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Thou shalt not

WHEN Moses returned from Mount Sinai he brought his people only 10 Commandments. Officials of England's General Teaching Council envisage five times as many in their draft code of practice for the profession. But, thankfully, their long list of "thou shalt nots" is not yet etched in stone.

If it were, the GTC members would have a lot of chiselling out to do, because their administrators' document contains some very strange ideas.

One can imagine teachers' reaction to the suggestion that they must recognise their own limitations ("why bother whenothers are so keen to point them out?") and forswear alcohol in school ( "the staffroom cocktail cabinet will have to go"). But the jollity will be followed by irritation that such an ill conceived paper could be produced by the GTC - even as a stimulus to discussion. After a wait of 130 years, teachers expected more than this.

However, these are still early days for the council, and we must hope that future proposals will demonstrate a better understanding of the profession's needs. The GTC is a fledgling body that we all want to see fly.

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