Best Practice

Handling issues of competency

Issues of poor staff discipline or competency can be challenging for school leaders to deal with appropriately. John Rutter offers some advice for getting it right

It is unlikely that any school leader who spends a reasonable amount of time in a senior management role will escape, at some point, a disciplinary investigation into one of the teachers on their staff.

These investigations may come about because of any number of different circumstances. Some will be fairly straightforward to deal with – inappropriate advances towards a pupil, turning up drunk to a lesson or punching a parent will almost invariably result in suspension pending dismissal and a referral (in Scotland) to a Fitness to Teach panel.

In most of these cases the result would be removal from the teaching register. Indeed, there would have to be some pretty extreme mitigating circumstances for this not to happen.

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