A pot of gold to help you develop

22nd November 2002 at 00:00
EVERY teacher should have their own "learning account" to fund their professional development and a portfolio to show how they used the cash.

The demand for a comprehensive system of early and continuing professional development was one of several proposals developed by teachers at a conference organised by England's General Teaching Council and London University's Institute of Education.

Delegates were able to put their plans for school improvement to leading policy-makers from the Teacher Training Agency, the Office for Standards in Education and the Department for Education and Skills's standards and effectiveness unit.

Dominic Scott, a fast-track trainee teacher from Oxford University, said every new teacher should be given their own pot of money which they could then decide how to spend on their professional development. Schools would have no say as to how the cash was used.

Ralph Tabberer, the TTA's chief executive, said individual professional funding was a wonderful idea and could also help attract new entrants into teaching.

He insisted that policy-makers were working on a comprehensive system of early and continuing professional development, but that it "needs to be a lot, lot better".

The Government is funding new teachers in the second and third years of their careers to take up additional professional development, as well as providing research and other bursaries for teachers in their fourth and fifth years.

Carol Adams, chief executive of the GTCE, said that an individual bursary was an attractive idea.

But she added: "The individual teacher's development has got to be linked to whole-school improvement."

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