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Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
'Cynical' teachers left negative image
Lord Puttnam
Lord Puttnam wants a more positive image for teaching
"Cynical" teachers of previous generations have left teaching with a negative image, says Lord Puttnam.

Speaking at the launch of the General Teaching Council, which is the new regulatory body for teaching, Lord Puttnam called for a more positive image for teaching.

But there was still a legacy of a negative image to overcome among adults who had been taught by teachers who had not really wanted to be in the classroom, said Lord Puttnam, the council's chairman.

We need teachers to feel that we're on their side. We need to lift their self-esteem and reputation before the public

David Blunkett, Education Secretary

"In the post-war years there were many teachers who didn't really want to be teachers ... they were cynical and they used cynicism as a weapon against their pupils. And there are many parents who were left with a negative memory of school," he said.

"But it's completely different now and in all the time I've been spending in schools I've not heard a single cynical put-down."

The negative public image of teachers was also a reflection of a long period in which they felt "beleaguered" and without the necessary support, said the Education Secretary David Blunkett.

David Blunkett
David Blunkett says the GTC will raise the status of teachers

And he pointed to the newly-launched General Teaching Council as an example of the "reinforcement" that would now be given to teaching, helping to raise its status.

The council, which will regulate and promote the profession, will "lift the horizons of the teaching profession" and will have the "key task of lifting the morale of the teaching profession," said Mr Blunkett.

"We need teachers to feel that we're on their side. We need to lift their self-esteem and reputation before the public."

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See also:

09 Feb 00 | Education
Puttnam's call to 'love' teachers
13 Apr 00 | Education
Image make-over for teaching
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