Headlines: July 19th, 2000

Guidance on how to deal with teachers who are performing poorly has been issued to schools. It sets out a model capability procedure for supporting and monitoring poorly performing teachers which gives them fair warning and opportunity to improve, before they are dismissed for incompetence. The model is based on a procedure piloted in the last three years, where schools have reduced the amount of time it takes to remove incompetent teachers from two years to two terms. In extreme cases the process has been reduced to four weeks.The significance of the model is its potential to deliver a culture change. Its acceptance for general use recognises the fact that the standard of acceptable performance has been raised and the streamlined process for dismissal has shifted the balance against the under performer by strengthening the hand of Governors.

Under performance is likely to be a big issue as change in general and e -government in particular penetrate all parts of the public sector. Health service consultants are already under the spotlight and the forthcoming NHS Plan is likely to address the issue for all employees. Moves are expected to focus on under performance in the civil service, local councils and police as change accelerates and pressure for results builds up. The under performing teacher model shows one way to change the culture.