No lapdogs here

30th April 2004 at 01:00
As a newly-elected member of England's General Teaching Council I wish to reply to Philip Delnon. He suggests that the GTC is a government poodle and that many of us are merely union lapdogs. I certainly do not consider myself to be either. I stood for election as a primary teacher because I care deeply about education and the issues, which affect our jobs today.

For example, I believe it is particularly important that we take action to stop young teachers leaving the profession and that key stage 1 and 2 assessment is not used for political posturing but ensures children receive a broad and balanced education. The beauty of the GTC is that it allows practising teachers' views to be heard on these issues through the advice it offers the Government.

Its presence ensures that practising teachers, rather than civil servants, use their experience and expertise when dealing with members of the profession who require a disciplinary hearing. We often complain that we are not treated as professionals but the GTC's regulatory responsibilities are important in raising our professional standing and bring us into line with the other major professions.

I can assure the many teachers who voted for me that I will not let them down. I would never make their voice less significant by suggesting the GTC's abolition.

David Storrie Weston Park junior school Weston Lane Woolston Southampton

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