Shot by the GTC

21st February 1997 at 00:00
It is not just the Government that has been wrapping itself in the Saltire. The blue and white flags up the opening scene of the General Teaching Council's new video Enhancing the Standard along with Braveheart-type music.

A succession of luminaries are paraded to speak of the council's essential contribution to education and of teachers' essential contribution to the council, its "engine" as Ivor Sutherland, the registrar, described them.

Backdrops switch dramatically. One minute we are distracted from Sutherland's sage words by the chandeliers of Inverness Town House, where the council met in October. Then we see guns blazing in Sarajevo, a means of introducing the arrival in Fife of refugee music teacher Zorana Dursunovic who was seeking permission to teach in Scotland.

We congratulate Iain Morris, the video's producer and former GTC official, for achieving the seemingly impossible and making the council's committee on exceptional admissions to the register sound really interesting.

Later a new video star emerges. Step forward Hugh Pollock, GTC member and union activist now dizzily risen to assistant principal at Dumfries and Galloway College. Not content with impassive delivery, Pollock "walks the talk", guiding the cameras with remarkable panache through the byways of his college, yea unto the engineering labs and training kitchens.

We have to record one heart-stopping moment when the registrar describes the bulk of the council's work as "making things better" and adds ominously: "But there are occasions . . ."

Surely we were not about to hear a confession that "the council makes things worse". Not at all. The occasions Sutherland has in mind are those disciplinary ones "when the council has to show its teeth". Cue to skip quickly over its more unpalatable responsibilities.

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