes a few weeks to bully someone into quitting.

cumbrialass Tue 12-Feb-13 21:15:16

Quite easy really. Several observations ( probably all by the same person) with subjective assesment of performance. Then a "support scheme" where you are "supported" by the same person who carried out the previous observations, together with further observations, judged by the same person, and then you're out!

ReallyTired Tue 12-Feb-13 20:55:47

Ofcourse teachers can be sacked. Capablity proceedings are nasty, expensive and emotionally draining for all concerened. The weak member of staff has to be given warnings, training and a chance to improve. If proper proceedures are not followed then the member of staff can claim unfair dismissal. I believe teachers can already be sacked in a term, however some teachers who deserve sacking can do their job perfectly well. For example the type of person who abuses a sick leave scheme.

Many head teachers prefer to bully staff into a nervous breakdown instead of following proper proceedures.

Thank Gawd I am not a teacher.

NynaevesSister Tue 12-Feb-13 15:31:49

The head will have the HR resources of the LA or whoever they buy their HR support from to guide through this. Large secondaries may have own HR.

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