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Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his Department’s definition of a bad teacher is. (177026)

Performance management arrangements, introduced for teachers in England, in September 2007, are designed to establish a clear and consistent process of planning and assessment so that teachers and head teachers understand what is expected of them, and that support teachers and head teachers in addressing their professional development needs. The revised arrangements introduce a more structured approach to the planning meeting at the beginning of the year, including clarity about how performance will be assessed at the end.

In order for performance management to operate in a fair and transparent way, teachers must know what is required of them before any assessment can be made. The framework of professional standards for teachers, introduced in September 2007, helps to provide this context. The standards are statements of a teacher’s professional attributes; professional knowledge and understanding, and professional skills. They provide clarity of the expectations at each career stage and support teachers in identifying their professional development needs. The framework for standards will, therefore, provide a backdrop to the revised performance management arrangements.

Effective management, clear expectations and appropriate support are key factors in addressing weaknesses in performance. Ongoing professional dialogue will enable any such issues to be identified early, thereby avoiding the need for formal capability procedures in most cases. Where a teacher’s capability is still in question after all normal avenues have been exhausted then formal capability procedures should be instigated, in line with locally agreed practice.