Now that the GTC (Scotland) (All Praise To Them) have gained their new status as an independent body, moves are afoot to check teacher competency every five years or so and either have them, supported as they retrain or review their teaching styles/practice or even remove them from teaching. TESS article here
As I said in my entry about TLCs I can’t understand why some people don’t want these regular checks. It stops people getting stale for a start and ensures they keep abreast of what’s going on and the latest ‘things’ in education. I spend hours every week reading educational theory, articles of interest and watching videos that will help me become better. Then again some would say I don’t have a life.. 😎
There are arguments against this new ‘teacher licence’ scheme not least that the GTC in England have had severe problems as Heads simply give good references to poor or under-performing teachers to get them out of their schools because the whole process to remove under-performing staff takes so long. Meanwhile another school then inherits the problem….article here
Or should we wait until the situation gets so bad that the entire staff (good and poor) in a school are sacked as happened in the US this week (link here).
Either way something needs to be done.
We ALL have off days, we ALL watch the kids leave and think ‘I should have done ‘X’ or ‘How did I run out of time for ‘Y’? Of course, good teachers immediately reflect after the lesson and work out what went wrong, how to improve things and ensure they constantly review, reflect and revise their lessons. Would the additional pressure of a check help or undermine morale?
Perhaps if the people at the top in Local Authorities stopped gibbering about teachers needing to do lots of CPD as demanded by HMIe et al then not letting us actually DO any due to budgets cuts it might help. You can’t have trained staff not being updated on teaching practices or assessment procedures etc and then have the cheek to demand they prove their competence. It’s like training a pilot, letting him fly for a decade without being able to upgrade his pilot’s licence for different aircraft and then demanding he prove he can fly a four engined jet instead of the twin turboprop he’s been flying until then!
The other point is WHO is going to do the checks? If they simply become a certification or paper exercise by headteachers then there are obvious problems of cronyism as some people get treated differently. If HMIe or the GTC(S) (All Praise To Them) are to do the tests then a whole new group of inspectors will be needed. Will English teachers be checked by English teachers? Will the checkers be checked themselves every five years? How do you check teachers if your own experience is ten years out of date ? All these and other questions will doubtless surface like the proverbial drowned body popping up to ruin peoples’ days.
Either way – we live in interesting times and they’re about to become extremely interesting.