GTC split on specialism

14th March 2003 at 00:00
MEMBERS of the General Teaching Council for Scotland have reacted cautiously to their vice-convener's call for a 10-14 specialist teaching qualification and pressed for further research.

A starter paper by Professor Douglas Weir of Strathclyde University at last week's GTC meeting in Edinburgh fired members into a flurry of responses, ranging from outright hostile to sympathetic.

James Forbes, Buckhaven High, said the problems were not in the first two years but years three and four where pupils reacted against the burdens of assessment. Bill Guthrie, Perth High, said teachers were not to blame if they could deliver successfully in S3 and S4. The curriculum was at fault.

But Judith Sischy, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, said: "In our experience, when secondary teachers are in the 10-14 age range they know their specialism, but their methodology is all wrong."

There was a great opportunity for a review.

Bruce Robertson, Highland's education director, forecast that the post-McCrone agreement and cuts in teaching hours could allow more specialists to work in both sectors.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today