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Too forgiving?

A HUNDRED years ago most teachers were expected to attend church every Sunday and lead blameless lives.

Today, we have more realistic expectations. Nevertheless, the General Teaching Council for England's disciplinary panels appear remarkably understanding (page 10). So far, it seems, the only sure-fire ways to be barred from teaching are to drink vodka in school or call pupils a name rhyming with "anchors".

Perhaps the GTC should be commended for its forgiveness. But it is hard to see how these tribunals - or the GTC survey showing that a third of teachers may quit within five years - enhance the status of teaching or the council.

How the English GTC must envy its Cardiff equivalent, which has avoided controversy and will from next month be awarding qualified teacher status to new recruits (page 11). For the time being, the Welsh have every reason to feel smug.

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