The high quality of British state schooling is demonstrated by the fact that since 2001, out of an estimated population of 374,000 teachers in England, only 10 have been dismissed for incompetence in the classroom.
Most of England's 150 education authorities have not referred a single teacher to the General Teaching Council for alleged incompetence since the disciplinary body was set up in 2001.
"We have had a variable pattern of referrals from employers for cases of alleged serious professional incompetence with multiple referrals from some local authorities and none from others," said Keith Bartley, chief executive of the GTC. He said he could not give an accurate number of incompetent teachers still in classrooms.
Obviously that's because there are none. They've all been dismissed. Oh, there are probably a few in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which aren't covered by this report, but I'm sure that the Labour government is equally vigilant there.
This report is of special significance to Americans, looking to improve education in the wake of the Bush Administration's disastrous "No Child Left Behind" policies. Why, in Illinois alone, which has a population only a quarter that of England, an average of two tenured teachers are dismissed for incompetence each year. That means that in the United States as a whole, we must dismiss dozens of incompetent teachers on an annual basis.
Here's hoping that the incoming administration looks to our friends across the pond for guidance in formulating education policy.
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