Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Incompetent teachers

ASCL backed plans of the General Teaching Council in England, raised by the media in January, to investigate "incompetent teachers". In The TES, John Dunford said: "The system needs to be changed because incompetent teachers are doing themselves no favours by moving schools and finding their professional lives equally difficult. I hope the GTC will investigate a process which supports teachers in making a career change where that is in their best interests."

The Daily Mail added this quote from John: "Some heads find it difficult to proceed against incompetent staff because of a lack of support from local authorities."

Blaming poverty

ASCL responded strongly to Ed Balls' statement that schools should stop blaming poverty for poor exam results. In The Times, John Dunford said: "Ed Balls is entirely wrong to accuse schools of using poverty as an excuse. He does not seem to understand the challenge that awaits some children.

"If successive generations in your family have been unemployed, or if you are dealing with drugs or other social problems in your home, it can be quite hard to concentrate on your maths and geography in the way that middle-class children can."

GCSE results

With the announcement of record GCSE results in January, ASCL praised the efforts of schools named in the National Challenge. The Independent, Sun and Daily Express, carried comments from John Dunford. He said: "The 31 per cent decrease in the number of schools below the government's floor target is a major achievement by the heads and teachers of these schools."

The Express added: "It is regrettable that the task was made more difficult by the nature of the National Challenge announcement and the torrent of consultants, plans and meetings that followed."

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