Should weak teachers face the firing squad?

15th April 2011 at 01:00

Having read Gerard Kelly's editorial ("Speedy dispatch of the incompetent minority is no less than their colleagues deserve", 8 April) I was pretty annoyed. I bet FE Focus columnist Stephen Jones, whose piece "Move over, celebs. Time for Air Academy" was in the same issue, wouldn't be happy either.

I am sure Mr Kelly realises that nothing is ever as black and white as he tries to make out. Certainly, I feel I am one of the majority of what I would call "average" teachers and lecturers who have had to find their own unplanned career path in education.

There was no planned career path because the support for staff, and the guidance given when they are underperforming, has been erratic (to put it kindly). All staff have some days with good classes, while at other times nothing seems to go right. Support for the teaching profession should be expanded so that teachers who can't cope in one school are moved into areas where they can thrive. Currently there is no provision for that at all.

My sister taught in one London school and was near a breakdown and on prescription drugs. When she left she was hired by a school just down the road where she thrived. The flexibility of the education system should be there to help staff in that situation.

FE lecturer, Name and address supplied.

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