EDITOR’S COMMENT: Striking teachers should be observed 24/7

TO TEACH or not to teach – that appears to be the question for teachers at Dunston Primary School, who feel the need to down tools and walk out on their classrooms full of pupils.

Their issue is with plans to monitor their performance a little more closely, with additional performance assessments, and presumably feedback sessions.

I’m guessing the management, as any good management team should, is looking for best practice to spread around, and looking to pin-point those who need additional support and training.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well judging by the number of letters I’ve received on the subject –absolutely nothing. If you want to see the level of vitriol aimed at the teachers, log on to our Facebook page where you are pulling no punches in criticising those on the picket line.

People are puzzled as to why any employee would baulk at the prospect of having their boss look at their performance. It happens in every line of work, in every business across the world – in the private sector, that is.

It seems that those in the public sector think they should have a little more freedom to do as they please – well they don’t and they shouldn’t. If anything, there should be more scrutiny of these people, not less.

I should at this point declare that I am in fact married to a primary school teacher. She leaves the house at 6.30am, and returns at 6pm, so I know these guys work hard. She is a trained professional, so I know she’s capable. She achieved an ‘Outstanding’ accreditation when Ofsted inspected her work, so her ability is independently verified. She teaches some of the most deprived children in Britain, so she’s well challenged. I’ve no reason to believe any other teacher is any different. However, she says she doesn’t care who watches her, or when. She reckons CCTV observation cameras should be in every classroom, 24/7. So why the difference of opinion? Who is right?

by James Mitchinson, Editor