Sir Michael Wilshaw has claimed that teachers have no respect for authority and that many school leaders believe that they don’t have a right to manage them.
In a hard-hitting speech, Sir Michael said that headteachers are being “undermined by a pervasive resentment of all things managerial” by some teachers and this is hampering schools’ attempts to improve standards, The Independent reports.
“Too many teachers still think that school leaders do not have the right to tell them how to teach or what to do,” the chief inspector of schools claimed, “The staff room, in their minds, is just as capable of deciding the direction a school should take as the Senior Leadership Team.”
Teachers should also exert their authority and tell their pupils who is in charge: “There is nothing wrong in my view in saying to youngsters ‘do as I ask, because I am the adult – I am older than you – I know more than you and, by the way, I am in authority over you’”, he said.
However, faint-hearted heads also came in for a tongue lashing for being too concerned about offending staff: “They worry constantly about staff reaction….they seem to think they cannot act without their employees’ approval.” Sir Michael also wants them to come up with a vision for their school which is more than a ‘natty slogan’: “It’s pointless concocting grand plans if the school playground is in a mess, uniforms are slovenly, staff are too casual, children pay more attention to their mobile phones than to the teachers and the school reception has all the charm of the check-in desk at Ryanair.”
Did heads or teachers come off worse in Sir Michael’s criticisms – and was he right to make them? Share your thoughts with us!