Are we just the best of a bad lot?

18th May 2001 at 01:00
Congratulations to William Atkinson, head of Phoenix school, London, for having put yet another nail in the coffin of teacher credibility.

He said ("Even top performer feels desperate", TES, May 4): "The standard of applications has plummeted. I am sure some schools are appointing people that they would never have dreamed of appointing previously."

For those teachers appointed to posts, whether newly qualified staff or more experienced teachers moving or gaining promotion, the implication is that Mr Atkinson considers them o be the best of a bad lot. Hardly encouraging to members of an already beleaguered profession.

I confess to some surprise though. Given the demands of performance management and all the other hoops that teachers are now required to jump through, I am astonished that the standard of teachers has in fact plummeted.

Surely any teacher who can survive the present system must be more than capable? Or is it only the "good" teachers who are leaving in droves, leaving the "dross" behind?

A Pollard Address supplied

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