Slap in the face for 'old timers'

17th June 2005 at 01:00
As one of the "old timers" to whom Dawn Cox refers in her article "Here's looking at you" (TES, June 3), I am dismayed by her glib endorsement of the divisive, patronising and degrading practice of "performance management".

Of course, I accept that my teaching will be assessed by outside agencies such as the Office for Standards in Education, but I strongly oppose the intrusive nature of internal performance management.

How can it possibly be helpful or positive for a practising teacher of many years' standing to be observed and judged by a so-called colleague, particularly if that colleague is younger and less experienced? How could it be other than a source of ill-feeling and resentment at worst, or a waste of time at best?

Performance management's smug advocates appear to believe that an adult professional is incapable of discretion and judgement when it comes to matters relating to professional development. Is that insulting or what? Do the advocates of performance management really have any notion of how many "old timers" are leaving the profession prematurely to avoid this process? And do they even care?

Sue Gedge Woodford Green Essex

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