Have your say on code of conduct

9th November 2007 at 00:00
Teachers will be able to have their say on a new set of standards for the profession from next week.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland launches consultation on its draft code of professionalism and conduct this Monday.

The code highlights crucial values and principles for teachers, including references to topical issues such as the internet and behaviour on school trips.

It is also designed to explain to the public the standard of conduct that is expected of teachers.

The document is only a few pages long, however, and does not set out to address every single situation in which teachers might find themselves.

Expectations of teachers include the following:

- The onus is on the teacher, not the pupil, to steer clear of "potentially inappropriate situations"; teachers should not establish inappropriate relationships through the internet, e-mail and text messages.

- Professional standards on school trips should be the same as during a normal school day.

- Teachers should not take part in any criminal behaviour, especially offences involving sex, firearms, misuse of drugs, violence and serious public order offences.

- They should keep up to date with child-protection procedures.

- Day-to-day practice should demonstrate a commitment to "social justice and inclusion".

- Colleagues should not be undermined by remarks perceived as "malicious, unfounded or unprofessional".

- Meetings with parents should be a two-way process where their views are taken into account.

Matthew MacIver, chief executive of the GTCS, said: "This code is a guide to ensure the high standards of teaching that exist in Scotland today are maintained and enhanced. We will be consulting with a wide range of stakeholders including teachers, parents, unions and employers to obtain their views and feedback.

"I very much hope people take the time to contribute to this important consultation."

The draft code and information about the consultation process: www.gtcs.org.ukconduct consultation.

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