Teaching council may widen its net

2nd April 2004 at 01:00
Nursery teachers, college lecturers and independent school teachers could be required to register with the General Teaching Council for England The GTC is considering expanding its remit to include qualified teachers in sectors other than state schools. In the longer term, classroom assistants and mentors may also be absorbed into the organisation.

All educators of under-fives may be required to have a qualified teacher on the staff. In its corporate plan, unveiled this week, the GTC expressed concerns over the growing number of children who will be taught in colleges following the Tomlinson review of 14 to 19 education.

It will consider whether lecturers with qualified-teacher status, or equivalent qualifications, should abide by its quality and competence procedures.

Its proposal that all qualified teachers in independent schools should subscribe was welcomed by a spokesman for the Independent Schools Council who said that GTC membership was "strongly encouraged".

The corporate plan, launched by Carol Adams, the council's chief executive, said: "The proposed changes to the landscape of teaching and learning will have major implications for our advisory work and our development work with teachers.

"We will work to ensure that the GTC is an influential player in the debates around personalised learning, the qualifications of all those working with pupils and the measures needed to support teacher effectiveness and success in a changing environment."

Ms Adams said that while the GTC should be instrumental in any debate over future regulation, it did not automatically follow that it would actively seek the subscription of staff in other sectors. The fee for teachers is pound;30 a year.

The council has been a promoter of professional development for teachers, but in a second announcement this week it was revealed that the Teacher Training Agency will take on the role.

Ms Adams said: "The TTA's role is ensuring that continuous professional development is available. Our role is to ensure that teachers access those opportunities and to work with them to broker new knowledge about how CPD works."

The TTA will be responsible for creating a national network to help improve classroom practice, and help teachers become experts in their chosen specialism.

Its new remit will include training teacher assistants and support staff, with a further 76 training schools being created to promote excellence in teacher training, Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, said.

It will also be involved in a wider network to train all staff working in schools, as outlined in the Children Bill and the Green Paper, Every Child Matters. Mr Clarke said: "A school's performance these days is not just dependent on the teacher. It depends on the performance of the whole school team."

Schools minister David Miliband told a separate conference that the Learning and Skills Council would work with the TTA on support staff training.

Ralph Tabberer, the TTA's chief executive, said: "These additional responsibilities place the TTA at the forefront of the Government's reforms for the school workforce and for children and young people. They take the TTA into its second decade with new challenges."

Platform 19

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