Sabbaticals in Wales

I WELCOME the article (TES Friday magazine, April 19) on teaching sabbaticals. However, I wish to correct the statement that "the only official scheme in the UK" is open to teachers in England.

Since September 2001, the General Teaching Council for Wales has made pound;6.5 million available to support individually focused professional development opportunities for registered teachers in Wales. We offer seven pilot projects ranging from a bursary scheme offering up to pound;500 to be spent on a professional development activity of the teacher's choice, to whole school initiatives offering up to pound;30,000.

All teachers working in maintained schools in Wales may apply for the funding. Sabbaticals are available to any registered full-time or part-time teacher who has taught continuously in a maintained school for 10 years or for seven years in a Community First area.

The pilot projects are being evaluated and the outcomes will inform the advice on continuous professional development which the council is developing for the Welsh Assembly Government.

For more information, visit our website: Gary Brace Chief executive General Teaching Council for Wales 4th Floor Southgate House Wood Street, Cardiff

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