Road closed

18th February 2000 at 00:00
USUALLY if I snort when reading The TES Scotland it is because a minister or inspector has said something spectacularly stupid. But the snort I emitted last weekend was one of disbelief in the naivety of some candidates for the first General Teaching Council elections south of the border.

These innocents are reported (TESS, February 11) to be upset that the teacher unions are running their own slates of candidates and encouraging members to vote for them.

Since that feature has bedevilled elections to the GTC in Scotland since its inception, it is hardly an unexpected development in England. At least there morethan one union might win places, an improvement on the monopoly now established by the Educational Institute of Scotland.

The GTC has never won the respect due to a professional body supposedly representing the whole teaching force because government assumes that it is a branch of the EIS.

The recent Deloitte Touche review offered no solution to the problem, simply tinkering with the number of teacher representatives while preserving their majority and, with it, union domination. The English GTC is set to go down the same road and will find it a cul de sac.

David Pringle

Rosemount, Aberdeen


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