Fury over fast-track sackings

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PLANS to fast-track poorly performing teachers out of the classroom have been blasted by Wigan’s teaching union.

Headteachers will be able to sack teachers who fail to live up to expectations after only a few months in post, under new Government rules from September.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has issued new regulations to reduce bureaucracy and allow heads the power to dismiss struggling teachers after a school term, rather than one year.

The plans also state that even when a teacher has gone on long-term leave for illness, disciplinary procedures will not need to be stopped.

But the Wigan branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) today branded the proposals “humiliating” for teachers.

Max Atkins, divisional secretary of Wigan NUT, said: “We are constantly told that teachers are professionals and yet we are treated like untrustworthy amateurs with constant “learning walks”, “drop-ins” and “observations”.

“No other professional is treated to such an incessant barrage of humiliating and unsettling monitoring of their performance.

“Teachers are seen as an easy target - can you imagine the outcry if this regime was imposed on doctors, nurses, the police, lawyers or other professionals?

“How many other professions have probationary periods of just a few months? There are a myriad of reasons why a teacher may be appearing to struggle.

“Any teacher in this situation needs compassion, understanding and support from senior management, not the threat of almost immediate redundancy. Teaching is recognised as one of the most stressful professions. These changes will merely add to this stress.

“Once again, Michael Gove shows he hasn’t got a clue about the teaching profession. He blunders from one hair-brained scheme to another, week after week. He is well past his own probationary period, which he failed as soon as he started. Has he been sacked? No.

“He needs to get a teaching qualification and try an NQT year himself. He’d fail that too.”

Education Secretary Michael Gove said schools had been “trapped in complex red tape” for far too long. He said: “We must deal with this problem in order to protect the interests of children who suffer when struggling teachers are neither helped nor removed.”