Better the devil we knew: GTC axe hurts us all

5th August 2011 at 01:00

While I welcome the fact that Gerard Kelly has at last seen the light with regard to the General Teaching Council for England ("Few mourned passing of GTC", 29 July), it comes rather late.

Voice has always supported the concept of a professional body for teachers and has been making many of the points Mr Kelly uses in his editorial since education secretary Michael Gove's premature and knee-jerk announcement of the GTC's abolition.

The GTC was not a "possible rival" to the unions and they are not the ones responsible for "nobbling it" - the secretary of state did that. However, Mr Kelly is right that we should "allow teachers to have an independent body of their own".

The GTC was not the most popular organisation, and there was a case for slimming it down, but abolishing it diminishes the profession.

If teaching is to be regarded as a true profession in its own right it needs the oversight of an independent regulatory body. Other professions, such as medicine, have professional bodies. All the nations of the UK currently have general teaching councils, so why not teachers in England?

The GTC's abolition means that there will be no teacher registration and teacher regulation will no longer have graded sanctions - you'll either be banned or not banned.

The person who will ultimately decide on that will be a politician - the secretary of state.

Philip Parkin, General secretary, Voice.

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