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Unproven worth

WHILE the new chief inspector is intent on mending fences with teachers, the General Teaching Council is in danger of alienating them. Trying to keep the proposed pound;30 annual subscription hidden from those who have to pay it smacks of the actions of government rather than that of their own professional body (see page 3).

The fee may only be "the cost of a modest meal", as Liz Paver argues opposite. But that depends on where you eat. And teachers are likely to resent being forced to pay for what many regard as jst another quango.

The TES is a long-time supporter of a GTC. But the council's record so far is disappointing. Appointing Lord Puttnam to launch it seemed a good move - but only if he used his clout to broker improvements for teachers.

That has not happened yet - a campaign for guaranteed non-contact time and shorter working hours appears to have been kept off the menu by ministers. The GTC must be more open and demonstrate its worth. So far it is the fare rather than the cost which is modest.

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