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'The worst lesson I have ever seen'

A teacher who consistently failed lesson observations has become only the second person to be banned from teaching by England's General Teaching Council under a competency ruling.

Ann Franks, who taught at Norwood primary in Eastleigh, Hampshire, has been found guilty of serious professional incompetence. The 51-year-old was given a prohibition order, meaning that she cannot apply to rejoin the register.

Judy Moorhouse, chair of the GTC committee, said the ban was necessary to promote and maintain standards of teaching and to protect the public interest.

"Conditional registration would not adequately protect students in the future," she said.

Fourteen teachers have been banned from the profession by the council, 12 for unacceptable conduct.

The GTC heard how between September 2002 and December 2003, when she resigned, Mrs Franks had just one lesson judged satisfactory out of 12 observed.

The school said Mrs Franks, who had taught at the school since 1999, failed to bond with her Year 4 class and had an aggressive attitude towards some children.

She was also found to have poorly planned and prepared resources for lessons, and failed to challenge or praise children sufficiently. The school said she had a poor understanding of some subjects.

Observers found her lessons slow-paced, which meant children did not concentrate and chattered to each other.

Donna Shave, headteacher, said that she even had to stop one PE lesson observation because it had become dangerous.

"When children were waving around plastic hockey sticks and these became weapons, that's when the lesson had to be stopped," she said.

Bradley Albuery, presenting officer, said: "There were 12 lesson observations and only two had bits of satisfactory content."

Just one lesson was considered satisfactory, six were poor, four were unsatisfactory and one was stopped on health and safety grounds.

"Children taught by Mrs Franks had a right to more than 20 minutes of satisfactory lessons. She was presenting lessons which were even below the standards of a newly-qualified teacher," said Mr Albuery.

Patricia Powell, a local authority inspector who observed one of Mrs Franks' lessons, said: "It was the worst that I have observed in the four terms I have been doing this job."

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