Give fledgling teaching council a chance to fly

12th January 2001 at 00:00
AS a member of the General Teaching Council I read with interest the letters of D Lumley and Kay Driver (TES, December 29). I agree that there is much about the GTC which can be criticised and would not wish to stifle any constructive criticism.

It is, after all, only through listening to and reflecting the views of teachers that the council will become an effective professional body. I feel a little uneasy about some of the statutory constraints within which we operate, but strongly believe that these relatively minor quibbles are far outweighed by the huge potential for the council to do good.

In providing a national voice and involving teachers (admittedly in conjunction with others) in the regulation of the profession the council represents a great step forward. Change and central regulation within education are fact of life which are not going to go away, and we at least provide a vehicle through which future changes may be influenced positively by teachers. This has got to be better than when changes were often simply imposed on schools with seemingly little or no effective consultation.

The GTC is at a very early stage in its development and faces many challenges, but it would be sad if an understandably change-weary profession were to waste this long-overdue opportunity by endlessly highlighting its imperfections rather than taking advantage of the real chances which exist to shape the fledgling organisation.

To this end I would recommend a visit to the GTC website at, where opportunities exist to express view on a range of educational issues.

Andy Barker 43 Stanhope Close Snape Saxmundham, Suffolk

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