Letters extra: Greater collaboration needed

30th April 2004 at 01:00

nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Teachers are represented by an array of organisations, including Unions and Professional Associations. A conclusion I have drawn regularly throughout my 32 years as a teacher, including 16 as a Head, has been that our disunity was a serious problem to the profession and a cause of our vulnerability.

We have suffered as a consequence of our inability to collaborate effectively: 9000 jobs advertised in last week's TES tells us something about the current state of recruitment and retention; this year's decision to freeze elements of teachers' pay pending consideration of an appropriate way to remunerate teachers gives an uncaring message.

I was disappointed to read a TES article and a subsequent letter in which it was reported that an elected member of the GTC had joined the Board in order to bring about its demise. I do hope that there are others like me who would want those involved to use their influence more positively. For once we have both a forum for teachers, public appointees and representatives of Unions, Governors, children, equality organisations, Local Government and HE, and an opportunity to collaborate and to reach a consensus; for once the stakeholder representatives will be required to be less parochial and less blinkered as they engage together as members of one Board.

There is no other organisation whose remit is to deal with the professionalism, training and career development of all teachers. Consequently, without the GTC I would have little optimism of seeing a transformation in the status of the profession - we'd just be back to where we were before. I feel sure that colleagues would agree that teachers should play a full and influential role in the shaping of their profession. It is for us to elect representatives to the GTC Board who can help to bring this about.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

Alan Roach
Headteacher
Chalvedon School and Sixth Form College
Essex

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