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Chartered teacher bonus

Ministers may shortly concede that teachers need a small inducement to become a chartered teacher.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland has indicated it has received "a positive response" from the Scottish Executive to its campaign to fund the first part of the training programme, which involves teacher self-evaluation.

It would be a "small investment" to pump "well under pound;1 million a year" into what in effect will become a core part of continuing professional development, the GTC stated. Teachers would complete module one before deciding whether to follow a management or classroom route to career development in their fifth or sixth year of teaching. This could affect 4,000 teachers a year.

A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said ministers had "no plans" to fund the first module but were looking at how teachers can be prepared for the programme.

The GTC this week refuted widespread criticisms of the chartered teacher programme and claimed it was now beginning to work as planned, with around 3,000 teachers involved in its various stages. Some 160 teachers will have achieved full chartered status by next week, although the bulk of recruits will take at least six years to complete the modules.

Matthew MacIver, the council's registrar, said: "The programme is bedded in and we have got a good 18 months under our belt and now we are beginning to see the appeal it has to the profession."

Mr MacIver added: "My generation just worked away, but with this new generation of teachers we are trying to introduce a culture whereby people will run with their own portfolios and see how their own development can begin to affect classroom practice."

Some 80 per cent of chartered teacher entrants were following the university-linked programme, he said. The other route, regulated by the GTC, and based on teachers' existing work in schools, has a shelf-life of another three years. After that, the emphasis switches to younger teachers.

Rosa Murray, GTC officer for chartered teachers, said feedback from teachers on the Stirling University course showed a clear impact on classroom practice.

"The difference they can actually measure in their pupils is in ethos, learning and attainment. There is clear evidence from the teachers involved that this programme refreshes and re-energises or revitalises them, it enhances their professionalism and increases their self-esteem," she said.

There has been a fairly even split between primary and secondary in the accreditation route. English teachers make up the largest category in the secondary sector.

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