Draft guide urges respect

28th October 2005 at 01:00
Members of the General Teaching Council for Wales have welcomed a draft good-practice guide for teachers as useful advice for NQTs.

The council's proposed Professionalism in Practice leaflet advises staff against personal contact with pupils by text messaging and email, and warns teachers to exercise caution when using the internet.

It says that teachers should:

* ensure relationships with pupils are based on mutual trust and respect.

Innocent comments or contact between them could be misconstrued; l"refrain from swearing at pupils, using offensive names or from making remarks about their race, religion, sexual orientation, language or special needs";

* support and co-operate with colleagues to maintain effective professional relationships and strive to conduct themselves with integrity.

Furthermore, teachers should not:

* indulge in inappropriate workplace banter or practical jokes which could be perceived as unprofessional or as harassment;

* fiddle their travel expenses.

Suzanne Nantcurvis, a Denbighshire secondary teacher, said: "Trainee teachers like to know what they should and shouldn't do. They want those lines drawn. You can't take offence at it being negative, because it's there to help."

But Frank Bonello, a teacher from a Rhondda Cynon Taf secondary school, said: "I'm wondering whether teachers themselves will view it as a great document. It reads almost as a disciplinary code and 'this is what they can get you on'."

The proposed leaflet will be further discussed by the GTCW's registration committee before returning to the council in January.

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