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Chartered to mentor

ONE OF the leading roles of Welsh chartered secondary teachers will be as mentors to new learning coaches, it was revealed this week.

And although gaining chartered status will not lead to direct pay rises, it should strengthen a teacher's hand in pay negotiations, says education, lifelong learning and skills minister Jane Davidson.

The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) presented its draft standards for chartered status to last week's meeting of the Assembly's education, lifelong learning and skills committee.

In a 64-page report, it proposed that pound;2 million be set aside to provide training courses and accreditation for experienced classroom teachers and middle managers (such as heads of department) who want to gain chartered status.

Mal Davies, GTCW chairman, said the course content would be much broader than traditional classroom teaching, with a strong focus on candidates nurturing non-teaching staff such as learning coaches, who support teenagers as part of the learning pathways reforms of the 14-19 curriculum.

The GTCW aims to create 1,000 new chartered teachers in Wales from both primary and secondary schools by 2012.

A pound;26,000 pilot training programme will start next year, with the aim of offering the scheme nationally from 2009. Candidates will be able to study for the new status through taught courses, or gain accreditation on the basis of their existing knowledge or experience. Mr Davies said experienced teachers would be expected to know their subject inside out, as well as helping less-experienced colleagues.

"This is a chance to give recognition to outstanding teachers who may have been in the classroom for 37 years," he said.

No pressure would be placed on teachers to achieve the status, which, unlike in Scotland, does not bring with it any extra pay.

However, Ms Davidson said: "Chartered teachers could have increased influence when negotiating pay rises, in the same way as those with masters degrees."

She said she would not consider funding levels until after the completion of the 2007-8 pilot.

Plaid Cymru raised concerns that the cost to schools in supply cover for releasing a teacher to study for the chartered status could put some off.


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