Under new plans, head teachers across the UK's state schools will be taught how to identify and re-train teachers who struggle the most in lessons. They'll also have the power to sack the chronically poor performing staff, writes Graeme Paton at the Telegraph.
This comes after a damning Ofsted report that claimed that teaching in the UK was not currently good enough in more than four in ten schools. The report claimed that the quality of lessons was "still too variable" in many classrooms, adding that dull lessons often led to declining standards of discipline among pupils.
The Department of Education wants to put the best staff in charge of schools and give heads more freedom, stating that the qualification should act as a "gold standard" to mark out the very best young heads rather than a requirement for all senior staff. The new measures will focus on strategies to promote good behavior in the classroom, including the importance of proper uniform policies and a clear system of rewards and sanctions.
Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, said:
"The highest-performing education systems are those where Government knows when to step back and let heads get on with running their schools.
"Our reforms are centred on giving great head teachers the skills they need and the professional autonomy to make a difference to thousands of young lives."
But Head teachers' leaders condemned the move, saying it would undermine the status of school leaders.
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
"We regret that the government is making this qualification optional at a time when there has never been such great need for highly trained school leaders. In this new context, it will be important that this qualification continues to be sought after by appointment panels so that it remains the qualification of choice."
"Reviewing the content of NPQH makes sense in the changing context of the education system over the last 18 months, but it is essential that the qualification continues to be relevant for all leaders in all types of schools."
Under the proposals, new candidates must pass five modules. Three of the proposals – focusing on leading pupil behavior, developing leadership skills and managing teacher performance – will be compulsory.
There will be a compulsory sponsorship system for candidates through the program, whose progress will be monitored by their line managers. Trainee heads will be required to complete a school-based assignment and a minimum of nine days on a placement.
Changes will be implemented for new candidates in September 2012.