Shut out on languages;Letter

9th April 1999 at 01:00
I SEE that the General Teaching Council is miffed (TESS, March 19) at not being represented on the languages action group. Perhaps it might spare a thought for the feelings of languages teachers in local authority secondary schools. They do 95 per cent of the work, yet not a single one is on the action group.

Of more concern, however, are the responses to the GTC's complaint. First, the Scottish Office states that members of the action group "are not nominated by any particular organisation" - except the Scottish Office, of course. So that's all right, then.

Next, we have the action group's chairman claiming that the group had to be "tightly knit" to get things done - or is it so that the group can push through its own agenda without having to bother about real ideas from real teachers in real classrooms?

This top-down, centralist, managerial approach is precisely what has been getting things wrong in education here for many years and there is little reason to dream that it will be any better this time.

Finally, the group has trumpeted its setting up of a website to "engage with the profession". It would be far better to become a little less "tightly knit" and go to as many schools as possible to engage with teachers face to face. Then it would hear directly what a shambles things are and, more important, how to put things right.

Bill Cooper Highfield Circle, Kinross

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