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We must be able to remove poor headteachers

I REFER to your recent article 'Poor teachers should be sacked' (News, April 7).

In my 30 years of teaching, I unfortunately taught alongside a number of teachers who could only be described as 'poor'.

While not commonplace, this type of situation was not unique either.

Frustratingly, I found that there little anyone in authority was prepared to do about it.

This was maddening, for I was well aware of the poor effect that such teachers had on their pupils by way of important exam results.

While it is perhaps true that a poor teacher in a large school could, in effect, be 'carried' without causing significant damage, the same cannot possibly apply to a poor headteacher.

A weak, misguided or incompetent headteacher will make a significant difference to the overall results, good practice and morale of any school.

The knock-on effect on school reputation and future intake numbers will be devastating.

A good school can be destroyed in less than five years.

I could name two schools where this is happening at present.

There are almost no sanctions that can be used to get rid of a poor headteacher.

The Department of Education is always loath to become involved until the last possible moment, when most of the damage has already been done.

For the good of future pupils, poor teachers and headteachers should be spotted quickly and be demoted, or removed from the school altogether.

T J McCLEAN

Belfast

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