Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best - Education Committee Contents

6  Concluding remarks

122. This inquiry brought us into contact not just with a range of vital stakeholders across education, but with a significant number of teachers and learners from a range of schools and training backgrounds. Throughout our inquiry, we have been struck by the incredible passion, expertise and skill of the vast majority of teachers, and by the commitment with which they tackle a vital and often challenging role in society.

123. We know that the Government agrees with us, and were delighted to hear the Schools Minister reiterate, in his evidence to us, his belief in the "very highly professional and competent teaching profession that we have in this country", and our good fortune in that.[217] During our inquiry, however, we were concerned to note that many teachers would not recommend the profession to their own students. We also note Sir Peter Lampl's admission that, when he was in business finance and not involved with education, he "had a pretty negative view of teachers, as a lot of people in that world do".[218] We agree with Sir Peter that, above and beyond improvements which need to be made, most teachers are in fact "public servants doing a great job",[219] and we urge the Government to consider how best it might continue to engage non-education sectors with the fantastic and inspiring work which goes on in many classrooms around the country. We similarly urge the Government to continue championing the work done by teachers up and down the country—not least through shadowing some of them, which the Secretary of State has committed to doing[220]—and to sell the many benefits and rewards of the profession to the brightest and best candidates.

124. Our inquiry made clear that, whilst the majority of teachers are strong, the comparative impact on society of the best and worst teachers is dramatic. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to state with confidence that raising the quality of teaching yet higher will have profound consequences for pupils' attainment and progress, and subsequently for their adult lives and the contributions they make to society. There is, therefore, a moral imperative to improve teaching even further, and to ensure that there is no place for bad teachers in our system (particularly considering their disproportionate impact on students who are already from disadvantaged backgrounds).

217   Q 758 (Nick Gibb MP) Back

218   Q 139 Back

219   IdemBack

220   See Q 158, evidence before the Education Committee, 31 January 2012 Back

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