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Letters Extra: Press coverage of GTC is unrepresentative

Could the low esteem in which the GTC is apparently held by the teaching profession (Opinion, January 30) have as much to do with the way the Council's work is reported as with what it actually does?

While press coverage concentrates on disciplinary hearings and the mechanics of its funding arrangements, my personal experience of the GTC as a deputy head in a Kent secondary school is of a small but vibrant organisation committed to listening to the profession and to stimulating wide-ranging debate on important and pressing educational issues.

I am fortunate to have taken part in two national conferences organised by the GTC over the last 18 months. In both cases academics, policy makers and teachers came together to debate crucial issues in a spirit of mutual respect, equality and open enquiry.

I believe that the GTC offers the teaching profession a real opportunity to find and articulate its collective voice through these national and reginal conferences, and also through its active promotion of research-based practice in our schools.

The comparison you make between the GTC and teacher unions is unfair and misleading: their respective remits are quite different. If we are to build an education service for the 21st century of which we can be truly proud, we need the Council's support in bringing together different stakeholder voices in the search for common ground and a shared vision of the future. Gary Holden (Dr) Maidstone

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