Half of teachers fail to make the grade

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Half of the teachers in secondary schools and more than four out of 10 in primaries are "simply not good enough", the chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert said yesterday.

She spoke as the education standards watchdog Ofsted revealed that the number of schools declared "inadequate" by inspectors had doubled in the past year – from 4 to 8 per cent. "There continues to be too much teaching that is dull and uninspiring and this makes it harder for pupils to learn," Ms Gilbert said as she delivered her annual state-of-the-nation report on standards in schools. There was a link between poor teaching, poor behaviour and uneven exam results, she added.

The report comes as the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, prepares to launch a White Paper on his vision for education today. It is expected to prioritise improving teaching quality, calling for fast-track measures to make it easier for heads to weed out incompetent teachers.

Mr Gove also indicated last night that he would stand by proposals to recruit only graduates with top degree passes into the profession – and remove funding for teacher training for those with a third.

Responding to the Ofsted report, he said: "The best education systems in the world consistently draw their teachers from the top tier of graduates by academic ability."

Ofsted pointed out that this year it was concentrating its inspections on poor schools and had also toughened its inspection programme. However, Ms Gilbert added: "Heads should be aware of the strength and weaknesses in their school."