I recently read an article in the Herald, by Andrew Denholm, Education Correspondent. It seems that the Scottish Council of Economic Advisors (SCEA) has reported a series of measures to “to improve the quality of education in Scottish schools in cost-effective ways”.

In a nutshell, incompetent teachers should be sacked using a performance management system, similar to those employed in the business world. In June, The Herald revealed that  just two of Scotland’s 52,000 teachers have been sacked for incompetence in the past three years.

“The quality of teachers must be measured, good teachers must be recognised and rewarded and ineffective teachers must leave the profession,” the report adds.

In the case that you’ve never heard of the SCEA, The Council essentially has three priorities:

  • Advise the First Minister directly about the best way to improve Scotland’s sustainable economic growth;
  • Have quarterly meetings following the publication of the quarterly growth figures;
  • Publish an annual report providing expert commentary on the Scottish economy.

The unions and other prominent organisations, including the GTCS, insist that there are already vigourous systems in place to ensure that those teaching the next generation are of the highest calibre, and that education in Scotland is regarded internationally as one of the best.

I wonder, just what impact such an appraisal may have on the front line? I recall, not that long ago, a number of stats being published in the USA, forcing several close colleagues to fear for their lives (not literally, of course).

I’m going to remain impartial here (see my boring disclaimer). Remember, this is simply an advisory note – not policy.

Here’s a link to Andrew’s article; have a read and if you’re interested, dig a bit deeper for detail. I’ll leave the opinion’s to you guys… Pros and Cons of Performance Monitoring… would it drive standards or is it best left alone?


Posted by Lee Dunn

Academic Staff University of Glasgow and Author of Science Fiction


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