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EDITIONS
Unions 2000 Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
Accentuate the positive
Carol Adams
Carol Adams wants teaching to gain a more positive image
By Sean Coughlan at the PAT conference in Cheltenham

The "negative" public image of teaching is to be tackled by the profession's new regulatory body.

Carol Adams, chief executive of the General Teaching Council, speaking at the annual conference of the Professional Association of Teachers in Cheltenham, told delegates that she wanted a more "positive public image for teaching".

In her last public address before the launch of the council in the autumn, Ms Adams told the conference that the public needed to have a clearer image of how hard teachers worked and to hear more about the successes and less about the failings of the profession.

Delegates from the non-striking union, at a conference far less stormy than others in this year's conference season, heard Ms Adams' emphasise the need for teachers to develop a better relationship with the community, building bridges with the media, parents and the general public.

Ms Adams, stressing that this would be a "teaching council" rather than a "teachers' council", faced questions from delegates who wanted the council to be more fully representative of teachers, rather than other interest groups in education.

Perhaps signalling arguments ahead over the GTC's relationship with teachers, Ms Adams said that 42 out of 64 members of the GTC's ruling council would be practising teachers - but a delegate still called for a higher proportion of teacher representation, and rejected the right of the education secretary to make 13 appointments to the council.

However Ms Adams argued that it was important for the new council not to be seen as a body acting solely in the "self-interest of teachers", but as an organisation representing the broader interests of the teaching profession.

Teachers will be required to sign up for the General Teaching Council - and Ms Adams said that drawing up a statutory national register of qualified teachers would for the first time prevent "struck off" teachers from seeking jobs elsewhere in the country.

This will provide greater protection from sacked teachers who have been ruled unsuitable for working with young people, she said, including those guilty of sexual offences against children.

See also:

13 Apr 00 | UK Education
09 Feb 00 | UK Education
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