Quality of teachers 'was an issue' admits Blair
Saturday 14 January 2012
Tony Blair has admitted that he could have "gone further" as prime minister to ensure that teachers were up to the job.
He said the quality of teaching was "an issue" throughout his time in office but added that it would take "a significant period of time" to turn things around.
His comments, in an interview with The Times, come as the coalition Government prepares to give schools the power to sack under-performing teachers in just a term.
The move, coming into force this autumn, has angered teaching unions which have warned that it could become "a bully's charter".
But Mr Blair, who quit Downing Street in 2007 after 10 years as prime minister, acknowledged that he should have gone "faster and further" on school reform.
"In terms of making sure that the standard that you set and the action that you take in respect of teachers that don't meet that standard, yes, I think in retrospect I would probably have gone further on that," Mr Blair said.
He said that introducing "innovation and change" was the most difficult aspect of any public service reforms, adding: "We did that but the quality of teaching was an issue all the way through.
"I think it will take a significant period of time, by the way, to change that."
On his record on education, he said: "My basic view over the 10 years is that we put in place a large amount of investment, a certain amount of reform, probably one can say in retrospect that I would have pushed the reform faster and further."
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Jason Derulo falling over in epic fashion, the event's most talked about moment, wasn't what it seemed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...
£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...