I was astounded in recent TESS editions to see School Leaders Scotland calling for the disbandment of the chartered teacher scheme in their submission to the McCormac review. And the Association of Directors in Scotland (ADES) claimed they had seen "little or no significant impact on learning and teaching quality across the system".
Implied in both responses is a criticism of the teachers themselves, rather than a questioning of the dearth of protocols to measure the impact of chartered teachers on teaching and learning.
In Glasgow, the review of the chartered teacher standard provided an opportunity to re-energise the role. As an EIS learning representative working alongside a quality improvement officer, I tried to ensure all senior staff were aware of the revised standard and reminded them of the need to ensure it informed the professional review and development conversation with chartered teacher colleagues.
Simultaneously, Glasgow chartered teachers organised a learning and support network called Connexions. This group organises a range of continuing professional development opportunities for accredited and aspiring CTs.
The programme is now due for evaluation, which we hope will inspire its future development. Working in partnership with the QIO and myself, chartered teachers in Glasgow are showing their commitment to deepening their professional expertise on an ongoing basis. I would not suggest that Glasgow's chartered teachers are alone in doing this or that Glasgow schools are better at identifying the potential for CTs to influence the quality of learning and teaching. But I would argue that developments in Glasgow show that where authorities demonstrate collegiate leadership, chartered teachers can demonstrate added value.
To whom is the blame allocated if the potential benefits of the new chartered teacher posts were not being fully realised? In 2009, a revised standard for chartered teacher was introduced to clarify their role.
How many local authorities like Glasgow worked to raise the profile and expectation of the chartered teacher? If levels of awareness of the revised standard and the extent of its use vary across Scotland, is that a reason to abandon a valuable route to creating a community of expert, reflective professionals whose raison d'etre is to influence learning and teaching for the better?
The Glasgow team believes that actively valuing and promoting the role of chartered teacher improves its impact; decrying and undermining it, as SLS and ADES have chosen to do, does not.
Jayne Rowe, Chartered teaching planning, Glasgow.
Jayne Rowe is chair of the Glasgow chartered teacher planning team.