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 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 BP hit with record $18.7 billion fine over Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Worker killed by robot at Volkswagen car factory
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity is available to ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leading specialist i...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...