‘Mediocre teachers must not be tolerated’, says Scottish education boss

The TES is reporting that a Scottish education chief has told MSPs that zero tolerance of mediocre teachers and headteachers is the key to driving up standards in the country’s schools.

The key to successful schools is good quality leadership and good quality learning and teaching, said Ian Robertson, Glasgow’s assistant director of education.

“Those schools not performing as well as they should be by any measure need to be challenged to improve,” he added. “My test is always one as a parent: would I want that teacher there educating my child? If not they should not be there.”

Mr Robertson made his comments to the Scottish parliament’s education committee. The committee was taking evidence from councils on school spending and the attainment gap…

Mr Robertson continued: “Teachers are about 50 per cent [of the education service]; it’s more than teachers that make an impact and make a difference. And if you asked headteachers, ‘Would you resolutely protect teachers at all costs?’ the vast majority would say no.”

Primary heads would prefer more support staff able to work one-on-one with pupils, and secondary heads were being forced to put teachers into roles that would be done better – and for less – by someone from a different background, he added.

Mr Robertson said: “Teachers are going to be absolutely critical to closing the [attainment] gap but there needs to be more focus on that blended workforce…”

More at: ‘Mediocre teachers must not be tolerated’, says Scottish education boss


It sounds like Mr Robertson is suggesting fewer teachers and more support staff might be a better model – what do you think to that?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Local authorities, Policy, Scotland and Teaching.


  1. How about ‘our good teachers should be valued’ rather than this negativity.  But damning teachers plays well in the press.  Pity Scotland seems to be following England’s lead on this.

  2. lisalac68

    SchoolsImprove He’s not the first-is diff policy direction,as many LA’s will report having failed.Premise for change was ripe intro CfE

  3. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove I cannot think of a much more intolerable position to be in than that of a mediocre teacher. You’d want out ASAP.

  4. TeaLadyJune

    SchoolsImprove Sadly we can report the Teacher Bashing Virus has spread into Scotland…only the Private Schools Sector remains immune.

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