Opinion Former Article

NUT on Review of Teaching Standards

Commenting on the First Report of the Independent Review of Teachers’ Standards, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“Time and again we see the standard of teaching in this country being undermined by reviews and government edicts whose sole intent appears to be to come up with yet another new set of criteria on which to judge teachers. The starting point always appears to be that no teacher actually knows what they are doing.
“No one would dispute that some of the key purposes and recommendations of this report, such as teachers needing core skills in managing behaviour, are essential skills and knowledge needed for teaching. The point, however, is that these standards already exist. The teaching profession will not be radically overhauled as a result of their inclusion in the review.

“The draft standards on assessing performance are far too vague. Individual head teachers will be able to decide what they mean in practice so there is no way they can be described as national standards.

“The numerous points and so called examples that teachers will have to demonstrate they are working towards gives lie to the fact that the Government wants to streamline the system. This new set of criteria will be yet another set of hoops teachers have to jump through despite the purpose of them being vague and open to interpretation.

“Much of the focus of this review is about inspiring confidence in the profession. This implies that it is currently lacking and the situation needs to be addressed. There is clear evidence that this is a distortion of reality. Teachers are regularly rated highly as a profession by the public. It is difficult to see how this review will add to that.”

END pr101-2011


For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

Caroline Cowie
NUT Press Officer
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9BD
0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

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