"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

GTC again

I have been registered (compulsorily) with the GTC since its inception a few years ago but now that I am living in Wales, I pay my fee to the Welsh version and am registered with them but because I work at times in Cheshire, I have continued to be registered with the GTCE (English one). So, when I changed my name in the summer, I informed the Welsh council, sent then a copy of the deed poll and that was that. With GTCE however it was (wouldn't you know?) different. I had a form to fill in, to be signed by the signatory of my deed poll, who duly signed it and then noticed, in very small print, that it had to be signed by a current member of the GTC. Stuff that, I thought, bravely. I am sending this as it stands, and they can sit on a pin!
Well, it took them 2 months to begin to process my name change and realise that I hadn't played by the rules, which led them to return all the paperwork, plus a 'jobsworth' covering letter informing me that I had been a naughty girl. As I am already a member of the GTC and have done nothing more drastic than change my name (deed poll = official and legal proof) I decided to ring them and point out that I had not changed my sex/parachuted in from outer space/had a personality change or face transplant and why, if the proof I had furnished was good enough for the Welsh Council, was it not good enough for them?
(A friend suggested writing to Tony Blair, congratulating him on the wonderful concept of the GTC and bemoaning the fact that it was being undermined by unnecessary beaurocracy but I decided against it on the grounds that nothing would induce me to communicate with that man.)
The outcome of yesterday's conversation, with a very pleasant, reasonable young man was as follows:
Oh yes, we know that it's not always feasible to get the signature of a GTC member and we can manage without it so if you send everything back I'll sort it for you.
Which is very nice but begs the question, Why, then, do you insist on it in the first place?
I didn't even ask why it had taken 2 months to even begin to deal with it. Let sleeping dogs lie, I thought...........

I wrote the above post on my other blog at the end of December. A few weeks later there was a re-run of the whole scene when someone sent me another form to fill in and I had another conversation with the pleasant young man who had promised to sort things out for me. Since then, I had heard nothing, until today.
Today I had a letter asking me for this year's fee (Remember, I pay my fee to Wales now) and addressed, yes, you've guessed it, to my former name. So I wrote this letter to the nice lady whose name was at the bottom of the request:

Dear Ms A*******,

I am returning the request for payment for this year’s membership of the GTC. As I have already informed your office last year, I live in Wales and work for Wrexham as well as Cheshire so opted to pay my fee to the Welsh Council, although obviously I still need to retain membership of the GTC in England.

The second point you need to be aware of is that my surname is now A*****, not C******* and I have sent the required documentation to that effect to you last year. I also had protracted correspondence and phone calls with your colleague **********, as you will see from the copy of my letter to him and no doubt, from your records.

I am at a loss to know why my change of details should result in this complete inability of the GTC to accept it but should I be required to go through the whole process yet again, I fear I could experience a resultant rise in blood pressure! Life is too short!

Yours sincerely,

J********** AXXXXXXXXX

And yes, I am going to post it - first thing tomorrow! I shall be taking bets on the likely outcome.


MickPhotoman. said...

Hi Jenny. ....

Keith, nose picking, I don’t believe it. Nice to see him home again under your control and the TLC he deserves. Question, how long will it be, in your opinion, before he’s back to his normal self? ....

Hope you are still going to take the Hospital Administration to task over the the poor Nursing Keith had. Interested in knowing how they answer your letter of complaint. ....

The G.T.C. - [Sorry don’t know what that is!], their inefficiency to comprehend all the facts and figures you have furnished them with, whether its in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland doesn’t really surprise me, I do battle at least a week with some local bureaucrat. some local government official or some local council employee, some jumped up, a flatuleance type person. Right is might. The rules and regulations, the law works for both sides, go for it Jenny, don’t be flogged off. ....

Don’t take on a bet with me about the outcome, you will loose. ....

krip said...

Where would we be without 'jobsworths'?

Jennyta said...

I think the asnwer to that, Krip, is - a lot better off! ;)

Jennyta said...

Mick, Keith is doing quite well and is back at the hospital for a check up tomorrow. There is a fair way to go yet, so I don't feel I can do any complaing just yet. The GTC is the General Teaching Council. All teachers in state schools have to be registered with it. It does nothing for us except keep yet more government employees in jobs! (Me being cynical again!)


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