Union, not victim support

David Perks is right (TES, November 5): the victim mentality of the profession is not something anyone should be proud of. He is also right to eschew the sort of "union politics" that focuses exclusively on negative aspects of the job and the fear of being sued.

This is precisely why, through its Teaching to Learn campaign, and the commissioning of high-quality research, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers is determined to shift the debate to a more positive, professional agenda, and one that focuses on the curriculum, and on teaching and learning.

It is only through promoting a serious, and informed debate on educational issues that we can put the "p" back into professionalism and engage in the "passionate debate about the purpose and future of education" that David Perks is rightly calling for.

As the education union, ATL's ambition is to promote a proud, confident and critical profession - not a victim support group. Why not join us?

Mary Bousted General secretary Association of Teachersand Lecturers

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