Letters extra: why the GTC lacks credibility

10th August 2001 at 01:00

Your correspondent, Matin Scotchmer (July 27), talks of being depressed by the attitude of the National Union of Teachers towards the General Teaching Council and says he has "no union axe to grind".

His 26 years' experience do not appear to have made him aware that the teachers' unions are the only bodies (outside subject associations) which can claim to express collective opinion within the profession and which provide credible and democratic means for teachers to voice their feelings.

In the same issue, another correspondent, Sashi Siva, explains that hisher reason for becoming a member of the GTC was to make a change to the conditions of teachers' service. This, surely, is the task of the teachers' unions and not the GTC, whose primary task is to control entry into the profession and maintain standards.

Finally, Carol Adams stresses (again in the July 27 issue) that the majority of members are teachers and that by (her) implication they speak for the profession. Sadly, many do not accept this, particularly those who experienced the nonsense of the voting procedures. As it stands, only those who have been voted or nominated on to the GTC via union support have any identifiable credentials. Until there is a more reasonable electoral procedure in place this will remain the case and the GTC will continue to fail in its attempts to win credibility.

WJ Walder
Chartham,
Canterbury

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