Figures released in a report yesterday by the National Centre for Social Research show many councils are failing to report incompetent teachers – despite this being a legal duty.

The Independent note that Chris Woodhead and Sir Cyril Taylor have estimated that there are up to 20,000 incompetent teachers in schools – which would equate to 130 per authority. Where there is clear evidence a council is supposed to refer the teacher to the General Teaching Council – which then holds a hearing to decide whether or not they should be allowed to continue in the profession or be struck off. The GTC say there has been some rise in referrals recently.

There are half a million teachers in England. In the last nine years only 13 teachers have been struck off. Among the councils that he not made a single referral in the last 10 years are Hackney, Haringey and Islington. Should we conclude that all their teachers are fine?