Parental voice concern;Letter

29th October 1999 at 01:00
JUDITH GILLESPIE'S reaction against our involvement in education policy (TESS, October 22) seems to be based on an outdated idea that consumers are only relevant and welcome in the private market place. Public policy has moved on considerably from the old days when providers of services knew best.

Consumers in education are those who make decisions about their own or their children's education. To do this effectively, they need accurate and relevant information and advice, quick redress when things go wrong, and to have a voice when decisions are being made.

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council already plays a valuable role in bringing teachers and parents together. However, there remains, quite rightly, a powerful and separate voice for the teacher interest. We are working to develop an independent national parents' body, to bring greater balance to the education debate.

We are working closely with other organisations, including the Scottish School Board Association, who realise that a parental voice would improve the policy debate generally and assist many parents and their children.

Our particular concern was the proposal to have only one parent place on the 49-strong General Teaching Council for Scotland. We remain convinced this is wholly inappropriate and would like to think that many parent members of the SPTC would agree with us.

Martyn Evans Director, Scottish Consumer Council Royal Exchange House Queen Street Glasgow

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