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New rules regarding dismissal of underperforming teachers announced today

13 January 2012 #Employment

The Government has announced that from September 2012 it will put in place measures to make it easier and faster for Head Teachers to sack underperforming staff. At present the plans will only affect teachers in England.

Michael Gove, Education Secretary said schools have been "tangled in red tape" for too long when dealing with staff who do not meet performance expectations.

Currently, the process takes a minimum of 24 weeks but the new process will take just 9 weeks in simple cases. This would see poor teachers removed within a term instead of a year, which often happens under current rules.

The Government is also consulting on proposals that it believes would deal with the problem of poor teachers simply being moved on from school to school, including  schools being able to enquire  whether teachers have been through capability procedures in their previous roles.

Teachers` unions have called the changes draconian and fear they will lead to teachers being bullied from their jobs.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The changes to the appraisal and capability policies will rightly be seen by teachers as an attack on their professionalism and will anger and depress them in equal measure... If schools are serious about addressing the issue of teacher competence should it arise, they must do it in a fair fashion and not be constrained by a one-term time limit. It is far better to improve teachers than to seek measures to sack them."

Chris Keates, the General Secretary of the NASUWT teachers` union said the changes were draconian and based on "manipulated evidence and called them “hugely demoralising for all those hard-working teachers."

For more on this story, click here.

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