The Sutton Trust's recent paper, which says 40,000 of our 440,000 teachers are performing poorly and should be dealt with, understated the difficulty, because of European Union employment laws, of dismissing poor teachers (Cover Story, 16 September). Moreover, there is usually a strong connection between a weak headteacher and the proportion of poor teachers in their school. The General Teaching Council for England admitted in 2007 that only 10 teachers in total had been asked to leave by the 25,000 state schools in the previous three years.
Sadly, when Ed Balls was education secretary he removed the the right of a school becoming an academy to receive a grant of up to pound;1 million to get rid of its poorly performing staff. Unless you can pay poor teachers off, a school may face up to two years of legal procedures required by the current employment laws imposed on British employers by the EU.
Sir Cyril Taylor, The Schools Network