Head fighting GTC abolition urges teachers to join Welsh counterpart

15th October 2010 at 01:00

A head leading a protest against the planned abolition of England's General Teaching Council (GTC) has called for school workers to join the Welsh version of the disciplinary body to protect their jobs.

Peter Taylor said he feared teachers will be "deprofessionalised" if they loose their GTC and become just "civil servants".

He has encouraged colleagues to register in the principality, and even to attempt to set up their own body to replace the English council.

Mr Taylor, who runs Worth Primary in Stockport, Cheshire, has already tried to register with the GTCW but was told he does not qualify because of where he lives.

Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that he was shutting the GTC in the summer, and further details about when this will happen will be revealed to the council's staff next week.

Mr Taylor, who has travelled internationally during his career, said England's teachers will suffer if they don't have a professional body.

"I take my job very seriously, as all teachers do, and we are proud of our professionalism," he said. "We don't want to be civil servants, as teachers are regarded in some other European countries. Whatever Mr Gove says, I'm determined to keep my professionalism and to make sure teachers are not just regarded as Government employees.

"I value being a professional and without a professional body teachers will no longer be professional in a legal sense. I also think in a time of increased school autonomy it is important to regulate the profession to some degree."

Mr Taylor says he is not trying to make a party political point - and approves of other changes made by the new Government. He wants Mr Gove to "slim down" the GTC "rather than kill it off".

Nick Gibb, minister with responsibility for the school's workforce, will meet with GTC bosses on October 20 - the same day as the results of the public spending cuts are announced - to give them details about a replacement teachers' disciplinary body.

GTC vice chair Christine Green said: "I'm really heartened by and grateful for Mr Taylor's comments. As a practising teacher myself I too have grave concerns about the consequences for teaching of not having a professional body. Teachers and teaching play a vital and highly responsible role in society and deserve the same status as other professions.

"Professional registration provides an assurance to parents and the public of teachers' good standing and proper qualification for the job. Regulation is also an important safeguard, but must be carried out fairly and transparently for the teacher."

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