Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancs teachers demoralised by 'MOT' idea (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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East Lancs teachers demoralised by 'MOT' idea

A SCHEME to make teachers sit professional ‘MOTs’ has been described as ‘demoralising and impractical’.

Teachers in East Lancashire are said to have responded poorly to the news they would be re-licensed every few years under a Labour government.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said teachers would not only face regular checks to keep their jobs but also have to show their subject knowledge and skills were up to date.

Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire’s NUT representative said teachers in the area had shown dismay at the initial proposals.

National executive member for the NUT Simon Jones said: “The proposals are not really clear yet and it depends on the detail, but teachers have been a bit dismayed.

“The government is putting a great deal of pressure on teachers and it seems everyone is getting on the bandwagon. Members locally feel they are already well scrutinised, much more so than most other professions.

“Teachers are feeling quite demoralised by this approach. The Finnish system shows that a system where teachers are trusted, not scrutinised is far more effective.”

Headteacher Mark Jackson at Haslingden High School said the proposals were surprising.

He said: “It sounds highly impractical and there is no-one actually working in the world of education who feels this is a pressing issue.

“It is easier for headteachers than ever before to hold their staff to account. This would just be more bureaucracy to fall on them.

“It’s surprising they chose this issue, unless there is more to it in the fine detail. It has fallen thorough before due to a lack of support and it has little chance of getting that backing now.”

The proposals are similar to the plan for ‘classroom MOTs’ which were drawn up by the last Labour administration, but were abandoned before the 2010 general election.

The framework previously put forward by Ed Balls, the former schools secretary, would have seen teachers scrutinised every five years but the plans were criticised by unions.

Mr Hunt has not given details on how often teachers would need to be re-licensed under his system, and said he would seek to discuss the policy with professional bodies in the near future.

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