Saturday, August 8, 2009

Campaign against the new GTCE Code of Conduct and Practice - please sign the petition!

The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) is the professional body for teachers in England. Its role is to register teachers and regulate the profession; its function is much the same as the General Medical Council (GMC) for medical professionals. Membership is compulsory for all teachers in maintained schools in England.

The GTCE is about to put in place a new Code of Conduct and Practice for teachers and headteachers. General feeling about the new code is that it is very vague and therefore open to differing interpretation and possible abuse. There is a lot of scope for it to step outside the regulation of teachers in their professional lives and probe too far into their personal lives, potentially making the separation of work and life more difficult to attain for teachers, and introducing the possibility of an 'always on call' attitude towards members of the teaching profession. This should not be the case; teachers should be entitled to a private life outside of work.

The NASUWT teaching union is organising a petition to the GTCE to call for the withdrawal and a rethink of the new GTCE Code of Conduct and Practice for teachers and head teachers. You do not have to be a member of the GTCE or NASUWT, or even a teaching professional to be able to sign the petition.

The NASUWT's stance on this is as follows:

"The NASUWT believes that the new Code of Conduct and Practice, due to come into force in October 2009, intrudes into teachers' personal lives and fundamentally undermines their basic human rights. None of the Union's main concerns, as detailed in our comprehensive response on the Code of Conduct and Practice, have been addressed.

The new Code of Conduct and Practice is riddled with vague statements that are open to wide interpretation and abuse, putting teachers' jobs and careers at risk. Although the Council has adopted the Code, it is important teachers register their concern and call for the GTCE to withdraw and rethink this Code."

Please take a moment to consider this situation and then sign the NASUWT petition online at .