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Invaluable help with project

Following comments in your Opinion section (TES, January 30), I wish to provide a different perspective of the General Teaching Council for England by one who has worked with them at local education authority level.

With my appointment as continuing professional development adviser to Sheffield in January 2003, I became involved in an ongoing project with seven other LEAs facilitated by the GTCE. The aim was to enable the profession to devise models of entitlement to continuing professional development and policy-making.

The GTCE's support proved invaluable and our project in Sheffield became a real partnership involving teachers and colleagues from Sheffield Hallam university. It provided an exceptional learning experience for the teachers and informed the content for our "Sheffield Guarantee - Opportunities Framework", which has raised awareness of the wide range of professional development opportunities available.

Through the GTCE we have also been able to develop a major element of the Sheffield Guarantee aimed at providing recognition and academic credit for teachers engaged in school improvement. Response from schools has been excellent as it helps to promote them as a learning community and supports recruitment and retention.

Having experienced the benefits of working with the GTCE, we have invited it to work with the four south Yorkshire LEAs, and other partners, to help us create tools to support CPD co-ordinators in leading and managing professional development in schools.

Martin Burgoyne

CPD adviser

Sheffield LEA

Bannerdale Centre

Carterknowle Road, Sheffield

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