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26th June 2015 at 01:00

Shared goals for Professional Update

I think the General Teaching Council for Scotland's progress report on Professional Update is very helpful. PU is a positive development for the profession, but bringing it into being is far more difficult than flicking a switch. The fact that the GTCS has undertaken this research shows that is far from complacent about the implementation of the project.

There was some suggestion in the document, and the TESS article (" `Tick-box' approach threatens future of Professional Update", News, 19 June), that there was a lack of commitment from reviewers. I don't recognise that, but if it is an ongoing perception then it needs to be investigated and addressed. Most school leaders see PU as a welcome refocusing on the performance review and development (PRD) system. Members of the AHDS have told us that there is some way to go with regard to teachers' understanding of their responsibility to keep records and submit them for sign-off.

In short, it seems that there are teachers and school leaders with differing levels of knowledge and understanding about this new responsibility. As we go forward, it will be very important for the GTCS to continue its efforts to educate the profession, for local authorities to keep delivering relevant training and for organisations like mine to play our part, too.

Finally, I have heard concerns about the associated bureaucracy and workload. The root of such complaints seems to be linked to extra burdens and a reduction in overall capacity, rather than being targeted specifically at PRD and PU. If school leaders were asked to list what they saw as the most unnecessary bureaucracy, then it's unlikely that PRD or PU would be near the top.

Greg Dempster

General secretary, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland

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Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to scotletters@tesglobal.com. Letters may be edited

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