More than 300 teachers want to gain professional status in the same way as doctors or lawyers, it was revealed this week. The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) says it has received three times as many applications than expected for its pilot chartered teacher scheme, starting in September.
Middle-management teachers have shown a healthy interest despite union fears (TES Cymru, January 12).
In a draft consultation response by the National Union of Teachers Cymru, education officer Dr Heledd Hayes said: "The concept of chartered teacher should be a milestone to celebrate, not a millstone. These proposals are not reassuring."
There are also worries that the qualification could lead to devolving pay and conditions, and that teachers may feel pressured into the scheme. But, at the launch of the programme this week, GTCW chief executive Gary Brace said the pilot, which will be evaluated over two years, would be a learning curve for a professional status.
He said: "We want a dedicated group of people who want to learn about what works best. We have been delighted with the strong support from teachers."
It is hoped the qualification will bridge the gap between professional development gained by newly-qualified teachers and the National Professional Qualification for Headship.
Two main routes to becoming a chartered teacher will be piloted, a taught route as well as an accredited one, where teachers will receive credit for professional development and practice.