Teacher standards mark 'new era'

THE long-awaited Standard for Full Registration was officially unfurled by the General Teaching Council for Scotland this week. It establishes the competencies required of new teachers.

Nicol Stephen, Deputy Education Minister, welcomed "a concise national professional standard for all new teachers on which reliable and consistent decisions on the fitness of new teachers for full registration can be made".

The new standard has been welcomed by the unions and the GTC said it marked "a new era in the development of the profession". They stress its separation from the proposed code on teacher competence, revealed in The TES Scotland last week.

It fits into a framework being established for continuing professional development, building on the Standard for Initial Teacher Education and linking to the Standard for Chartered Teachers now being drawn up. The three categories require teachers to demonstrate professional knowledge and understanding, professional skills and abilities and professional values and personal commitment.

The emphasis will now switch to the changes some in the teacher education institutions feel will be necessary to accommodate what will in effect become an extra year of training carried out in schools. Institutions may increase the educational content of courses to reflect the fact that probationers will be guaranteed hands-on experience.

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