Professionals do not need these rules

13th February 2004 at 00:00
Is teaching a profession or just a job?

The TES reports that the General Teaching Council for England's code of conduct sets out 17 rules and is "An insult to teachers" (TES, January 30).

I am sure that who teach will agree. That is, those who believe that teaching is a profession and not just a job. There seems to have been a concerted effort to take away that label for some time with, unfortunately, the help of the media.

In the same article the GTCE is cited as failing to command the respect of teachers and MPs alike. In its first years the GTCE has not made the impact it should have and has on a number of occasions tackled issues, that some think, are beyond its remit.

While I am happy that the GTCE has identified 17 points to which teachers should aspire, if it insist on making them rules then we become less than professionals and the argument for opting out of the European working hours directives and other similar restrictions becomes less tenable.

If those in teaching are to benefit from having a council then a greater level of involvement is needed from everyone whether on the council or not.

The challenge is to let the council know what the profession wants.

If you are unhappy with the way the council is run then vote for new representatives to the council and make your voice heard. If you want to remain a professional then voice your opinion in whatever way you can.

I would encourage my fellow professionals to use their vote in the upcoming elections as a first step in making the most of the GTCE.

Nigel P Henry 16 Soames Close Stowmarket, Suffolk

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