Teachers face being barred from the classroom for failing to uphold “British values” and proper discipline under rigorous new professional standards for schools.
For the first time, staff are told they could be struck off for showing intolerance towards pupils with other faiths and beliefs.
Teachers in England are warned against staging lessons that undermine “fundamental” values such as the rule of law, democracy and individual liberty.
The move is designed to make it easier for heads to sack teachers who are members of the British National Party or those with extremist Islamic beliefs.
It follows comments from Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, that membership of far-right groups was incompatible with the duty to “shape young minds”.
Under new guidelines, staff will also be told to take responsibility for promoting “good and courteous behaviour” among children in lessons and around the school.
In a further move, the standards – being introduced in 2012 – place a renewed emphasis on teachers’ subject knowledge, suggesting staff should uphold high standards of “literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English” at all times.
It represents an attempt to establish clear boundaries for staff in all state schools and weed out poor teachers failing to achieve basic skill-levels.
The slimmed-down rules focus on just eight key areas of teaching – and one section focusing on personal and professional conduct – as opposed to more than 100 separate standards introduced by Labour.
Mr Gove insisted the previous system placed a premium on “bland statements and platitudes”, covering areas such as communicating with colleagues, promoting wellbeing and establishing a safe learning environment.
The new standards will have “real teeth”, he said, adding: “They set clear expectations about the skills that every teacher in our schools should demonstrate. They will make a significant improvement to teaching by ensuring teachers can focus on the skills that matter most.”
Just 1.5 per cent of student teachers fail to satisfy the current standards during training and fewer than 20 teachers have been struck off in the last decade for incompetence.
New standards – covering just four pages – set out the key skills that each trainee must satisfy to win qualified teacher status and then remain in the classroom.
As part of the new guidelines, staff must set high expectations of pupils, demonstrate good subject knowledge, plan and teach well-structured lessons, promote good progress among pupils, adapt their teaching to children’s different needs, make good use of assessment, manage behaviour and fulfil their wider responsibilities to school life.
Under behaviour, teachers are told to establish “clear rules and routines” and promote “good and courteous” manners among pupils. The section on subject knowledge says staff must have decent standards of written English – whatever the teacher’s subject specialism.
Beyond teaching, the guidance says staff "must not undermine fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs".
It comes after a teacher and BNP member was cleared of religious intolerance last year by the General Teaching Council - the profession's regulatory body - despite using a school laptop to describe some immigrants as "filth" on a website.
The National Association of Head Teachers welcomed the document, saying the standards were “clear, concise and relevant”.
But Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, said the rules underline “the punitive mind set this Coalition has towards teachers”.
“The new standards are vague, poorly drafted, lack clarity, are open to wide interpretation, will breed confusion and uncertainty and will simply serve as a stick with which to beat teachers,” she said.