Editor's comment

21st December 2007 at 00:00
The review of the chartered teacher scheme ordered by Hugh Henry a year ago has not delivered the changes the former education minister hoped to see, when he asked Michael O'Neill to chair the investigation.

Now sitting on Fiona Hyslop's desk, the report recommends no significant reforms to the system, reflecting a major split between unions and management.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning may pass this hot potato along to the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the body which sets the standard for chartered teacher and regulates the scheme. If that happens, education insiders predict little in the way of change. The GTC has, in recent months, been closer to the EIS line on chartered teacher reform than it was in the past, they report.

But questions remain over whether the scheme is delivering what it was set up to do. Astonishingly, a tiny minority of teachers on the chartered teacher programme are actually deemed by their heads to be so lacking in basic competence that they require support. The jury is out on whether such a glaring anomaly can be resolved by the review group's recommendation that aspiring CTs must first provide evidence of a strong portfolio of continuing professional development before they can embark on the modular programme.

The largest group of teachers who have achieved chartered status are in their early to mid-50s, hurtling towards their enhanced pension. This demographic may start to shift once entry to the accreditation of prior learning route is cut off next year. But the fact remains that the university-based modular programme is still an expensive undertaking, especially for younger teachers.

One suspects that this is not the last review of the CT scheme we shall see - some of the more intractable questions cannot go unanswered for long.

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