On Wednesday, 7th March, I took part in the third of four or five meetings of the Professional Standards writing groups at the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s headquarters at Clerwood House in Edinburgh.
We continued our work in developing new Standards for three distinct groups, which I would name as: early phase of teaching career (bringing together the Standard for Initial Teacher Education and the Standard for Full Registration), career-long educator, and school management.
Presently, I expect each group to produce one Standard and that, as at the intended final publication date of Autumn 2012, these three Professional Standards will form the new, coherent and overarching ’suite’ requested by the Donaldson Review team in their 2011 report, ‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’.
My involvement is with the second group, which could be regarded as ‘taking forward’, ‘replacing’, or otherwise, the Standard for Chartered Teacher. This group comprises two Chartered Teachers, a maingrade teacher, an LA education officer, three teacher educators/educational researchers, and an officer of the GTCS.
The working title for this new Standard is the Standard for Advancing the Accomplished Professional. The group has considered several academic and policy papers, including one on the ‘Certification of highly accomplished and lead teachers’, by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership.
I sense that many across the three groups see the new Standards as central to a future system of GTCS Professional Update (‘reaccreditation’), and to improved processes of Professional Review and Personal Development (PRPD).
It is important to note that all matters relating to teachers’ pay and conditions reside with the tripartite Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), comprising teachers’, employers’, and government representatives.
At this stage in the production of the drafts of the Professional Standards (to be issued for consultation before the summer), it appears to me that there will be a number of themes evident in each Standard, such as: leadership, enquiry, sustainability, and multiple literacies. The Standards will continue to refer to Professional values, commitment, skills, abilities, and knowledge and understanding.
The next meeting of the groups takes place on Monday, 23rd April.