Threshold was a popularity test

10th August 2001 at 01:00
It has taken me a while to write to you about this because it hurt.

I am appalled by the fact that your front-page article about threshold assessment ( "Damning verdict on performance pay", TES, July 13) said that "it was rare for a teacher to fail overall if they failed in just one area".

I did. I failed in the "having the confidence of pupils" component of the fifth area but the head failed me and the assessor agreed.

I have remarkable results in GCSE and still the pupils have no confidence in me! They don't like me which is very different from having no confidence,because I make them work hard, always set homework etc. Other teachers who do not do these things are popular. The head even wrote on the application that I was a conscientious and effective teacher - and still I fail!

I feel aggrieved that there can be such a wide variation in the standards that people have to meet. I wonder how many others have not been as "effective" as I have been and passed?

In fact my head said that it was possible that I might have passed at other schools. So much for a national process! If we applied it to GCSE examinations think of the uproar there would be.

Now, if I want to apply in the autumn I have to solicit letters from parents to say how much their children have enjoyed my teaching. I have to make sure I only tell off those who would not complain. I have to collect in all the books of all the sets I have taught this academic year. I have to jump though a number of (pointless) hoops in order to show that I am an effective teacher.

I have to redo my application altering things so it is better. All of this takes time away from my teaching and will probably make me a less effective teacher. Am I demoralised? What do you think?

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