Humbug and technicalities

28th January 2000 at 00:00
ONE would expect that an organisation with a 100 per cent failure rate might want to examine its procedural arrangements. But not apparently the General Teaching Council, which recently lost another appeal against striking a teacher from its register.

The GTC registrar stated (TESS, January 14) that the council had nothing to learn from the case and that in fact no mistake had ever been made by the disciplinary committee in the 35-year history of the GTC. This despite the fact that the Lord President ruled the GTC proceedings as "profoundly flawed", a phrase which in layman's terms roughly corresponds to "kangaroo court".

In a desperate attempt at damage limitation the registrar then claimed the appellant was actally guilty and that the appeal was won on a mere technicality.

This is the sort of humbug we have had to endure from the establishment since Timothy Evans's posthumous pardon through to the release of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. "Technicalities" in these cases included falsifying witness statements, fabricating evidence and downright perjury, any or all of which seem to have occurred in the recent case overturned on appeal.

Before the GTC extends its remit to striking teachers off the register for incompetence it should examine its incompetence nearer to home. A little humility on the public relations front would not go amiss either.

Ewan Chalmers

Balgeddie Gardens, Glenrothes

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