There were fears this week of the impact of the Government’s latest education initiative on teacher recruitment.
Education Secretary David Blunkett wants all schools to have a quarter of their pupils achieving five good GCSEs by 2006.
If the number falls below 25 per cent, he says, new management will be brought in to raise standards.
Teaching, like social work and nursing, is currently facing a recruitment crisis. A recent survey found half of England’s teachers expect to quit within 10 years.
But the announcement has alarmed teaching organisations and unions which claim pupils’ exam results are not dependent on teaching quality alone.
They say the difficulty teachers face in raising achievement levels in deprived areas cannot be ignored.
John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said he fears the targets will make it even more difficult for schools with poor exam results to recruit good teachers.