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Teaching Standards

Volume 538: debated on Monday 16 January 2012

Nothing has more impact on a child’s achievement than the quality of teaching that they receive. We are raising the bar for new entrants to the teaching profession, supporting existing teachers to improve and, where teachers cannot meet the required standards, making it easier for head teachers to tackle under- performance.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Will he confirm what he is doing to allow heads to remove bad teachers and to check on the performance of new recruits, given that teaching in four in 10 schools assessed by Ofsted is rated only as “satisfactory” at best?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. All the evidence points to the importance of teacher quality in a pupil’s education. The Sutton Trust, for example, showed that, during one year with a very effective maths or English teacher, pupils gained 40% more in their education, compared with having a poor-quality teacher. That is why my hon. Friend is right that from September there will be new arrangements to help schools manage teacher performance and new streamlined procedures for heads to tackle teachers about whose performance they continue to have concerns.

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct that the Sutton Trust has done some very good work on the issue, and it has a new challenging report out this very day, but we all know that the first three years of a teacher’s experience are vital in keeping good teachers in, and passionate about, teaching, so could there be more focus on those first three years, when we lose so many good teachers?

The hon. Gentleman is right, and his experience as Chair of the Education and Skills Committee has come to the fore. All the evidence shows that teachers are driven out of the teaching profession by poor behaviour, which is why we are focusing so much on raising the standards of behaviour in our schools; and that the best mentoring and continuing professional development for teachers is peer-to-peer, which is why we are creating 100 new teaching schools, focusing on not only training and new entrants to the profession, but on developing CPD and peer-to-peer training.