here). Whilst I would not take Gove's line exactly I do think we need to take tough action on the general competence and contribution to school-life of teachers. Before moving on to the higher education sector I spent ten yrs as a full time secondary school sciences and maths teacher and five yrs part-time followed by a spell teaching part-time in a sixth form college. I've seen some very poor teaching in each workplace, including some from those who'd been in the profession for many years and some who were new. I'd say the numbers were a single figure percentage of the hundreds of teachers I've worked with. As it happens my view on the numbers is reasonably consistent with controversial former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead's estimate of 15,000 teachers - less than 5% - not up to the job (see here).I've been following the debate today about Education Secretary Michael Gove's 'plans to simplify and shorten the procedure for handling inadequate teachers' (see
The Daily Politics debated the issue today for instance - but based discussion largely on the fact that only a very small number of teachers have been struck off for incompetence over several decades (see here). Much better and more complete to consider this figure and that fact that 40% of teachers have abandoned the profession within three years, not all but some of this due to competence issues in addition to low pay, low status, the poor behaviour of pupils, high house prices and the prospects of easier and better paid alternatives for graduates (see here) . This raises issues of who is training to teach and then entering the profession and why. Many of them should never have taken the step to begin with. Maybe some of the teacher training is not up to the job either. The job can be a tough one, especially early on and this makes early support and action from good school management and leadership crucial - and it should come from all in the organisation, Heads, Deputies, senior and less senior teachers, other school staff, unions, pupils, governors, parents....though especially Heads.
Here's a screencast on genuine argument vs tactics used in arguments. You find these tactics and others everywhere but politics in particular is absolutely loaded with them for much of the time.