Chartered teacher freeze defies advice to expand

17th December 2010 at 00:00
Budget deal with councils last month freezes entry for the next two years as a money-saving measure

The scottish Government's Council of Economic Advisers has advised it to expand the chartered teacher programme as a means of rewarding excellence in teaching and raising standards.

But its advice appears to have fallen on deaf ears as the Government agreed under its budget deal with councils last month to freeze entry to the programme for the next two years as a money-saving measure.

The council's third report - published late last week - also warns that "broad and substantial" salary increases will not improve teacher quality unless they are linked to "output targets".

The comment is indicative of a more business-driven approach to a sector not usually subject to performance-related pay or the use of "metrics to measure teacher quality", another of the council's recommendations.

"The quality of teachers must be measured, good teachers must be recognised and rewarded, and ineffective teachers must leave the profession," said the council, which is chaired by Sir George Mathewson, former chief executive and chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The report challenges another of the Scottish Government's flagship policies - class-size reduction - saying: "The international literature strongly suggests that reducing class size alone has a limited impact on student outcomes."

The council's recommendation that performance management criteria be used to weed out poor teachers provoked an angry reaction from teacher unions.

A spokesman for the Educational Institute of Scotland defended the regulation of the profession by the General Teaching Council for Scotland as holding teachers to "a particularly high set of standards of competence and professionalism".

He added: "It is deeply regrettable that the chartered teacher scheme, which has been a resounding success, has been placed under threat by the current cost-cutting agenda and the budget deal between the Scottish Government and Cosla."

elizabeth.buie@tes.co.uk.

  • Original headline: Chartered teacher freeze defies advice to expand the scheme

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