1. ITV Report

'Elite' teachers lack the local knowledge to help pupils

There are 'inherent dangers' in bringing elite teachers into struggling schools, Ellis argues Photo: Armin Weigel/DPA/Press Association Images

Nansi Ellis is the head of education policy and research at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

There are long-standing problems with recruiting and retaining teachers in rural areas, but parachuting in 'elite teachers' has some inherent dangers.

Teachers know the children and families in their areas. They know the local challenges that teachers who are 'parachuted' in would not. Good teachers form relationships with families; parachute teachers would be unlikely to have time to develop those.

Ellis fears teachers would lack local knowledge if they were 'parachuted' in Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Sir Michael Wilshaw also ignores the negative impact that this would have on staff who already work there. Nationally labelling teachers ‘rubbish’ or ‘no good’ is demoralising. Teachers wouldn't say that to children - they work with children’s strengths and help them to improve.

All teachers want opportunities to reflect on and improve what they are doing, but to be successful it has to be done in a supportive way. Of course there should be mechanisms where teachers can learn from and challenge each other.

Having a pool of teachers that headteachers can draw on to support the workforce could help, where teachers and heads have identified specific needs, if the support is maintained over time. But there needs to be continued support rather than bringing in a teacher for a couple of terms.

Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Rural vs inner-city

We have long known that some pupils in leafy suburbs, seaside towns and market towns face huge disadvantages.

Recent government policies have focused on helping inner-city schools and that has made a big difference, but that has resulted in schools in other areas getting less attention.

Even the best teaching can’t solve everything; poverty has an impact on all aspects of a child’s life. Many children and their families need extensive support from birth. But that is not to say that these children can't achieve or that we shouldn't be doing everything to help them.

Nansi Ellis is the head of education policy and research at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.