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Poor teachers 'should be removed'

Poor teachers should be removed from the classroom, the chief inspector of schools has suggested, as she warned that children are still being subjected to "dull" lessons.

The quality of teaching in schools is too "variable" and not good enough in half of England's secondaries and in more than two-fifths of primaries, Ofsted's annual report found.

Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert said boring lessons make it harder for pupils to learn and that too many schools tolerate "pockets of poor teaching".

Launching her fifth annual report, Ms Gilbert said: "I certainly think if a teacher is really, really poor and struggling, and she or he is not getting satisfaction from that job, there should be dialogue about the other opportunities that person may want to have.

"If somebody is qualified well enough to go into teaching, you have to work on the assumption that they are going to be good teachers and the school is going to support them well enough to do that."

The findings, which cover the academic year 2009/10, showed that almost half of schools (45%) were judged to be not good enough this year, with one in 12 (8%) rated "inadequate".

Teaching is no better than satisfactory in 50% of secondary schools and in 43% of primaries and 43% of colleges, it said, and poor teaching is often linked to bad behaviour in the classroom.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "The biggest factor in raising standards in schools is the quality of its teachers. The best education systems in the world consistently draw their teachers from the top tier of graduates by academic ability, and select them carefully to ensure they are taking only those people who combine the right personal and intellectual qualities.

"Teachers need to learn from other teachers. I have been impressed by arguments that the way to ensure we have good continual professional development is by getting teachers to observe superb practitioners of the craft and to learn from them."

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said: "We are tired of the assumption that satisfactory schools are failing and lumping them together with schools deemed inadequate does nothing to help these schools improve."

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