Education Bill

Memorandum submitted by Michael Ward (E 39)

Re: abolition of the GTCE: misappropriation of name 'GTC' by the 'GTC E

Dear Committee members,

1. I refer to the intention to abolish the GTCE, General Teaching Council for England under the terms of the Education Bill 2010-2011.

2. The essence of my submission is this:

a .

if the above body is allowed to continue in any form, it should be forced by law to adhere strictly and at all times to its correct and full name , viz. 'The General Teaching Council for England ' ' .


Alternatively, since this is unlikely to be adhered to, its name should be changed to reflect any new status or rôle it may be given and to avoid the situation I have outlined below.

3. Since its inception, the GTCE has referred to itself in press releases and throughout its website and literature simply as ‘ the GTC’ and has allowed and encouraged others, particularly the press in England, to adopt this incorrect usage.

4. It should be remembered, however, that The General Teaching Councils for England, Wales and Northern Ireland were modelled on the original 'General Teaching Council', a body which was set up in Scotland many years previously and was, in fact, the first body of its kind in the world. It pre-existed the 'GTC for England' by some 33 years.

5. The Scottish council, then, is the only one which has any right to call itself THE GTC. However, when the other three bodies were established in the rest of the U.K., this original GTC courteously, but perhaps naively, agreed to change its name to 'The General Teaching Council for Scotland' and has honoured this promise at all times. The other three councils were similarly expected to append the name of their nation to their titles to avoid confusion. The English council has consistently failed to do so.

6. Thus, this courtesy of the Scottish council was not reciprocated. Indeed, with incredible arrogance and disrespect, the GTC for England immediately usurped the Scottish body's previous title and started referring to itself as THE GTC . A cursory glance at its website will show that this use of ' the GTC ' pervades the body's documents. Even its logo audaciously reads 'GTC', not 'GTCE'. Thus, it has not only purloined the name of its predecessor and model but has also disrespectfully assumed a form of superiority over the other three bodies and ignored their very existence.

7. I know that, historically, bodies in England have, for some reason, been shy to append the name of their country to their titles: e.g. 'The FA', 'The Rugby Union', 'The National Trust', etc. That simply will not do in this case, as the name 'The GTC' pre-existed the English body, which has no right to claim ownership of it. In any case, it should be obvious that the appendage '...for England ' must be strictly adhered to in order to avoid confusion with the three other GTCs in the UK.

8. This does not, evidently, appear to be a matter of concern for the 'GTC for England'. I know that the GTC for Scotland has formally brought this matter to the attention of the GTCE. These representations, and the agreed protocol, have, however, been ignored. The misuse of the name is not, we must therefore conclude, accidental, but deliberate.

9. The press in England, understandably, consistently refers to the body as 'The GTC'; again, the Council appears to do nothing to correct this wrong usage. Indeed, it has engendered it.

10. In conclusion: if the council for England does ultimately survive in any form, I would hope that it be legally obliged to adhere to its correct nomenclature at all times thereafter.

11. Given its track record, that would be unlikely: it would be better to give it a new name unconnected to its previous one and those of the remaining three UK Councils. A simple one like 'Teaching England' or 'Teachers England' would suit the present trend in names and would suffice.

12. Committee members might conclude, of course, that abolition of the body should proceed as planned.

I hope the Committee members will find these comments of some relevance when deciding the future rôle, if any, of this Council. They may not have been aware of its hubris and the disrespect it has shown the other three GTCs in the UK.

March 2011