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Sutton Trust report on improving poor teachers: the NCETM calls for a higher emphasis on continuing professional development

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Last updated 16 September 2011 by ncetm_administrator
The Sutton Trust today published an interim report outlining a number of steps to improve teacher performance. The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) agrees that improving teacher performance is key to increasing the mathematical attainment of our pupils. However, it is disappointed that this interim report concentrates mainly on the recruitment, salary, and job terms and conditions including dismissal, rather than on the professional development required to move current teachers from being 'average' to 'very effective'.
The NCETM also believes that professional development is essential even for those identified as effective at the recruitment and training stages, not only to develop their teaching but also because this contributes to retaining good teachers, and recommends that all teachers are required to partake in professional development throughout their career.
Professor Celia Hoyles, Director of the NCETM, commented that "Teachers benefit from professional development relevant to their particular interest and needs throughout their career. To concentrate simply on rewarding or punishing teachers could remove the opportunity for professional development that stimulates, that motivates, and that results in a deeper understanding of what it is to teach mathematics. We believe this professional development benefits from being research led, benefits from supporting a range of models, and benefits from being collaborative. The NCETM looks forward to being able to support the Sutton Trust in its future work on this issue and in its important work to combat educational inequality, an aspiration the NCETM fully supports."

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