Tell us why you matter, CTs are told

2nd December 2011 at 00:00
McCormac team member urges them to make their case

One of the most high-profile members of the team behind the McCormac review has challenged chartered teachers to show why their programme should survive.

Former senior chief inspector Graham Donaldson told a gathering of teachers that the door was far from closed on the future of chartered teachers - although he revealed some of his own concerns about it.

The McCormac review of teachers' terms and conditions, published in September, stated that the chartered teacher scheme had "not delivered against its stated objectives" and should be scrapped.

Professor Donaldson, whose own review of teacher education was published in January, was one of the seven people who worked with Professor Gerry McCormac and came to unanimous agreement on all 34 recommendations.

But at a leadership seminar for teachers held at St George's School in Edinburgh, after one audience member quizzed him on the apparent demise of chartered teachers, he said: "There's still a debate to be had about chartered teachers and the way they may or may not have a role to play in the future."

Professor Donaldson's message to supporters of the scheme - designed to offer an alternative to promoted posts for talented classroom teachers - was: "Make the case. Show how you're part of the future." But the concept of a chartered teacher, or, as he put it, of a "superteacher", made him uneasy.

The idea that some teachers could be viewed as "highly professional", and others "just professional", was problematic. "Characteristics of chartered teachers should be characteristics of the profession as a whole," he told the seminar last month.

"There's a kind of implication in the notion of chartered teacher that there's a virtuous route and a nastier route, which is wanting to become a promoted teacher and go up that ladder," he explained. "If promoted staff are leaders of learning, they want to have those qualities as well."

David Noble, chair of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland, said: "We welcome Graham Donaldson's openness to chartered teachers stating the case for the retention and amendment of the scheme."

On 12 December the association is due to publish its response to the McCormac review.

On 14 December, Dundee University professor of education Brian Hudson, working in a personal capacity, will publish a report on possible ways forward for the chartered teacher scheme.

henry.hepburn@tess.co.uk

In numbers

1,216 number of chartered teachers in Scotland in May 2011

2,800 number of teachers working towards chartered status in May 2011.

Original headline: Tell us why you matter, chartered teachers are told

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