Labour seeking 'Oscars'

1st August 1997 at 01:00
The Government wants to establish an awards scheme for teachers which could culminate in an annual Oscar-style ceremony to celebrate the profession's successes, writes Jeremy Sutcliffe.

Termly scholarships would be designed to enable outstanding teachers to pass on their knowledge and experience. The "best" schools would also be recognised.

This is part of an overall policy to tackle low morale and improve the profession's status through awards, accelerated promotion for high-fliers and the creation of a General Teaching Council.

Officials at the Teacher Training Agency are already developing plans for a new grade of "advanced skills" teacher, a fast-tracking scheme for aspiring heads, and a new qualifications framework.

They are also to hold talks with the film producer, Sir David Puttnam, about his plan to stage an annual ceremony for outstanding teachers. The idea is thought to have the backing of ministers and senior civil servants.

Sir David has been recruited to the Government's task force on school standards, which is understood to be keen to find ways of celebrating the profession's successes.

The Prime Minister this week announced plans to give top-performing heads knighthoods. This was dismissed by Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, as "a gimmick".

* LEADER, page 12

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