Leave teacher quality to schools says think-tank
08 Nov 2010
The government should abandon all attempts to control teacher quality and should leave it to schools to take responsibility for monitoring the quality and the training of their own staff. So says the independent think-tank Reform in a new report called Every Teacher Matter.,
The report says the government could save £2 billion a year by curtailing the activities of quangos that oversee teacher quality.
It says the National College for leadership of Schools and Children’s Services should be privatised. The Training and Development Agency (TDA) should have its budget reduced so it focuses solely on recruitment and Initial Teacher Training. And Ofsted should focus solely on the quality of teaching and management.
The think-tank also urges the abolition of regulations including national pay and conditions for teachers and the Workforce Agreement, which guarantees teachers non-contact time during school hours.
The report claims that the TDA’s definition of good teaching is ‘so woolly that good schools ignore it and draw up their own’.
It says the National College teachers school leaders many things ‘but not how to manage a school or improve the performance of its teachers’. In its place, it urges the development of education-focused, MBA-style qualifications to replace the National Professional Qualification for Headship.
But the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) says many of the assertions in the report are ‘deeply flawed’.
ASCL’s General Secretary, Brian Lightman, accused the report of ‘proposing causal links where they simply do not exist’.
In particular, he says ‘the National College is a world leader providing outstanding support for school leaders in England and there is no evidence that privatisation would do anything to maintain this quality.’ Mr Lightman adds that abolishing national pay and conditions would lead to 'a free for all'.
The full report, Every Teacher Matters, can be found here: www.reform.co.uk/Research/ResearchArticles/tabid/82/smid/378/ArticleID/1369/reftab/161/t/Every%20teacher%20matters/Default.aspx