Who says new staff teach best?

6th October 2006 at 01:00
So, according to your front page headline, "New staff teach best" (TES, September 29). And what evidence is provided to justify such an assertion? A study (commissioned, unsurprisingly, by HM Government) which involved some 300 teachers and which took no less than four years to report. And how did they come to the conclusion that new staff are the best teachers? Because they somehow deliver the best test results. Surely we do not still believe that best test results equals best teacher?

I have nothing but admiration for our new colleagues who provide many good ideas and who work extremely hard, and I do not wish to denigrate their efforts. No doubt a good number of them are among our very best. But is it not possible that a major element of this success is that, in this brave new world of education, they have been trained to believe the most important part of their task is to produce good test scores? Is it not also possible that many more experienced teachers believe that there are other elements which are just as important - such as a balanced curriculum and the child's welfare - qualities which are not so easy to quantify and stick in a wretched league table?

CD Jones


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