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Wednesday, 9 February, 2000, 19:20 GMT
Puttnam's call to 'love' teachers

teacher Lord Puttnam says teachers need love, not bullying


Teachers need to be loved until they feel "10 feet tall", according to Lord Puttnam.

The recently-appointed chairman of the new General Teaching Council (GTC) - the regulatory body for the teaching profession - told MPs it would rectify decades of denigration, aiming to re-build the profession's self-confidence and status.


Lord Puttnam Lord Puttnam: "Teachers should be showered with respect"

The Oscar-winning film producer drew a parallel between education and the film industry.

"You can't bully people into making good movies," he said. "But you can love them into it, and encourage them, make them feel 10 feet tall.

"Once you do that, they will deliver you the kind of work you expect from people who feel 10 feet tall."

Last year, Lord Puttnam accused Chief Inspector of Schools in England, Chris Woodhead, of conducting a "regime of intimidation and terror" against the profession.



I know Chris Woodhead well. He is perfectly capable of dishing it out. I am sure he is equally capable of taking it
Lord Puttnam

On Wednesday, he told the Education Select Committee he expected the GTC to mirror the "healthy scepticism" with which many teachers viewed the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

"I know Chris Woodhead well. He is perfectly capable of dishing it out. I am sure he is equally capable of taking it."

He repeated his call for Ofsted to now do more to encourage the teaching profession, as competent, self-confident teachers were central to Britain's success in the coming century.

Ofsted's rigorous challenge to the quality of education had been necessary.

"But at a certain point someone has to sit down and change, and start showering the teaching profession with the kind of respect and regard they deserve."

Election candidates

The GTC announced on Tuesday that 208 teachers had put themselves forward for election to its council.

The new body will have 64 members - 24 elected teachers and the rest appointed by education organisations and the government.

The GTC's Chief Executive, Carol Adams, said it would see its prime role as encouraging teachers' professional self-development, improving the quality of their work so that its disciplinary role would represent a minority of its work.

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See also:
21 Dec 99 |  Education
Fee exemption plan for teachers
03 Dec 99 |  Education
Puttnam heads new teaching council
12 Apr 99 |  Education
A new voice for teachers

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