Demise of the GTCE
02 Jun 2010
So the axe has fallen on the General Teaching Council for England. It's no great surprise. The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, was never a great fan. He now intends to get Parliamentary approval for abolition.
Nor, importantly, were several of the large teachers' unions, who I fear never quite got over jealous fears that the GTC might be a rival.
And maybe that was what it was meant to be. I recall Labour ministers in Tony Blair's first government expressing the hope that the creation of the GTC would help to "professionalise" teachers. They thought making it a self-regulating profession - like law and medicine - would transform teachers' self-image.
But the GTC has not really proved to be a leader of the profession. It may have done some useful work but the dominance of the unions prevented New Labour's hopes from being realised.
For Michael Gove this is part of his drive to "give teachers greater freedom and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy". But that is a slightly odd view -- wasn't the GTC meant to be about teachers taking responsibility for their own profession? It was not meant to be part of a government drive to add to their burdens.
But it is to go. What next, I wonder? It's a great excuse for cutting things... just saying that it will add to teachers' freedom.
Here's Michael Gove's statement in full:
This Government trusts the professionals. That's why we want to give teachers greater freedoms and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy. Since I have been shadowing education and more recently held the brief in Government there has been one organisation of whose purpose and benefit to teachers I am deeply sceptical - the General Teaching Council for England. I believe this organisation does little to raise teaching standards or professionalism. Instead it simply acts as a further layer of bureaucracy while taking money away from teachers. I want there to be stronger and clearer arrangements in relation to teacher misconduct and I am not convinced the GTCE is the right organisation to take these forward. I intend to seek authority from Parliament to abolish the General Teaching Council for England.