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GTC can boost professional status

Teachers are consistently found to be one of the professional groups most trusted by the public ("Parity of status", Letters, TES, November 7). But the General Teaching Council wants to see this public trust converted to real understanding and support for teachers by parents and the public, and greater freedom for teachers to exercise their professional judgment.

We are embarking on a programme of work which over the next four years seeks to secure a new vision for teaching and for children and young people, and to support the highest standards among our highly skilled and dedicated profession.

Our Teacher Learning Academy will become a national system that helps teachers to develop their professional expertise throughout their careers. And we will be promoting teaching as an evidence-based profession.

We need to ensure that registration and regulation really boost public confidence in teachers, and we will be consulting widely on a code of conduct and practice to capture the profession's shared values and expectations.

As the organisation that works with all major education interest groups - but is independent from them - we hope we are well placed to lead a public debate about teaching. A wider and deeper understanding about what teachers do would give schools and teachers more freedom to innovate and lead creative developments in learning.

Keith Bartley, Chief executive, General Teaching Council for England.

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