Teachers' body is a waste of space

24th June 2005 at 01:00
England's General Teaching Council is an interesting body. It serves no purpose but to provide a disciplinary forum for plaintiffs who would have their cases thrown out of a court. Complaints with little or no evidence are heard, upheld, and the teacher concerned can be punished.

We were told that the GTC exists to promote the interests of teachers and would work to raise the profession's profile. Strange, then, that it seems powerless to uphold teachers' complaints against schools, local education authorities or parents.

We are forced - and must pay - to belong to a body that likens itself to the General Medical Council and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. But when newly-qualified vets pay their dues, they can at least add MRCVS to their letters.

No need to go to a court or tribunal where you will have to prove your case. Just take your complaint to the GTC. The teacher will be presumed guilty until proven innocent and the council will do your dirty work.

Of course, if we don't like it we can leave, and experienced staff are doing so, and being replaced by NQTs or "super assistants". The value of the profession is plummeting, and with fewer teachers making it to a full pension, the costs of pensions fall. Successful business plan!

Look in your doctor's surgery for the poster that says health workers have a right to work without fear of abuse. But you won't find one your local school.

Chris Whitelaw Seaford, East Sussex

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now