Ministers have said it is vital that teachers feel they "own" their continuing professional development (CPD), and that resources are made available for training.
But their draft proposals have come under fire from teacher unions, who say little progress has been made since the Government first outlined plans for improving professional development in the Green Paper on teachers' pay in December 1998.
A draft consultation document on CPD, issued just before Christmas, says the focus of in-service training should be on the quality of teaching in the classroom.
It outlines possible sources of funding for meeting national, school and individual training priorities. It also suggests a framework for teacher development, based on work by Hay McBer consultants, which identifies key components of effective teaching. But it contains no firm financial commitments, and suggests that individual teachers might still find themselves paying for some of their own professional devlopment.
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "There is a long way to go and an enormous amount of work remains to be done before the paper we have seen can be converted into something which delivers on the Government's promise of a change in the whole way that teachers' professional needs are viewed.
"The Green Paper was not just about performance-related pay. It's about how the training and development needs of teachers, thrown up by performance management and appraisal, can be met."
If new performance-management systems identify new training objectives for teachers, then these must be fully resourced, said Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads' Association, wants more CPD money delegated to schools, and is concerned about getting the right balance between national development priorities, school requirements and individual teachers' needs.
See Friday for a new section on professional development