This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Michael Gove squeezes the teaching unions’ ‘lemons’

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is out to improve the quality of our teachers and their teaching methods. One way to do this is to sack those teachers who are no good at their job. They maybe dunces themselves or just no good at teaching. Now, under Gove’s proposals, teachers can be sacked within a term, rather than within a year, which was formerly the case. And why not?
Even those who were sacked up to a year after their first offence/s, as it were, could quite simply move to another school - one which would have them - and simply start over again. This is a little like moving paedophiles from one area to another area with equally many vulnerable kids. (It’s also a bit like paedophile priests to other churches, as often happened.) Thus, in the case of teachers, other children would get the same bum deals as the kids at the bad teachers’ former schools.

It was teaching unions which were largely responsible for this shuffling on the same deck. It was the unions which made deals with sacked - or reprimanded - teachers which allowed them to seek other teaching jobs elsewhere - often with a glowing reference to boot.

Of course teaching unions have been moaning about Gove’s plans. They have said that such things will be ‘hugely demoralising for all those hard-working, committed teachers’. Come again? How will it be demoralising to hard working and committed teachers? These measures are evidently aimed at bad teachers, not good ones. So I find it hard to work out what the good teachers have to fear - unless they fear, sometimes correctly, that they’re not that good at their jobs after all.

Classroom unions have also said that Gove should be helping teachers improve their teaching methods rather than sacking them. Why not both? Why not bring forward measures to improve teaching skills as well as measures to get rid of bad teachers? Responding to the measures to sack teachers with a demand that teachers’ skills should be improved instead is almost a non sequitur.

The small details of these changes also appear to be fair. For example, after being given a first warning, failing or bad teachers will be monitored, by heads, governors and other teachers, for four rather than for ten weeks. That is, decisions will need to be made about the teacher’s future after this period of monitoring. Again; what’s wrong with that? Not only that, headteachers will also be required to tell other schools about the poor quality of their new -previously sacked - teachers.

The teaching unions are up in arms about the very fact that the Government, as well as headteachers, even dare to call any teacher ‘incompetent’. Here again we see selfish unions protecting their own with very little regard for the bum deals many students will be getting from poor teachers.

Way back in 1995, Ofsted’s first Chief Inspector of Schools, Chris Woodhead, said that there were around 15,000 incompetent teachers. By my experience and knowledge, I would guess that’s possibly an underestimate as virtually every teacher I have been under was incompetent or hated his or her job.

Let’s face facts. Unions are essentially selfish entities. Not vis-a-vis the unions’ members, or even in relation to members and union bosses, but towards everything and everyone outside the union itself. They would be no good at their job if this weren’t the case. It probably couldn’t be any other way.

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