There's a unique scheme for teachers in London schools - chartered London teacher status (CLT). London Challenge set up CLT in September 2004 to recognise and reward teachers' achievements and provide a framework for professional development. As well as having the prestige of being a chartered London teacher, also brings the award two points for eligibility for the key worker housing scheme, Fellowship of the College of Teachers, and a one-off payment of pound;1,000 from their school budget.
Getting CLT status takes at least two years. People have to have taught in London for at least four years and be on the upper, advanced skills teacher, or leadership pay scales by the time they receive the award. They have to show how their knowledge, skills and expertise have a positive impact on teaching and learning across the 12 standards.
Here's a taster: Apply a wide range of teaching and learning strategies to reduce individual barriers to learning and to meet the variety of pupil needs in London.
You may think it's going to be heaps more work, but all the standards can be met through teachers' daily work and evidence is incorporated in the school's professional review process. Heads judge whether teachers meet the standards.
Anyone with qualified teacher status employed in any part of the state sector - nursery, primary, special, secondary, pupil referral units - can register: to date, 12,884 people have done so. That means that across London one in four secondary teachers, one in five special school teachers and one in seven primary teachers are part of the scheme.
Since the CLT conference at the Institute of Education last month, the number of teachers registering has risen by more than 200 each day. More than 650 people attended the conference and choice of 29 workshops, which included topics such as behaviour, voice management, autism and integrating refugees.
Ralph Tabberer, the then chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for schools, told London teachers: "I take my hat off to you. I salute you". Mary Southall, a design and technology teacher at Shepherd's Bush Phoenix high school, said: "I was proud to be a London teacher".
Many schools are already booking the next conference date, February 19, 2007, as a staff development day.
Schools minister Andrew Adonis is delighted at the scheme's popularity.
"London teachers are at the peak of their profession and the Chartered London Teacher scheme recognises the expertise that they display on a daily basis," he says.
However, the picture isn't uniform across London. In six local authorities - the City of London, Tower Hamlets, Harrow, Sutton, Wandsworth and Lambeth - more than a third of all teachers have registered, compared with only 3 per cent in Waltham Forest and 5 per cent in Enfield.
In many schools, like Brampton Manor, a secondary in Newham, all the teachers are registered so the CLT standards and structure are becoming fundamental to school-wide continuing professional development. Teachers can work towards the CLT standards at different stages in their career - from newly qualified to headteacher.
Vivienne Porritt, the continuing professional development consultant for London Challenge, says: "CLT gives teachers in London a shared language and an opportunity to get involved in different networks".
With many teachers expected to get chartered London teacher status in the next few years and having to be given the one-off pound;1,000, schools'
budgets will take a hammering. So ministers have agreed to add resources to schools' 2006-07 and 2007-08 budgets. But the March 31 deadline is rapidly approaching: schools will receive pound;1,000 per teacher registered before then in their budgets.
Money aside, Professor Tim Brighouse, Commissioner for London schools, says: "Chartered London teacher status creates the habits of intellectual curiosity and learning which combine to energise teachers and the schools they work in".
Sara Bubb is a consultant for chartered London teacher status for London Challenge
EARN YOUR POUNDS 1,000
Chartered London Teacher status gives you: * a pound;1,000 one-off lump sum
* Fellowship of the College of Teachersl two points towards key worker living
* its own prestige.
It takes at least two years to get the award. You have to have taught in London for four years, be off the main pay scale and meet 12 standards.
Schools will get an extra pound;1,000 in their budgets per teacher registered by March 31, 2006.
The new CLT e-community website http:lcll.edubility.net has materials as well as forums. Register at www.clt.ac.uk.