Tougher standards for CTs

5th June 2009 at 01:00
Fresh guidelines for access to chartered teacher programme

Future chartered teachers may have to have their "readiness for entry" to the programme supported by their line manager, the chief executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland has suggested.

Tony Finn told a GTCS-sponsored conference for chartered teachers last Saturday that the teachers' regulatory body would be publishing further advice on access to the CT programme.

This would depend on an aspiring CT gaining the support of his or her head at the professional review of development stage and demonstrating, through a portfolio, that he or she is teaching at a high enough standard before entering the programme; the head would have to continue that support while the teacher was in the programme.

"These guidelines will help potential chartered teachers to consider, in association with their line managers, their readiness for entry to the programme, encouraging them to reflect on the standards which need to be achieved and considering areas in which support might be needed and provided to enable them to achieve this," he said.

The new guidelines will be seen as negotiating the difficult territory between a teacher's right of self-nomination and a head's right not only to know which teachers are pursuing the programme but also to have a say in their eligibility.

Among a number of changes designed to clarify the work of chartered teachers, GTCS is launching a revised Standard for Chartered Teachers which will enshrine in it the "significant contribution" that good chartered teachers already make in enhancing learning and leading change, said Mr Finn.

While chartered teachers were leaders of learning, they were not "managers", he underlined. "They should discuss and agree what type of contribution will best reflect their skills and be comfortable with this. They should not be subject to detailed descriptors of role or remit."

The Code of Practice for Chartered Teachers, adopted last week by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, will build directly on the revised standard and provide illustrations of areas in which a CT would contribute, he said.

Although the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association warned the code would give headteachers carte blanche to load additional responsibilities on CTs, the Educational Institute of Scotland has backed it.

  • The GTCS has also outlined its vision for its future governance and powers when it becomes an independent body this year. In its response to the government consultation on its future status, the council says it is likely to need greater flexibility in a number of areas, including how to respond to the cross-curricular demands of A Curriculum for Excellence, given that teachers' registration is currently linked to their subject qualification.
    • It may seek to set up categories of registration for members who, for instance, no longer teach in schools but still work in education. The GTCS also wants to introduce "an expectation of registration" in the independent sector to close the loophole in cases where a non-registered teacher is found incompetent or to have behaved unprofessionally.

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