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Deal on probation 'will be honoured'

JACK McConnell took issue with GTC criticism of what it believes are secret plans to ditch part of the McCrone agreement on probationers. The council fears they might be appointed to fill existing vacancies.

It was important that probationers were not used for job substitution, Mr McConnell said. "Stability in the probationary period is absolutely crucial."

He pledged: "There is no dubiety. The agreement has been reached and the agreement will be honoured."

Matthew Maciver, the GTC's incoming registrar, gave notice that he would expct the council to be the "independent and balanced voice of the profession". The council will acquire new powers within the next couple of years over teacher incompetence as well as misconduct.

"But we have to be more proactive than ever before in pursuing the issues which the minister had raised, engage with the political process as never before and go to ministers with answers not questions," Mr Maciver said.

"This will be crucial if we are to shape the teaching profession, not just maintaining standards but enhancing them."

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