Saturday, 14 May 2011

General Teaching Council: Freedom of Information letter

Mr. Smith, a Leicester resident recently sent an enquiry to the GTC, referring to a Freedom of Information request. His letter reads:-

"Dear Sir,

I have just been made aware of a Freedom of Information request where a member of the teaching profession has been actively been pursued by yourselves to be banned from teaching because of his legitimate political beliefs.

Apparently, your organisation spent around £72,000 attempting to get Mr Adam Walker out of the teaching profession because he is a member of the British National Party.

Please can you tell me why you feel that you can justify spending this amount of money on a frivolous persecution when we are all expected to accept cuts in far more needy areas of public requirements."

S. Smith

He has received a reply, which reads:-

" Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your email dated 12 April.

In response we hope that you will find it helpful if we set out the Government’s intentions for addressing extremism where it occurs amongst the teaching profession, although we should make clear that the Government has not taken steps to introduce a ban on teachers who are members of any group or organisation.

The Government’s position is clear, that behaviour that is of an extremist tenor is not compatible with being a teacher. This position is not particular to any group or organisation. What we are doing is working to make sure that the necessary and appropriate powers are in place to ensure that head teachers and governing bodies are able to deal appropriately with any individuals who promote inappropriate views, behaviour or discrimination within our schools.

It is not our intention to introduce centrally managed or prescriptive arrangements in support of this. Rather, we expect that behaviour that is inappropriate will be addressed within new arrangements to regulate those teachers whose behaviour falls significantly below acceptable professional standards. Nor is it our intention to provide guidelines or lists of organisations.

As a first step, we have asked the independent Review of Teachers Standards, which the Secretary of State set up in March this year, to consider how new standards might guard against those who seek to undermine UK values. We will consider next steps later in the year once we have considered the conclusions of the Review.

We do hope this clarifies the Government's intentions in this area.

Yours sincerely

Public Communications Unit
www.education.gov.uk"

On receiving this baffling reply,Mr. S- writes:-

This reply seems to try to back up any persecution that the
establishment seems fit to persue.
It talks of extremism - but does not say what what this is.
It talks of inappropriate views - but does not say what these are.
Doesnt want to set out guidelines etc - all so they can avoid specific
persecution (eg BNP) comebacks.
And the best/worst - '.. guard against those who seek to undermine UK
values.' Are they for real??

We welcome sensible comments from LCV readers. What do you think?

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