Chartered teacher code fails on merits

2nd October 2009 at 01:00

Guidance outlining the new role of chartered teachers in schools has been published by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers - but has failed to persuade all teachers of its merits.

The Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher lists the activities which might be expected of chartered teachers so they can make a "distinctive contribution" to their schools and education communities.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association argues the code will give headteachers carte blanche to load additional responsibilities on chartered teachers.

But Dougie Mackie, SNCT joint chair representing the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: "Chartered teachers should be classroom practitioners, not managers, and the code enshrines this original concept."

Annie McSeveny, chair of the Association of Chartered Teachers in Scotland, welcomed the document's recognition of the value of chartered teachers and the fact that headteachers were being encouraged to use their expertise.

The association, however, called for guidance on where they could get hold of the latest educational research, given the code stated they should have access to it and share their knowledge.

Ann Ballinger, general secretary of the SSTA, maintained the code would allow headteachers to take advantage of chartered teachers. "Since the first days of the chartered teacher, employers have been determined to assign duties to CT," she said. "The SSTA has opposed this from the outset."

One chartered teacher, who did not wish to be named, reacted angrily to the role change, saying it was "alarming" that chartered teachers had not been surveyed and that the issue had been "sneaked in through the back door. I am very disappointed that such an excellent avenue of professional development is being tainted with the unnecessary baggage of managerial off-loading".

The SNCT was charged by Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop with issuing guidance on the chartered teacher's role. This, with the General Teaching Council for Scotland's Revised Standard for Chartered Teachers, would, she said, let "those aspiring to the grade know what is expected".

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