Charting a solid future
The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland welcomes the McCormac review as a timely opportunity to examine and modify arrangements for the development of chartered teachers and the effective management of their work. Committee members of the association recently met with Professor McCormac and his team to share our ideas for improving the effectiveness of the policy.
We argued that "chartered teacher" is an educationally sound concept, based on research that clearly links excellence in education to the quality of teachers and leadership. In advance of the meeting, ACTS collated evidence of the work of chartered teachers around Scotland.
We were able to exemplify accomplished classroom teaching and leadership of learning, as well as the impact on learning - activities which link directly to the code of practice on the role of the chartered teacher, laid down by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers in 2009.
ACTS favours the European benchmark of a masters qualification for teachers, which in Scotland should lead us to build on our sound base and aspire to a chartered teacher profession.
We propose that entry to the chartered teacher programme should be dependent on a strong portfolio of evidence, perhaps through professional recognition assessed by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, which is also well placed to supervise periodic reaccreditation of chartered teachers. This would help to assure the quality of their work, as well as the opportunities offered to them by their managers.
Professional review and development, if carried out by knowledgeable managers using the revised standard for chartered teachers and the SNCT's code of practice, could increase the impact of chartered teachers.
This type of review would be more effective in ensuring impact than a nationally defined list of tasks. Mentoring and supporting of colleagues, as described by Graham Donaldson in his report on teacher education, would utilise the skills of many chartered teachers.
Chartered teachers have an important role within a culture of distributed leadership. If, in future, they were required to take on any aspects of the former principal teacher roles, these should be rooted in classroom practice.
In moving forward, it is important that chartered teachers have access to CPD programmes around, for example, the leadership of professional learning.
Committee of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS).