In the news

January 28, 2000

The new General Teaching Council may be headed by a film-maker - Lord Puttnam - but it is Ralph Tabberer, chief executive of the Teacher Training Agency from next week, who thrives in front of an audience.

Praised for his communication skills and for his ability to enthuse, he is considered well equipped to dismiss any threat the GTC may pose to TTA authority.

He was educated at Plymouth College, followed by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with an MA in economics and social and political sciences, and became a teacher in 1977.

He taught for the education authority in Hillingdon, before joining the National Foundation for Education Research as a research officer. Six years later he became schools director at the National Council for Educational Technology. Then it was back to local government as senior adviser to West Sussex local education authority.

He was welcomed back to the NFER as assistant director in 1994, valued for his local authority experience, a knowledge of new technology and communication skills. At NFER he looked into use of performance data in schools and researched educational use of new technology.

He also helped with a study by the foundation that showed abolition of the assisted- places scheme would easily cover the costs of bringing down class sizes - an important part of Labour's 1997 election manifesto.

When Labour came to power, he joined the Department for Education and Employment as a senior education adviser with the Standards and Effectiveness Unit, becoming divisional manager of the National Grid for Learning Division last year.

Tabberer, who is married with a large family, recently suggested that people in a variety of careers should be encouraged to take up teaching for a while, saying: "There is a bit of the teacher in all of us." 'Praised for his communication skills and for his ability to enthuse, he is considered well equipped to dismiss any threat the GTC may pose to TTA authority'

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