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Chartered teacher scheme to end and power change begin

The chartered teacher scheme is to be killed off in its current form and replaced with a new programme, over which local authorities are likely to have more control.

Education secretary Michael Russell is expected to announce next week that he is in agreement with the McCormac review's finding that the scheme has fallen short of expectations.

It is understood that local authorities will be given more control over who takes part in any successor programme.

This may be interpreted as implicit criticism of the General Teaching Council for Scotland's stewardship of the scheme; participants were self- selecting and the programme accredited by the GTCS. Last year, the Scottish Government and local authorities enforced a freeze on new entries as part of the teachers' agreement.

A new programme may also be more tightly bound to the system of professional review and personal development espoused by McCormac, and to any system of GTCS re-accreditation.

Existing chartered teachers are expected to keep their higher salaries, but it is unlikely that those who are part of the way through their studies will be able to add to increments accrued.

Anthony Finn, GTCS chief executive, said there was evidence to suggest that chartered teachers were "making a significant difference to learning practices and pupil success, not just in their own classrooms but across their schools".

If the scheme ended, the GTCS would explore alternative approaches that recognised the work of existing chartered teachers, and those who wanted to improve their skills in a similar way, he said.

The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland declined to comment before discussing the future of the scheme at its conference in Stirling tomorrow.

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said his union remained very committed to the chartered teacher programme and that the GTCS was the right professional body to grant or withhold chartered teacher status.

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