Zealots, out on a limb

9th October 1998 at 01:00
ALMOST everyone I have spoken with recently, about the Scottish Office consultation exercise, has suggested that the General Teaching Council should have a major role in continuing professional developments in Scotland. However, beyond existing members of the council. I know of nobody who supports the particular role the GTC appears to seek for itself.

I was concerned therefore to read, in Gordon Kirk's otherwise helpful review of career development (TESS, September 25), the claim that the Government would be "undermining the standing and authority of the GTC if it did not place responsibility for the CPD framework with the GTC". I found the control emphasis unfortunate, especially in an article entitled "How to inspire throughout a career"!

The GTC position pays little regard to the interests of other stakeholders; it also ignores recent important developments. Devolved management, local decision-making and accountability, school self-evaluation and development planning, together with the experience of career-long learning in education elsewhere, point to the significance of flexible, locally and institutionally developed provision.

Like Gordon Kirk, I want to maintain the "standing" and "authority" of the GTC. However, I do not believe that they are strengthened by seeking outmoded and bureaucratic mechanisms for control. They would be enhanced most effectively, in the area of continuing professional development, by the council seeing to promote, lead and indeed "inspire" fundamental debate within the profession and beyond.

Jim Rand

Kirkhouse Road, Blanefield


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