Heed the poor bloody infantry

29th September 2000 at 01:00
YOUR feature on professional development (TESS, September 22) made no mention of the General Teaching Council for Scotland's intention to pay for classroom teachers to take up to 20 days "out of the trenches" to reflect on classroom practice.

Albeit on a small scale (it is after all being funded by teachers themselves), this initiative is designed to address a problem which more than one of your contributors referred to: the gulf between much of the continuing professional development (CPD)which is offered to teachers and their own desire for an approach which is more in tune with the realities of the "front line".

In blunt terms, a great deal of the CPD offered to teachers is at best irrelevant and at worst dispiriting. Unfortunately, classroom practitioners have become so inured to this situation that many, perhaps a maority, have given up any hope of improvement. It is to be hoped that the GTC's "reaching scholarships" scheme will go some way to reversing this.

Meanwhile, I note that Peter Peacock's hope is that a CPD strategy for teachers "will reflect lessons learned and applied elsewhere". I would humbly suggest that he begins at home by listening carefully to the views of the "poor bloody infantry".

As one of these, I fervently hope that the strategy which eventually emerges will give every qualified teacher the opportunity and the funding to determine their own priorities for CPD. I would submit that this is the only way to ensure real quality for the people who need it most - classroom teachers and their pupils.

Peter Wright

Council member, General Teaching Council for Scotland

Falcon Road


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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today