Last thoughts as GTC enters the final stretch

22nd October 2010 at 01:00

Stephen Pollard's opinion piece on the General Teaching Council ("Save England's GTC? It's useless at getting rid of bad apples", October 15) makes abundantly clear the need for an independent body to champion the professionalism of teaching - if only to counterbalance the ill-informed bile of those who are threatened by it.

Membership of the GTC is not voluntary. It is funded almost entirely by teachers' subscriptions. Its chief executive has made no comment in justification or otherwise of its continued existence.

His assertion that GTC policies are dominated by the teacher unions indicate he can never have attended a council meeting or read a GTC policy paper. Because it is a teaching council, rather than a teachers' council, it has scrupulously appraised evidence drawn from pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers, unions, stakeholder groups and academic research. Pupil voice and accountability to parents have been at the heart of much of its recent work.

In the Teacher Learning Academy, it has created a means for improvement in practice which has already benefited some 20,000 teachers. And, yes, many of them are, indeed, wonderful.

Tony Neal, Chair of policy and research, GTC England, Lincolnshire.

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