Further to my posting last week there have been 4 resignations from the teaching staff after results which did not fall in line with targets. Although in 3 cases there had been no indication of poor performance, and consequently no attempts to support it, the teachers felt it was better to leave than to face the harassment of the managers.
I repeat that I have no issues whatsoever with the removal of teachers who are demonstrably bad and who are damaging the life chances of young people. Nor would I have any compunction, as a manager myself, in dismissing chronically under-performing staff. After all, I may be a teacher but, more importantly, I am also father to 2 wonderful children. However, in the drive to increase GCSE results regardless of subject we are actually penalising certain subjects to the benefit of areas of study such as media, health and social care and sport. After all, there is a clear difference between a GCSE in French or Physics (hard and examination based) compared with the 4 GCSE equivalence BTEC Sport (easier and coursework based). Consequently, the latter meet targets much more easily while the former struggle to meet the unreliable benchmark that is set for them.
Of course, these problems disproportionately affect poorer areas, where young people are increasingly denied not only an academic curriculum but also the more intellectual teachers equipped to lead their aspirations. Whilst I do not decry the opportunity to study construction and hairdressing at school, I do lament the loss not only of the areas of discipline that allow poorer children to join the managerial classes, as well as the intellectual role models forced out by an insane targets system.