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Attitudes to profession shaken up

As the National Union of Teachers' general secretary Doug McAvoy points out (TES, June 13), the Teacher Training Agency recently carried out a comprehensive review of teachers' professional development. Since then, we have worked with the profession in developing the first framework of standards and qualifications that will benefit teachers at all levels - from newly-qualified through to serving headteachers.

The framework incorporates qualified teacher status - the baseline National Professional Qualification for Teachers - as well as the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), the first-ever leadership and management qualification designed for those aspiring to headship.

The framework underlines the importance for teachers of taking responsibility for their own professional development from day one. The career entry profiles that we have developed will help newly-qualified teachers do just that by clearly identifying their development needs and actions to be taken to address them. We are well on the way to a culture change in how teachers, and their professional development, are perceived.

The framework of standards and qualifications is focused on raising pupil achievement. It will form the basis for developing a national consensus about the expertise of the vast majority of teachers, committed as they are to raising standards and ensuring that children aim for and achieve high standards. It is, therefore, about not just the future of teachers' professional development; it will make a significant contribution to a fundamental reassessment of the profession as a whole.

ANTHEA MILLETT Chief executive Teacher Training Agency London SW1

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