Head speaks out on dunce teachers

The Argus: Head speaks out on dunce teachers Head speaks out on dunce teachers

A headmaster has revealed a list of “semi-literate” applications from teachers hoping to land a job at his leading public school.

Richard Cairns, of Brighton College, said some of the applications sent by serving teachers were “really worrying”.

One candidate said he liked to “see a student bossom”, another gave his date of birth as 1053 and described over two pages his experience flying a single-engined plane.

Mr Cairns was also addressed as “Dear Mr Richard” by one person and as “Dear Cairns” by another.

As well as the CVs and covering letters littered with errors, Mr Cairns also revealed the low standard of academic qualifications some teachers had.

He said: “When you look at their qualifications, they have Cs, Ds and Es at A-level and third-class degrees from not very reputable universities.

“You have people trying to teach the basics to children when they do not themselves have a grasp of the basics.”

Mr Cairns said there was a “lost generation” of teachers aged between 25 and 40.

He has now called for the Government to set tough minimum standards for teachers to pass before they can enter the classroom.

“Ministers need to decree that teachers need a minimum of three Bs at A-level and an upper second-class degree in their subject before they are allowed to teach, ” he said.

Of the 50 applications Mr Cairns received for the post of assistant headteacher, 30 were from state school candidates, and 12 were “semi-literate”, he said.

“These are serving teachers and this is really worrying, ” he said.

Only one state school teacher made the final shortlist, and he was not appointed.

Earlier this year Mr Cairns said schools should follow in his prestigious college’s footsteps and allow pupils to rate their teachers.

The headmaster told a con- ference that pupils should be given the chance to rate their lessons to help deal with under-performance in the classroom.

Some examples from applications sent to Mr Cairns

"I like to see a student bossom"

Date of birth: 1053

"Dear Mr Richard"

"Dear Cairns"

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:38am Tue 10 Dec 13

Baldseagull says...

I wonder if the failed applicants all got jobs at the Argus?
I wonder if the failed applicants all got jobs at the Argus? Baldseagull

8:41am Tue 10 Dec 13

Al Bion says...

It sounds quite likely when they use words such as "con- ference".
It sounds quite likely when they use words such as "con- ference". Al Bion

8:43am Tue 10 Dec 13

LongDistanceRunner2 says...

What a beautifully smug photo to accompany the advert for the school.
What a beautifully smug photo to accompany the advert for the school. LongDistanceRunner2

9:37am Tue 10 Dec 13

GeorgeBTN says...

This might be a concern I don't really know. However aren't private school and free schools able to appoint teachers without qualifications? How does this fit in with this headteacher saying that all teachers should should have top degrees? Do all the staff at his school have these high qualifications?
I think a.bigger problem are headteachers who have unrealistic expectations of teachers expecting them to work a long day and then take paperwork etc home in the evenings and at weekends. Many headteachers under pressure from governors and Ofsted are turning out to be poor leaders and managers lacking in any understanding of the difficulties teachers have with their workload. People are not attracted into teaching as a career as data and targets are the priority and not children.
This might be a concern I don't really know. However aren't private school and free schools able to appoint teachers without qualifications? How does this fit in with this headteacher saying that all teachers should should have top degrees? Do all the staff at his school have these high qualifications? I think a.bigger problem are headteachers who have unrealistic expectations of teachers expecting them to work a long day and then take paperwork etc home in the evenings and at weekends. Many headteachers under pressure from governors and Ofsted are turning out to be poor leaders and managers lacking in any understanding of the difficulties teachers have with their workload. People are not attracted into teaching as a career as data and targets are the priority and not children. GeorgeBTN

1:25pm Tue 10 Dec 13

fredaj says...

GeorgeBTN wrote:
This might be a concern I don't really know. However aren't private school and free schools able to appoint teachers without qualifications? How does this fit in with this headteacher saying that all teachers should should have top degrees? Do all the staff at his school have these high qualifications?
I think a.bigger problem are headteachers who have unrealistic expectations of teachers expecting them to work a long day and then take paperwork etc home in the evenings and at weekends. Many headteachers under pressure from governors and Ofsted are turning out to be poor leaders and managers lacking in any understanding of the difficulties teachers have with their workload. People are not attracted into teaching as a career as data and targets are the priority and not children.
Teachers teach from 9am to 3:30pm, with an hour for lunch, and have free periods thoughout the week. I do not call that a "long day".

So perhaps, if teachers really are doing their marking during the weekend though necessity rather than choice, they need to take some lessons in time management.

There is no excuse for a poor teacher except for excuses made for them by other people.
[quote][p][bold]GeorgeBTN[/bold] wrote: This might be a concern I don't really know. However aren't private school and free schools able to appoint teachers without qualifications? How does this fit in with this headteacher saying that all teachers should should have top degrees? Do all the staff at his school have these high qualifications? I think a.bigger problem are headteachers who have unrealistic expectations of teachers expecting them to work a long day and then take paperwork etc home in the evenings and at weekends. Many headteachers under pressure from governors and Ofsted are turning out to be poor leaders and managers lacking in any understanding of the difficulties teachers have with their workload. People are not attracted into teaching as a career as data and targets are the priority and not children.[/p][/quote]Teachers teach from 9am to 3:30pm, with an hour for lunch, and have free periods thoughout the week. I do not call that a "long day". So perhaps, if teachers really are doing their marking during the weekend though necessity rather than choice, they need to take some lessons in time management. There is no excuse for a poor teacher except for excuses made for them by other people. fredaj

2:02pm Tue 10 Dec 13

vivahate says...

What a surprise... The head of Brighton College turns out to be a smug tw@t.
What a surprise... The head of Brighton College turns out to be a smug tw@t. vivahate

4:21pm Tue 10 Dec 13

GeorgeBTN says...

I don't think fredja knows any primary school teachers. All the ones I know arrive at work between 7.30. - 8.00am and leave between 5.00 - 6.00pm. They do have time during their official hours for preparation, planning and assessment (just over 2hrs a week). Even with this time and working at evenings and at weekends it is almost impossible for them to keep up with the increasing demands of paperwork. Most teachers I know call Sundays 'planning day'. I know several teachers have left the profession because it is impossible to have any sort of family or social life. An enormous amount of pressure is put on teachers to ensure that the children achieve questionable academic targets so that the school 's overall data on progress looks good for Ofsted inspectors. The collection of this data linked to individual pupil targets in subjects taught takes a huge amount of time particularly as it has to be regularly updated. Teachers should be focussing on teaching. It's the same with many professions now. It's data, assessment, appraisal and paperwork first and people second. OK I know headteachers work hard too but many are out if touch, don't teach themselves, have little contact with the children and can spend all day in the office doing paperwork with little interruption . Compared to teachers their salaries are very good! And I agreed what a smug photo! Not an image I would want my headteacher to portray if I was a governor of that school.
I don't think fredja knows any primary school teachers. All the ones I know arrive at work between 7.30. - 8.00am and leave between 5.00 - 6.00pm. They do have time during their official hours for preparation, planning and assessment (just over 2hrs a week). Even with this time and working at evenings and at weekends it is almost impossible for them to keep up with the increasing demands of paperwork. Most teachers I know call Sundays 'planning day'. I know several teachers have left the profession because it is impossible to have any sort of family or social life. An enormous amount of pressure is put on teachers to ensure that the children achieve questionable academic targets so that the school 's overall data on progress looks good for Ofsted inspectors. The collection of this data linked to individual pupil targets in subjects taught takes a huge amount of time particularly as it has to be regularly updated. Teachers should be focussing on teaching. It's the same with many professions now. It's data, assessment, appraisal and paperwork first and people second. OK I know headteachers work hard too but many are out if touch, don't teach themselves, have little contact with the children and can spend all day in the office doing paperwork with little interruption . Compared to teachers their salaries are very good! And I agreed what a smug photo! Not an image I would want my headteacher to portray if I was a governor of that school. GeorgeBTN

5:29pm Tue 10 Dec 13

gheese77 says...

Baldseagull wrote:
I wonder if the failed applicants all got jobs at the Argus?
I doubt it they could actually write, however poorly
[quote][p][bold]Baldseagull[/bold] wrote: I wonder if the failed applicants all got jobs at the Argus?[/p][/quote]I doubt it they could actually write, however poorly gheese77

8:34pm Tue 10 Dec 13

PhilipArthur says...

Were my children still of school age, I'd definitely be sending them to brighton college rather than risking their education with those state school flunkies. Despite the obvious frailties of their comprehensive school teachers, my children had amazing good fortune - they all went to good universities and even managed to get good jobs...what a lucky escape.
Philip
Were my children still of school age, I'd definitely be sending them to brighton college rather than risking their education with those state school flunkies. Despite the obvious frailties of their comprehensive school teachers, my children had amazing good fortune - they all went to good universities and even managed to get good jobs...what a lucky escape. Philip PhilipArthur

11:49pm Tue 10 Dec 13

melee says...

What on earth have the hours teachers work got to do with whether or not they are able to spell or use proper grammar? The point is surely that they were able to enter the profession having attained only lacklustre results during their own education.
What on earth have the hours teachers work got to do with whether or not they are able to spell or use proper grammar? The point is surely that they were able to enter the profession having attained only lacklustre results during their own education. melee

12:01am Wed 11 Dec 13

tomdussek says...

As the vice-chair of governors at a state school, I am aware of the quality of teachers who apply for jobs. They are very highly qualified, and very capable - so much so, it's often very hard to choose between them. Mr. Cairns, presiding as he does over a school that is not required to employ proper teachers, will inevitably get applications from people who are not qualified for the job. What a shame he cannot make this fairly obvious connection, choosing instead to try and lecture the (proper) teaching profession based on the inadequate people he has to choose from. As Mr Cairns has sadly discovered, proper, grown-up teachers, who have the ability to teach children of all abilities (not just the very bright or those who are rich enough to *appear* very bright) tend to want to work in proper schools. What a shame he only gets to choose from applicants who clearly are not up to the task! Let's hope the beautiful new lampshades and designer wall coverings of the latest addition to the property portfolio of Brighton College will go some way to consoling the poor students who have to endure such below-par teaching.

Tom Dussek
As the vice-chair of governors at a state school, I am aware of the quality of teachers who apply for jobs. They are very highly qualified, and very capable - so much so, it's often very hard to choose between them. Mr. Cairns, presiding as he does over a school that is not required to employ proper teachers, will inevitably get applications from people who are not qualified for the job. What a shame he cannot make this fairly obvious connection, choosing instead to try and lecture the (proper) teaching profession based on the inadequate people he has to choose from. As Mr Cairns has sadly discovered, proper, grown-up teachers, who have the ability to teach children of all abilities (not just the very bright or those who are rich enough to *appear* very bright) tend to want to work in proper schools. What a shame he only gets to choose from applicants who clearly are not up to the task! Let's hope the beautiful new lampshades and designer wall coverings of the latest addition to the property portfolio of Brighton College will go some way to consoling the poor students who have to endure such below-par teaching. Tom Dussek tomdussek

3:08pm Wed 11 Dec 13

GeorgeBTN says...

Well the hours that teachers spend working and the commitment they have to the job has nothing to do with been able to spell and use proper grammar. I just wanted to put a good word in for teachers as everyone seems to slag them off! I totally agreed with Tom Dussek's comments above. I am totally opposed to private schools and the way they 'cream off' pupils. Look at the education system in Finland for the way forward!
Well the hours that teachers spend working and the commitment they have to the job has nothing to do with been able to spell and use proper grammar. I just wanted to put a good word in for teachers as everyone seems to slag them off! I totally agreed with Tom Dussek's comments above. I am totally opposed to private schools and the way they 'cream off' pupils. Look at the education system in Finland for the way forward! GeorgeBTN

8:26pm Wed 11 Dec 13

davenachfan says...

I strongly object to the us of the word 'dunce'. What century is The Argus in?
I agree that applicants should proof read their applications, whatever the job. As to the headteacher of Brighton College saying that all teachers should have an upper second class degree, that is nonsense.
I am a qualified teacher and have been teaching for over forty years.
I started teaching with a teaching qualification, did my BEd while working full time and am still teaching and still learning. I got a 2/2 honours degree.
I would not teach in the private sector, whatever they were paying.
I strongly object to the us of the word 'dunce'. What century is The Argus in? I agree that applicants should proof read their applications, whatever the job. As to the headteacher of Brighton College saying that all teachers should have an upper second class degree, that is nonsense. I am a qualified teacher and have been teaching for over forty years. I started teaching with a teaching qualification, did my BEd while working full time and am still teaching and still learning. I got a 2/2 honours degree. I would not teach in the private sector, whatever they were paying. davenachfan

6:13pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Mxk Mxk says...

a Dunce could work out that the little boy prince is just bitter that he heard City College Brighton and Hove were getting their funding. Oh a college that has many teachers and pupils educated in state schools. So now his throwing his toys out his pram. Trying to get some limelight because he has SOOOOOO many awards and thinks his got the X factor, Oh Mr Richards we see you bossom, your talking to the adults now
a Dunce could work out that the little boy prince is just bitter that he heard City College Brighton and Hove were getting their funding. Oh a college that has many teachers and pupils educated in state schools. So now his throwing his toys out his pram. Trying to get some limelight because he has SOOOOOO many awards and thinks his got the X factor, Oh Mr Richards we see you bossom, your talking to the adults now Mxk Mxk

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree