Little progress has been made in regulating teachers' conduct because of a lack of statutory power in the body responsible, members said. Members of the Council on Professional Conduct in Education said they feared problems would continue unless more money was made available, and a statutory professional body representing all teachers in Hong Kong was set up. Dr Cheng Kai-ming, whose council chairmanship ends tomorrow, said the body was toothless and had difficulty handling complaints involving misconduct in schools. 'Because we are not a statutory body we do not have the power to conduct investigations,' said Dr Cheng of Hong Kong University's Faculty of Education. 'What we can do after receiving a complaint is to write to schools, or the principals, directors or teachers, to invite their co-operation.' The 28-member council, set up in April 1994 on an Education Commission recommendation, advises the Government on criteria for professional conduct, and on how to deal with disputes or cases of misconduct. It has handled 22 cases in the past two years, including two involving canvassing in schools before the Urban Council election last May. Dr Cheng also said plans for publicity to promote teachers' conduct had been shelved because of a lack of money. 'We have issued only two bulletins in two years,' he said. 'The Education Department has not reserved a budget for us. We have only a secretary to help us.' Pun Wang-keung, Assistant Director of Education (Services), said the council was intended to serve as an advisory body and to direct cases to the department. He said he understood that members of the council were keen to do their job well, but that there would be problems making the council a statutory body now. A review would be conducted after next year.