Misbehaving teachers will be held to account

20th January 2012 at 00:00

No teacher whose standards fall below an acceptable level will go unpunished, as you alluded in your story "Misconduct cases slip through net as time runs out for regulator" (6 January).

All serious cases of misconduct that could lead to teachers being barred will be transferred to the new Teaching Agency if they have not been concluded by 31 March, when the General Teaching Council for England closes. Where appropriate, all other cases will have been dealt with at a local level.

The current system does not work - it is weighed down by the bureaucracy of minor cases instead of dealing swiftly with the most serious referrals. The new system will ensure that serious cases are dealt with much more quickly by giving headteachers greater freedom to deal with incompetent teachers themselves. We are bringing in clear, new standards for all teachers and there will be a list of teachers barred from the profession available to employers and the public.

Nick Gibb MP, Minister of state for schools.

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