Council needs its independence

29th December 2000 at 00:00
IS the GTC, the Government's Teaching Council or even Grandson of TUC?

The GTC should be a professional, not a trade union body. It was inappropriate for three unions to nominate a joint slate of TUC-affiliated candidates in the elections. Links between the GTC and TUC are not desirable.

It was also wrong that heads stood in the election for teachers of junior pupils (one without revealing she was a head). Their victory, along with David Blunkett's subsequent nominations, means that the GTC is skewed, with management over-reprsented.

A 64-member council, on which teachers have a majority of only four, and on which the Secretary of State has 13 appointees, is far from the GTC the profession envisaged. Is it right that teachers should foot the bill when 30 of the 64 members are not elected by teachers and represent other groups?

If it is to succeed, the GTC must be an independent, professional body for teachers. It should not be dominated by political appointees.

Kay Driver General secretary, Professional Association of Teachers Derby

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