We need recognised standards

9th May 1997 at 01:00
I am a strong advocate of the Teacher Training Agency and its proposals for a national qualification framework for the teaching profession.

Benchmarking teachers' pedagogic capabilities and their management and leadership qualities, as a lever for whole-school improvement and raising levels of achievement is, I believe, a sound strategy.

Also the concept of accrediting continuing professional development is one we should support and I welcomed the opportunity to respond to the recent consultation on the proposed national professional qualification for subject leaders.

I am very attracted to the principles of accrediting prior achievement, initial needs assessment, the assessment of candidates against national standards and the summative assessment of teachers' professional skills and capabilities by appropriately experienced and qualified assessors.

But the parallel universe that the TTA seems determined to create is somewhat perplexing.

While the TTA uses the language of the national occupation standards movement, it apparently chooses to ignore relevant standards that have already been defined by the Employment Occupation Standards Council, the Management Charter Initiative and other national training organisations.

As someone who works in a complex organisation, which happens to be called a school, I would prefer my professional knowledge, skills and competence to be measured against nationally recognised occupational standards rather than a TTA construct, which has the danger of being uniquely peculiar to those in teaching and outside the qualifications framework being embraced by those in industry or the business community.

P BEAL 1 The Green Whittington Near Lichfield Staffordshire

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