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Tomlinson offers so little, so late

On the day after we elected a Government committed to ridding us of manifest educational inequities such as grant-maintained status, the article by Professor Tomlinson on a general teaching council south of the border made depressing reading (TES, May 2).

As always, the omissions are as interesting as the inclusions. Why doesn't he allow this vital new body a role, still less the free hand it deserves, in one of the most contentious areas of the profession?

Why shouldn't the new GTC control the question of promotion based on merit and so remove the present amateurism in this field? Such a power would make even our cousins north of the border sit up and take an interest.

Indeed, why such a churlish attitude to teachers? The best Professor Tomlinson can offer is a bare majority of teachers on the council, "albeit a small majority".

This from someone who has a long-term record of working to enhance the profession. Not at all impressive compared to the General Medical Council, which has 102 members, of whom 54 are directly elected by the profession, a further 35 are doctors nominated via university medical faculties and the Royal Societies, and only 13 are lay nominations.

How many more landslides will it require before teachers can have a general teaching council which will be elected according to big boys' rules?

JAMES SCOTT, 29 Lady Margaret Road, Crawley, Surrey

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