After a brief interval, the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland is taking the stage once more as STEP – Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice.

In a typical three act drama, ACT 1 establishes main characters, and sets the scene for what follows. Soon, an incident occurs that presents the main characters with a life-changing situation which they must solve. As the first act ends, the audience must ask questions – how will the main characters resolve the situation? What will the changes mean for all the characters? Will it all end happily?

ACT 2 usually portrays the main characters’ attempts to resolve the problem. Sometimes further problems beset them on the way. They must adapt to the changed circumstances that have threatened to undermine them, often learning new skills and finding strengths of which they were previously unaware. They seek allies and grow in their self-knowledge and resilience.

The third act features the resolution of the drama. The main difficulties of recent events are concluded and the questions raised in the first act are answered. The main characters arrive at the finale, looking to the future with a new sense of who they are and what their strengths might be.

The parallels in ACTS’ recent journey need not be laboured.  After their launch and widely acknowledged subsequent accomplishments, Chartered Teachers in ACTS 1 felt the calamitous “Report of the Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland” to be an undeserved blow. How could they continue? How could their undoubted strengths be preserved and developed?

Happily, through ACTS 2 they have been sustained and encouraged by their friends far and wide (you know who you are and thank you) to find a way forward, and they have examined in depth how their strengths may continue to have an impact on the education of their pupils.  Within the new Standards, for Career-Long Professional Learning and for Leadership and Management, Chartered Teachers have found contexts for continued recognition of their professional activities.  With the advent of Professional Update, there is a renewed incentive for all teachers to adopt the reflective, dynamic approach to Continuing Professional Development envisioned by Professor McCrone in his 2000 report “A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” and recommended by Graham Donaldson in his 2007 report “Teaching Scotland’s Children”.  It is a mindset which sees CPD as “an integral part of your career as a teacher, not just as a requirement, but as your right.” (GTCS) Networking and group discussion were reported to be the most effective type of CPD (Donaldson, 2011)

As the curtain opens on ACTS 3, the former Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland takes the stage confidently with a new name, Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice (STEP) and invites all teachers to join with them in their aim to deliver “high-quality classroom practice identified through action-oriented research and the implementation of teaching practices and methods that enhance the education of pupils.” and to continue to be “a resource for the nation as well as for their schools and local authorities.” (McCrone, 2000).

So although we have reached the finale, it is by no means the end!  Create, Lead, Promote, Sustain – these four active concepts will characterise the work of members of STEP. (Sharp-eyed readers will recognise the source of these themes.) Members of STEP are committed to these actions and will continue to be motivated by them. “..from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (Darwin)

Dorothy Coe

Practitioner Enquiry event


Moray House Practitioner Enquiry Poster

 “Inquiry as Stance: Local and Beyond”

Prof. Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools, Boston College, USA

“Getting Beyond ‘What Works’”

Prof. Pat Thomson, Director of Education Research, Nottingham University; Editor of Educational Action Research.

“Impact: What impact? Whose impact?  Educational Practice, Educational Policy and Research Excellence.”

Tom Hamilton

Director of Education and Professional Learning

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

The key aims of the conference are:

  • to provide a forum for educators to consider current and future opportunities, challenges and  issues related to establishing and supporting high quality practitioner enquiry/action research/self study for educational professionals.
  • to explore how we might raise the profile of small scale, high impact research, particularly within universities within the UK.
  • To offer extended group discussion sessions in which, with the aim of planning for action, we can consider – Moving from Practitioner Research to Publication with Impact.

Cost: £75 which includes a buffet lunch and all light refreshments.

To register for this conference:

Organisers: Morwenna Griffiths and Gillian Robinson

Administrator: Valerie Clark

Click on link below to download the Call for Papers

Moray House Call for papers

SELMAS Brains Trust June 3rd

From Alex. Wood:

BETTER SCHOOL LEADERSHIP: Can our current strategies deliver?

 SELMAS Brains Trust 2: Scottish Education Leadership and SCEL: June 3rd 5.00 – 6.30

 City of Glasgow College

City Campus North Hanover Street

60 North Hanover Street  

Glasgow   G1 2BP

 There is growing evidence that to achieve our collective ambition for Scottish education, we need passionate, inspirational and transformational leadership. In Teaching Scotland’s Future it was argued that this could be supported by the development of  “A virtual college of school leadership”.

 Plans for SCEL are now advancing and a new CEO will be appointed soon.

 The expectations are high: “Given the need to nurture the leadership skills and talents of all teachers, in a culture of distributive leadership, better coordination of resources, support and development would be more efficient and would promote higher quality.  A virtual college of school leadership should be developed to improve leadership capacity at all levels within Scottish education. This facility would provide a dedicated focal point for leadership development in Scotland.”

 Join us for an open discussion on all aspects of educational leadership and on how SCEL will deliver on this aspiration.

Margaret Alcorn (Convenor of SELMAS) will host the event, and Margery McMahon Lead National Co-ordinator for SCEL, Walter Humes, Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Stirling, Danny Murphy, Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Rodger Hill Education Officer, Dumfries & Galloway Council, and Sue Beattie, headteacher at Belmont Academy in Ayr will contribute their thinking.

We are grateful to Glasgow College for hosting this event, and for the sponsorship received from the Scottish Government.

This is a free event, but you should indicate your intention to attend by returning the booking form to Alex Wood by email at  

Alex. Wood
49 Acredales
West Lothian EH49 6HY

Tel: 01506 848259
Mob: 0775 989 8890
Web site:

Highlights from ACTS Conference 2014

Comments from ACTS conference 2014 Exploring Leadership 1st March 2104

“I feel energised and inspired, ready to go into school with new ideas!”

“Stimulating and thought-provoking”

“…an inspiring and challenging day – a real treat!”

“A high quality, inspirational day!”

“A very relaxed, welcoming conference – positivity was embedded!”

“An excellent day – format, location, speakers”

If you missed this uplifting and enlivening day, catch up with some of the highlights here

Scottish College for Educational Leadership shiny new website

The new Scottish College for Educational Leadership website.

Scottish College for Educational Leadership

Scottish College for Educational Leadership

. It’s in its early stages and there’s not a great deal of content there yet.

We can expect to hear a lot more when Ken Muir (GTCS) and Petra Wend (National Implementation Board)  deliver keynotes at the ACTS conference on 1st March 2014 at Stirling Management Centre.

Revised and Improved SNCT package on Pay and Conditions for Teachers and Associated Professionals 2013-15

The committee of ACTS welcomes the result of negotiations by the SNCT announced yesterday and acknowledges the improvements gained in the financial and other aspects of the package. The committee is particularly pleased to note the protection of Chartered Teachers’ pay scale which acceptance of the package will retain going forward.

Details of the offer are available on the EIS website

Exploring Leadership at the 2014 ACTS Conference

ACTS National Conference 2014

Participants at ACTS Conference 2013

Participants at ACTS Conference 2013


1 March 2014, Stirling Management Centre

 Introducing the 2014 ACTS National Conference, the theme of which is teacher leadership in the 21st century.  This year’s programme includes a very timely selection of speakers – Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education; Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University and a key player in the implementation of “Teaching Scotland’s Future”; and Chris McIlroy, former CHMIE and central to a range of developments in Scottish education.  The afternoon session will be chaired by Graham Donaldson, former CHMIE and author of “Teaching Scotland’s Future”.

Workshops will cover all stages and aspects of education, and there will be lots of opportunities throughout the day for discussion, debate and sharing.  An interesting addition to this year’s workshop sessions is  ‘TeachMeet’, giving delegates themselves the opportunity to deliver a short 2 – 5 minute presentation on a topic of their choice.  For full details, see workshop information.

We are delighted that the Conference is sponsored by Scottish Government, EIS, NASUWT, VOICE, and GTCS, all of whom will be represented on the day.  We are extremely grateful for their support.

To register for this exciting event, please complete the booking form, including your workshop choices.  Full details of the workshops are provided here.  If you have any queries, please e mail us at

We look forward to seeing you on 1 March at Stirling Management Centre!

With very best wishes,

Andrina Inglis