Last year's Green Paper suggested that a similar deal might be offered to teachers in England, but discussions on continuing professional development now taking place in Sanctuary Buildings suggest that Government thinking on paid sabbaticals is at a very early stage.
The proposals contain the mixture of "pressure and support" that we have come to expect from this administration.Ministers are keen that teachers should have a contractual duty to keep themselves up to date; in return they might be guaranteed a sum of money to invest in their professional development.
The unions are wary of such proposals, fearing that teachers will be asked to make a financial contribution. But "individual teacher development accounts" would at least mean that the amount of in-service training a teacher received would be less dependent on the whim of a headteacher or the health of a school's budget. That would represent some progress.