Editor's comment

16th February 2007 at 00:00
The concept of chartered teachers, which began life amid much mutual congratulation between the parties to the national teachers'

agreement, is now beginning to look in need of a little refreshment.

Hugh Henry, the Education Minister, has ordered a "short sharp review", to which the unions have reacted with caution. This may not be misplaced, since the current president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland makes no secret of its view that management should have more control over who enrols to become a chartered teacher and that these teachers should take on leadership roles in their school.

This is, of course, anathema to teachers like Jack Ferguson (p23) for whom the attraction of chartered teacher status is that it asserts the primacy of the teacher's art. Eroding the post's functions to bring it into management would undermine that and repeat the mistakes made with the late, unlamented senior teacher post, they argue.

The costs and time involved in achieving such status remain barriers to be overcome, and any review will not be doing its job if it does not address these. The approaches being tried out in Falkirk (p4) and the "third way"

which the Tapestry Learning Partnership wants GTC Scotland to endorse (p1) show that the present approach is not the only way forward.

Perhaps the process should have been given more time before the rush to a review. The post cannot be solely for the benefit of the teachers: armed with their enhanced status (and pay), they will be expected to make a difference in the classroom. Surely some considered research is needed on whether this is happening before the scheme can be pronounced "flawed", in the words of the headteacher of Larbert High.

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