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With one voice;Leading Article

THIS WEEK sees the emergence of a new authority in the world of education with the appointment of Shropshire's education chief, Carol Adams, as chief executive of the

General Teaching Council. Her role will be to play midwife to a brand new body which, if we are to believe ministers, will provide a strong, united voice for teachers, speaking up for the profession and maintaining its standards. This will be no easy task.

For one thing, she will have to overcome the widespread doubts of a profession which has grown wearily accustomed to its advice being shunned. The early disasters of the national curriculum, 10 years old next month, is just one example of what can go wrong if professional expertise is ignored.

Ms Adams must act quickly to establish the GTC's credibility as an independent professional voice, able to provide forthright advice on the big educational issues of the day. We must wait until next year to discover what the new body will have to say on standards, teaching methods, performance-related pay and the like. Meanwhile, the new chief executive could make a start by persuading ministers to waive the pound;20 annual subscription fee until teachers can see for themselves that the GTC really does speak for them.

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