Think outside the envelope

16th January 2004 at 00:00
Teachers need not confine continuing professional development to the contractual 35 hours a year earmarked for the purpose, new guidelines make clear.

"A CPD activity is anything that has progressed a teacher's existing skills or enhanced her or his professionalism," the amended framework published by the Scottish Executive states. It carries the endorsement of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Sitting down with a good book or "personal reflection" should count as much as attending an in-service event or a secondment, according to the guidelines. But teachers will still have to agree with their superiors which activities should be seen as contributing to the contractual 35 hours.

The framework assumes there will be six stages in professional development - "beginnings" for the probationer, leading to "next steps", "building excellence in learning and teaching", preparing for management, aspiring to leadership and ongoing development. Improved skills can be demonstrated in different areas from the curriculum and attainment to ethos and resources.

But the guidelines stress that this is not to be seen as a hierarchical approach in which excellence in the classroom, for example, leads ultimately to management. "Career paths in learning and teaching and in leading and management are distinct and equally valid and challenging," they state. "There is no hierarchy between the two."

The guidelines are intended to be "sufficiently flexible to enable schools and local authorities to set the national recommendations within the context of their own local systems".

They include a checklist as a prompt so schools get it right. This underlines the importance of ensuring that professional review and development "celebrates success, recognises good performance and makes clear to teachers that they are valued and appreciated".

The checklist also emphasises that, while every teacher must have a set of agreed development objectives, records should be kept to a minimum.

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