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Letters Extra: Defending the General Teaching Council

I read your editorial comment ( TES January 30, 2004) in which you dismissed the General Teaching Council as rarely making itself heard and doing little beyond reporting its disciplinary hearings, with considerable concern.

In my experience this is simply not the case. The General Teaching Council has taken a lead in a number of important initiatives focused on the development of the teaching profession. The production of its Professional Learning Framework has made a significant contribution to our understanding of continuing professional development. This framework has directly influenced Government CPD strategy and, through the GTC's current work with LEAs throughout the country, has helped to model practice in schools. This is now being disseminated by LEAs and teachers in regional conferences.

The GTC's current work on school self evaluation is also set to make a valuable input into the important debate about the development of an "intelligent accountability" where teachers and schools have ownership.

These initiatives have been driven by teachers working collaboratively with the GTC, and it is important that TES readers are aware of other voices that are not so cavalierly dismissive of a Council striving to make a positive difference to the professional lives of those it represents. Graham Handscomb
Principal Adviser
Essex LEA

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