Anxieties over CPD;Letter

17th September 1999 at 01:00
The main report in The TES Scotland last week hinted that continuing professional development was a high priority for the Education Minister and that the idea of an "active register", discussed but set aside in the review of the General Teaching Council, might be soon on the agenda.

Sam Galbraith has expressed surprise that teachers do not have to regularly refresh their knowledge in the way that doctors do. French teachers should, it appears, read Le Monde, which indeed might be a more rewarding exercise than reading the Scottish press's view of education.

But it also appears that the Government is wary of how teachers would react to being judged on their CPD activity, and so nothing will happen as long as the bigger argument about pay and conditions continues.

Yet I suspect that real terror would be struck in local authority breasts. For the first time, directors of education, as employers, would have to take CPD seriously. Teachers would have a claim by right. Their futures would depend on courses and qualifications being available. Schools would clamour for cover while staff were away. The cost to education budgets would be enormous, and the prospect of legal challenge where a teacher was denied access to CPD would be daunting.

Has Sam Galbraith talked about this to the Association of Directors of Education?

Joe Harrison



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