Teaching unions clashed with ministers on Friday over plans to let state schools in England sack underperforming teachers after just a term, the AFP reports. The changes would allow staff to be removed from the classroom after nine weeks rather than the current minimum of 24 weeks, although it often takes far longer. The leader of the biggest teaching union said the tougher regime, due to start in September, could end up as a "bully's charter".

"The changes to the appraisal and capability policies will rightly be seen by teachers as an attack on their professionalism," said Christine Blower, general secretary...

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staff and wire services reports