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British & Irish Residents
Improving poor teachers would transform England's education performance to be among the best in the world -
April 28, 2012
"English schools could improve their low position in international league tables in Reading and Mathematics and become one of the top five education performers in the world within 10 years if the performance of the country’s least effective teachers was brought up to the national average according to new research published today by the Sutton Trust. The review of evidence, undertaken by leading education economists at the London School of Economics and Stanford University, reveals that for poor pupils in particular the difference between having a highly effective teacher and a poorly performing teacher is a whole year’s learning. The report proposes major reforms to the performance and pay system for teachers, with assessment based on three core factors: improvement in results in the classroom, reviews by headteachers, and external appraisals. Other factors such as previous qualifications, previous experience, or years spent teaching should be given far less importance. Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Two thirds of school budgets are for the costs of teachers and the achievement of pupils is largely determined by the quality of teachers. So the single most important way to improve the UK’s international performance is to improve the quality of its 400,000 or so teachers. We believe that this can be achieved by giving teachers the right support, training and incentives and it is absolutely essential that this be carried forward.” The researchers (Richard Murphy and Stephen Machin from the LSE and Eric Hanushek from Stanford) conclude: “Bringing the lowest-performing 10% of teachers in the UK up to the average would greatly boost attainment and lead to a sharp improvement in the UK’s international ranking. In five years the UK’s rank amongst OECD countries could improve from 21st in Reading to as high as 7th, and from 22nd in Maths to as high as 12th. Over 10 years (the period a child is in the school system before the PISA examinations) the UK...
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