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Teachers being bullied
10:00am Thursday 17th May 2012 in Letters
MELINDA Tilley appears to exist in a different universe.
Her explanation (More schools lose their headteacher, May 10) that the increasing shortfall of candidates for headships is “because they (headteachers) spend so much time doing things other than what they got into teaching for” simply doesn’t stand up against the evidence of bullying, threats and coercion that emanate from Michael Gove, from Elizabeth Sidwell, Commissioner for Schools in England, and from Chief Inspector Michael Wilshaw.
If, for example, the governing body of a school cast into special measures (often by flawed inspection practices) fails to vote in favour of academisation, this no vote will be judged as evidence of “weak leadership”, a section 60 notice to improve will be issued, a new governing body parachuted in and a sponsor imposed.
As the recent National Association of Headteachers conference made clear, heads and teachers feel under siege, with 270 heads sacked last year, many of them heads of academies.
According to a Times education supplement report, nearly half of teachers are thinking of leaving the profession, while teacher training recruitment is down by 14.5 per cent.
The average salary for teachers in England is £34,700; according to Gove, Ofsted inspectors earn on average about £60,000 pa, which he suggests is not enough to attract “the best”. And Oxfordshire’s state-maintained schools continue to be underfunded!
BRUCE ROSS-SMITH Bowness Avenue Headington Oxford