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Bad timing

It was not the most brilliant timing for the General Teaching Council for Scotland. On the day after the Shipman verdict which, among other things, revealed the General Medical Council to have been rather, er, tardy when it came to halting his murderous spree, the GMC was being held up as a model for the GTC.

The GTC was putting in a plea to the Parliament's education committee for stronger powers to get rid of incompetent teachers and to ensure teachers' skills were kept up to the mark. This seemed to mean the council wanted the education authorities by-passed and for anybody to be able to complain to it directly aout poor teachers - just like the GMC can take action on medical complaints, in fact. Well, maybe not exactly like the GMC.

We realise, on this page, that the GTC would never ignore serious issues as the GMC is alleged to have done. Its members are ever alert to weaknesses. Gordon Kirk, the GTC's vice-convener, told the committee that the Deloitte Touche review of its activities had concluded that full powers over teachers' continuous professional development would be too "labour intensive" for the council. "They even forgot the hyphen," Kirk noted scornfully.

The profession is indeed in safe hands.

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