Voice: Teachers need longer than a term to improve

Voice general secretary Philip Parkin comments on Michael Gove's plans to drive up teaching standards:

"'Poorly performing' is not the same as 'incompetent' or 'weak'.

"Using the word 'sack' is intimidatory and inflammatory and is more about playing to the tabloid press than sensible performance management. Greater freedom to 'sack' could lead to hasty decisions, unfair dismissals and the summary end to careers.

"A term is not long enough to address the issues that a teacher could be facing for a variety of reasons.

"Problem resolution should not be about sackings, but about sensible discussion and negotiation. There are many instances where underperforming teachers are returned to former levels of performance through advice, training and support.

"Just because a teacher performs poorly in one school does not mean that they cannot perform effectively in another school.

"I disagree that the current guidance is 'unnecessary'. One person's 'bureaucracy' is another's protection. We would be very concerned if a reduction in the guidance given to schools increased poor treatment of staff by senior managers.

“It is crucial that proper processes are in place to support underperforming teachers, and that each case is judged individually."