A letter has just been sent to all teachers at this school from the education human resources department of Sheffield City Council, entitled "General Teaching Council - payment of registration fee".
I have been uneasy about the GTC from the start because of the compulsory membership. This impression is confirmed by the latest communication, from which I quote:
"If you are not already registered with the GTC you must do so immediately ... failure to register within the agreed timescales could result in the termination of employment".
* I am not familiar with a "democracy" which speaks in these terms to members of its "free" community;
* I have been teaching for over 25 years and work as hard as it is possible for anyone to work in pursuit of assuring success for every pupil in my care;
* There have been no applicants for several teaching posts advertised by schools in Sheffield. Now the GTC is speaking about terminating employment;
* If we look beyond the superficial arrangement to pay into our wages the pound;30 membership fee, we can work out that this is coming out of the nation's tax payments - so I am still paying that money out of my own wages, at one step removed;
* I do not know any colleagues who have benefited from any of the projects described in the thousands of glossy brochures (which I assume our fees paid for).
What is it all for? Why must I contemplate losing my job?
Head of English Ecclesfield school Ecclesfield Sheffield