Letters extra: not impressed by the General Teaching Council

27th July 2001 at 01:00

I am a secondary teacher with 30 years' experience. The idea of a General Teaching Council is something Inbsp;initially welcomed, although I had reservations about how it could meaningfully co-exist with existing professional associations. Sadly, my initial enthusiasm has been somewhat subdued by the GTC's draft professional code and attendance at a GTC-organised teachers' meeting in Leeds.

The meeting's main theme was recruitment and retention, a problem that has been obvious to many for some time. Even the emergence of the GTC appears to indicate the severity of the situation. Has it finally dawned on the powers above that for too long, "experts" with no real knowledge, or understanding ofnbsp;teaching, have had a negative influence? Do we now have some knowledgeable people addressing the issues?

Well, if the Leeds meeting was anything to go by, the GTC is simply more of the same that has brought us to our current state. The rehearsed road show had annbsp;atmosphere of media training and associated qualifications. The script did not permit anyone to provide the GTC view on disruptive pupils. Staff at my school were looking for at least a response. Maybe it's a "no go" area, perhaps indicating a less than independent position, or could it have just been plain ignorance?

Confidence in the GTC was not helped when one senior member stated that some solutions to our ills "don't cost money, only time." The mind does more than boggle considering the person's headship status. Talk about remote from reality.

Sorry, but the GTC seriously failed to impress, although one obvious benefit must be considered. Its members are probably not losing site of CV enhancement due to their involvement.

John Procter

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