Good, bad or totally inept

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
It's time once again to solve all of society's ills by suggesting a purge on "bad" teachers - or so it appears (TESS, June 16).

Does no one ever look at the negative impact that bad decision-making, bad policy-making, bad management and general tinkering and interference have had on teachers and pupils over the past 25 years?

There are quite a few bad teachers, but then again we have bad politicians, bad policemen etc. Perhaps the word to use is, in fact, inept rather than bad in the context of teaching.

And, of course, we have many inept senior management teams, as the Peter Principle suggests, whereby you promote someone to the level of their incompetence. It is really quite common.

Again, without wishing to incur the wrath of the SUS (school-uni-school) brigade, I would suggest that managerial posts are surely less to do with teaching and more to do with organisational and people skills. If you've only ever worked in one industry, then your experience is limited.

Schools would function better if promoted staff actually had experiences outside school. Being a great classroom teacher is nothing to do with being a great principal teacher, faculty head, deputy headteacher - or indeed headteacher.

There are exceptions to every rule and generalisations abound but, generally, great players don't often make great managers.

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