Labour MOT-style test for teachers would be a 'bureaucratic nightmare' says Schools Minister David Laws
Labour's Shadow Education Secretary unveiled his plans on Wednesday
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 16 January 2014
Labour's plans for an MOT-style test for every teacher risks creating a “costly bureaucratic nightmare”, Schools Minister David Laws said yesterday.
Labour's Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt revealed plans for every teacher to have to be “revalidated” - i.e renew their licence to teach - when he addressed the North of England education conference in Nottingham on Wednesday.
However, Mr Laws warned it would be costly to employ an army of assessors to carry out the licencing and added that they could be covering the same ground as any good headteacher would have done already.
“I don't think the answer is to introduce a top-down government administered scheme that risks becoming a bureaucratic nightmare without positive results,” he added.
He later added: “Who would do the licencing? Would it be a government board or some kind of Royal College that doesn't exist at the moment. What would happen if they disagreed with the headteacher's assessment?
”Politicians always want to come up with something that will please the teachers' unions and appeal to those who want bad teachers to be sacked.“
in his speech to the conference, Mr Laws also blamed teachers' union leaders for putting off potentially talented recruits from applying to join the profession. Politicians should mind their language in criticising the profession, too.
He said that - if the unions constantly talked about ”how awful and how difficult it is“ that ”this is not a recipe for what all of us want to do: sign up more teachers“.
A Labour spokesman said: ”This is not about creating new bodies and bureaucracy. It is about creating a culture change in schools to deliver the best teachers in the world.“
He insisted Labour would work with teachers to ensure the licencing arrangements were led by the profession.
In his speech, Mr laws also added that the Government also intended to move 100 of the country's most outstanding headteachers into some of the challenging schools in disadvantaged areas. The schools would be able to select new heads from a list described by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as a ”champions' league“ of headteachers.
However, Brian Lightman, general secretary of the association of School and College Leaders, warned that headteachers were becoming more reluctant to take challenging schools - because they feared they could lose their jobs.
”The current climate disincentivises leaders from taking jobs in these schools,“ he added. A poll showed 78 per cent would be reluctant to do so.
”Too many school have seen colleagues forced out of their jobs when it has been decided that results are not improving quickly enough,“ he said. ”School leaders want to make a difference to children's lives but many are asking themselves why they should risk their careers to take on the most challenging schools.“
- 1 Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
- 2 Two-year-old says goodbye to bin man best friend
- 3 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 4 Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb
- 5 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Ancient 2,400-year-old gold bongs discovered in Russia
Porn stars in California may be forced to wear goggles under new legislation
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...