What the Headteachers say;Opinion

16th July 1999 at 01:00
Carole Clayson, head of Wellesley first school, Norwich, said: "I am a great supporter of a General Teaching Council. It would enable some control over entrance to the profession and uphold excellence. In principle, I have never seen a problem with a GTC, as long as it is not a government quango. It must be a professional body elected from among the teaching profession. How it is to be paid for is a practical detail to be looked at later. The money should not go back to the government."

Dave Pratten, headteacher of Carter community school, Poole, said: "I think this government takes a high-handed approach - it perceives a problem then takes a sledgehammer to it. I don't like the element of compulsion.

"Teaching councils should be decided on by the professionals in the profession. I am unhappy to give details to a database, and to add insult to injury I now have to pay pound;20. It's very disappointing."

Hazel Shaw, head of Fair Oak county infant school, Hampshire, said: "I have to say I didn't know we would have to pay. It does not appeal enormously, but I dare say we would be getting something for it. I think most people wouldn't mind paying pound;20 to get a teaching council, which teachers have always supported in principle."

Michael Flynn, head of Penwortham All Hallows RC high in Lancashire, said:

"I must say it has come as a surprise to know we would be charged a fee, but I can understand to make the organisation run then it will need money. I would be quite prepared to pay pound;20 towards the running of a GTC because I think it's a move in the right direction for teachers to take over the running and responsibility for their own profession."

Ronnie Dee, head of Linthorpe infant school, Cleveland, said: "Most of my staff would be very unhappy about paying the pound;20 fee. They already pay union fees of pound;90-plus a year and don't really see what benefit the GTC is going to give."

Maureen McTaggart and Ruth Armstrong

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