The Telegraph is reporting the number of failing teachers receiving redundancy payouts worth thousands of pounds has increased five-fold under new plans by Michael Gove to weed out underperforming staff…
The education secretary set out plans in September last year for a “zero tolerance” policy on failing teachers.
He announced that heads and governors would be able to sack the worst-performing staff in just a term – rather than a year – under new “capability” procedures.
New figures compiled by union chiefs in Liverpool have revealed that the number of teachers accepting so called “compromise agreements” has gone up from two to 11 in the space of a year.
More than £50,000 has been pocketed by the outgoing staff in Sefton, the data showed.
A compromise agreement is a legally binding document which brings a person’s employment to an end. They normally come with a severance payment and reference in return for a ‘gagging order’ and prohibit future complaints to a tribunal.
Dave Evans, Sefton representative for teaching union NASUWT, said he feared the spiralling number of teachers reluctantly taking compromise agreements was due to increased pressure schools were under to shine in new tougher Ofsted inspections.
Changes since September 2012 include ‘no notice’ inspections meaning officials can notify a head teacher the afternoon before an inspection takes place.
While only schools deemed to have outstanding teaching will be awarded Ofsted’s highest ‘outstanding’ grade overall.
Mr Evans said his members taking the compromise agreements had suddenly found their performance in class branded “unsatisfactory” – despite having previously unblemished careers stretching over three decades.
“It’s not surprising my members say they feel bullied and brassed off due to the pressure they are getting from above but that is because the schools are under so much pressure to do well in their Ofsted reports,” he said. “The goalposts have changed which is why outstanding schools are now suddenly being classed as inadequate.”
He said payouts had ranged from £6,500 to £19,000 and the money came out of school’s own budgets.
“The schools feel it is worth it as they will get the benefit in their next Ofsted,” Mr Evans said.
Asking teachers to sign compromise agreements means schools could speed up the departure of staff and replace them without having to go through lengthy competency and disciplinary hearings.
These figures are from just one area but do you think the same thing is happening more widely? If so, is the use of compromise agreements a good or a bad thing, and why? Please let us know what you think in the comments below, on Twitter or by using this form