Chartered glitch

4th January 2008 at 00:00
As a member of the national chartered teacher review group, I was surprised to read Elizabeth Buie's report (TESS, December 21), which appears to be based on unpublished draft versions of the group's final report and minute. I wish to correct a misleading impression it gave of my views.

The report implied that I was a major advocate of an "affirmation of suitability" approach to eligibility for the chartered teacher scheme, and that there was a direct difference of opinion between myself and the teachers' professional associations. I suspect this may be based on a draft minute from which I subsequently asked the minute secretary to delete an incorrect paragraph.

There may have been some different preferences within the group on eligibility criteria for entry to the chartered teacher scheme. As the universities' representative on the group, my underlying aim was to argue the positive case for the continuing growth and development of the chartered teacher scheme, particularly as a partnership between university providers, other partners and the teaching profession.

In this context, my position on eligibility was to support an agreed outcome, with the current approach enhanced by a General Teaching Council for Scotland review of guidelines on the evidence of good classroom practice which teachers should include within their continuing professional development portfolios, if they wish to enter the scheme.

As a university provider, I do not want to give any incorrect impression that we perceive a problem with "incompetent teachers" on our programmes. On the contrary, we wish to celebrate the high quality of the teachers participating on the university routes, and of the enhanced professional work they are producing within our programmes.

Ian Smith, dean, School of Education, University of the West of Scotland.

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