Poorly performing teachers will face the sack from schools within a term instead of the year it tends to take, the Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced. A teachers’ union has branded the plans “unfair, unjust and unworkable”.

Gove also said he would prevent teachers being able to delay disciplinary proceedings by going on long-term sick leave with full pay by allowing schools to hold hearings during this time. Also, school heads will be able to access performance data before taking on a teacher to check their level of competence.

The Department for Education (DfE) claimed that it would tear up roughly 60 pages of guidance for schools and simplify how teachers are managed.

Gove said: “Heads and teachers want a simpler and faster system to deal with teachers who are struggling. For far too long schools have been trapped in complex red tape. We must deal with this problem in order to protect the interests of children who suffer when struggling teachers are neither helped nor removed. Schools must be given the responsibility to deal with this fairly and quickly.”

However, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said that proposals to merge the regulations for managing teachers’ performance and objectives with those dealing with under-performing teachers were unfair, unjust and unworkable.

“The proposals turn performance management on its head,” she said. “Instead of helping teachers become even better at teaching it will give heads an easy way to get rid of teachers that they dislike. We do not believe that the capability procedures to deal with under-performing teachers are too complex. The real problem is that the measures are often badly managed by schools. We question why the government has not yet discussed any changes with the teaching unions to ensure any new measures take account of the experience of both teachers and school heads to make sure they are workable.”