A fairer, slower track to oblivion;Letter

24th September 1999 at 01:00
YOUR editorial (TES, September 10) concluded that only 30 teachers had entered "educational oblivion" as a result of the new fast-track dismissal procedures.

In fact these went via the four-week procedure which is only used in extreme circumstances. More than 600 have gone under the new procedures which take six months on two terms. Many others who have started on the capability procedures have gone voluntarily before facing dismissal.

Those proposals were agreed last year between local government employers and teaching unions. The weakness still is that they can only be begun by heads and implemented by school governing bodies. A minority of school governing bodies still have to agree to adopt them.

The proposals are fair but quick. They give "failing" teachers a chance to improve. However, local education authorities have no power to dismiss incompetent teachers because that role rests with governing bodies. What has been provided is the necessary procedure to act quickly.

Graham Lane, Labour councillor, Newham Council, London

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