In this episode, we carry out Scottish education’s PRD to analyse: what’s going well? What has been challenging? What are the next steps? And what support is needed in order to get there? We also have our usual features of #InTheNews #WeRecommend and #InspiredBy. We have been inspired by #PortyLF and @SirJJones #MagicWeavingBusiness and we recommend @Mattforde and @ThePoliticalParty podcast.
This week I’ve been
attending the launch event in Blackwell’s in Edinburgh of Iain MacWhirter’s book Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won A Referendum But Lost Scotland. In his Sunday Herald column (18-12-14), Macwhirter reckons that things can only get better for the Labour Party in Scotland, but…
discussing different approaches to the SCQF/SQA accreditation process with my opposite numbers in SNIPEF; and
negotiating how best to standardize the not entirely dissimilar outcomes that we independently produced; and
realising that after I’d done some work on what we’d agreed that I’d made a potentially fatal error in how I’d redistributed 100 hours of learning. I’d done it in such a way that the hours didn’t carry over their credit. That was pretty mind-blowing… honest, it really was! (I think I’ll explain this in a longer blog post). Thankfully nobody reads this stuff.
booking a place at the SCQF conference in February 2015
watching this Sexplanations video after discussing sex education and the presence of religious representatives on local authority education committees
signing up for Holyrood magazine weekly Education newsletter
buying books on Amazon about Outdoor Education for the STEM Camp that I’m taking pre-apprenticeship students from West College Scotland to the SYHA Stem Camp in 2015; and
contributing to a funding bid to help pay for this; and
writing up my (unpublished) thoughts on the ethics of how parents might best be involved when a FE establishment proposes to take engineering students, who are aged 16+, on a residential trip; but
acknowledging that I need input from experts on this
re-learning Faraday’s Law and Lenz’s Law so that I could add them into the Electrical Installation Science portfolio that I’m writing for the new Electrical Installation SVQ.
reading the newspapers and:
shaking my head as both blue and red Tory politicians court the education vote. Firstly, there was Nicky Morgan in The Observer, trying to undo four and a half years of Govean blobbing, and the following day Jim Murphy attempting to woo teachers in Scotland with a plan,
I will introduce Chartered Status for teachers, to attract the best talent to those worst performing schools
which struck me as a bit of a kick-in-the-teeth for some hard-working teachers. A rough wooing.
When, at the end of the week when he became leader of the north Britisher branch of the Labour party, he called for “a growing middle-class” the policy was all the easier seen in its full ‘Blairite’ splendour
continuing to slowly pick away at Peter John’s book Analyzing Public Policy. I’ve been following the regular criticisms of private schools as a way of understanding how policy is formed, and over the Xmas holiday I might have a go at a post just to collate what I’ve been learning about
reflecting on the value of doing this type of post; and
acknowledging that I slipped behind with the publishing of this post. I need to find a system that allows me to record things as I go along, and doesn’t then take four hours to pull together. I can’t say to someone that reflective blogging is a good idea, but that I can’t manage to keep it up, or that it “only” takes a half-day to write
Filed under: Weeknote Tagged: Analyzing Public Policy, education policy, ethics, GTCS, Holyrood magazine, Iain Macwhirter, Nicky Morgan, private schools, SCQF, SNIPEF, STEM Camp, Sunday Herald, SYHA, The Observer
“A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.” ( George Ivanovich Gurdjieff ) Context: In January 2013, I posted an online advert (on my own blog – for free) to help Find @TeacherToolkit A Job in Scotland. I continued to update everyone … Okumaya devam et
I mentioned in my last post that the revised GTCS Professional Standards were due to come into effect soon…they have done so today. I also mentioned in that post that professional enquiry features highly in the new standards and yet many might not quite feel confident enough to engage in professional enquiries without significant external support which might not be forthcoming.
Whilst I hope that support will be forthcoming, I thought I’d share my own experiences in the meantime in the hope that they might prove useful to others to help them get going or to enhance what they’re already doing. I was planning on doing something like this in my own school to support the expansion of the process anyway, so why not share it on here as well. I’ve found Professional Enquiry to be such a powerful process that I’d like to do everything I can to encourage others to go ahead and give it a go.
Basically, I’ve created a very brief downloadable guide to carrying out a professional enquiry, either individually or as a small group. This is based on my experiences at my school and on my MEd. I don’t claim that this is in any way authoritative or perfect, but I hope it might prove useful to some. I suspect there will be some teachers, or groups of teachers, out there who are keen to engage in this sort of process but would just like a little support to get started…this guide is not much, but perhaps it might just provide that little support.
You can download the guide by clicking on the image above or by clicking here. If you’d like to ask any questions etc then please of course feel free to get in touch. If you do find it useful, please feel free to pass it onto others.
Zoe Robertson has drawn my attention to this great Practitioner Enquiry resource on the GTCS website which you might find useful also.
According to the GTCS website, there are 11 days, 14 hours and 56 minutes until the revised professional standards come into effect…have you looked at them yet? If you have, you might well be wondering how we’re going to achieve all this. I personally think the standards look fantastic, but like many I suspect, I worry that the financial support will not be there to support the deep and meaningful professional learning they aspire to. However, I think we need to be careful not to assume that we can’t achieve any of this. I believe the professional way of engaging with these standards is to work out what we can do and then make a reasoned case as to why funding is required for the rest.
For example, professional enquiry is mentioned a lot in the new standards, and rightly so. I’m fortunate in that my MEd was in Professional Enquiry and culminated in me leading a collaborative professional enquiry process in my school, which we’re currently developing and widening. But to get to this point took four years of intensive study and significant support from the staff at the University of Stirling. I intend to write a post before the start of the new term outlining how to approach a collaborative professional enquiry, but this obviously will fall a long way short of the rich and intensive learning which I gained from the MEd programme. If we want deep professional learning for teachers which has impact, it will require support and investment.
However, there are some things we can do for free. We could be making much better use of each other in our schools through reciprocal classroom observations and small school-based TeachMeets for example. Although these things cost a little in time, they are fantastic ways of learning from each other and much better than the vast majority of “courses” I’ve ever attended.
And then there’s blogging. I still maintain that blogging is one of the best forms of CPD I have ever engaged with. In terms of the impact it has had on me as a teacher, I think it is rivalled only by my MEd – but I don’t think I would have ever done the MEd had I not been blogging first. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about blogging in education…some folk assume that it’s all about self-publicity, but I’ve never seen that way. Of course, some teachers do use it in that way, but it’s not compulsory! I do it as it helps me think and reflect. The fact that it is public forces me to write, and therefore reflect, more carefully and more frequently than I would otherwise – but I see myself as the primary beneficiary of my blog, not whatever ‘audience’ there might be. Obviously, it’s a real thrill to know that others are reading my blog and find it interesting or useful, but I don’t do it for them, I do it for my professional learning.
This perspective also allows me not to worry if I’m not posting regularly. I don’t stress if I’ve not written a post in months, because it’s my blog and it’s for me. If I’ve not been writing then I’ve not needed it for a little while. But it’s always there to come back to if I need it.
So, how could blogging support you with the new professional standards? Well, for each of the standards I’ve picked out a few statements which could very obviously be met through blogging…
- Demonstrating openness, honesty, courage and wisdom.
- Critically examining personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice.
- Critically examining the connections between personal and professional attitudes and beliefs, values and practices to effect improvement and, when appropriate, bring about transformative change in practice.
- Engaging with all aspects of professional practice and working collegiately with all members of our educational communities with enthusiasm, adaptability and constructive criticality.
- Committing to lifelong enquiry, learning, professional development and leadership as core aspects of professionalism and collaborative practice.
- reflect and engage in self evaluation using the relevant professional standard
- demonstrate an enquiring and critical approach to their professional practice and development and engage in systematic professional dialogue
- evaluate, and adapt their classroom practice rigorously and systematically, taking account of feedback from others, to enhance teaching and learning
- work collaboratively to contribute to the professional learning and development of colleagues, including students, through offering support and constructive advice and through disseminating experience and expertise, seeking opportunities to lead learning
- maintain an effective record and portfolio of their own professional learning and development and a professional development action plan, including analysis of impact on learners and on own professional practices
- understand and explore the contexts and complexity in which teachers operate and the dynamic and complex role(s) of professionals within the educational community
- actively consider and critically question the development(s) of policy in education
- develop skills of rigorous and critical self-evaluation, reflection and enquiry including how to investigate and evidence impact on learners and professional practice
- Leaders continually develop self-awareness; they regularly question their practice through processes of reflection and critical enquiry…They build and sustain personal credibility by modelling their commitment to career-long professional learning, integrity and ethical practice, thus developing a culture of trust and respect.
- Leaders display a readiness to engage in debate and dialogue and promote constructive ways of achieving improvement, displaying an awareness of the ethical use of power and authority.
- Leaders show and communicate their deep commitment to the education and well-being of learners in their everyday practices. They are effective communicators within the school and the wider community and build effective relationships across networks. They listen, express their ideas and feelings clearly, engage in professional dialogue and constructive feedback and establish effective organisational communication. They make use of a variety of appropriate media in doing so.
- model good practice in personal self-evaluation against the relevant professional standard and appropriate benchmarks
- promote an open, honest and critical stance in examining practice, within their area of responsibility
- take responsibility for, and engage actively in, ongoing professional learning to enhance their personal and professional skills and knowledge base
These are just the obvious ones, but actually the entirety of the standards could benefit from blogging. Take the following professional action from the Standard for Full Registration for example:
- systematically develop and use an extensive range of strategies, approaches and associated materials for formative and summative assessment purposes, appropriate to the needs of all learners and the requirements of the curriculum and awarding and accrediting bodies
Although this doesn’t immediately leap out as an action which is relevant to blogging, it is. If this was an aspect of practice which you as a teacher were working on improving, then writing a post on formative and summative assessment approaches would help you to develop your thinking. Assessment is something which preoccupies me quite a lot, and so I’ve written several posts on the subject all of which have helped me to develop my thinking and improve my practice. So, blogging can help you meet the actions listed above, and all the others…and it’s free!
So, how can you get started? Well if you’re in East Lothian it’s really very easy. Just head on over to edubuzz.org/register fill out the details using your work email address and tick the box that says “Yes, I’d like to create a new site”. If you don’t work in East Lothian, but you do teach in Scotland you can set up a Glow Blog, or you can use one of the many free blogging sites such as WordPress, Blogger or Edublogs…it doesn’t really matter. They’re all free and very easy to use, just choose one which appeals to you and get going. You don’t need any training to write a blog post. If you can send an email, you can write a blog post. If you like, you could always test the water by writing a post on Pedagoo.org before deciding whether or not to set up your own blog.
ACTS welcome being consulted upon the new suite of Standards, and specific members valued being invited to join the writing group for The Standard for Career Long Professional Development (SCLPL). It is clear from our reading of the new suite of Standards that there is a very close relationship between these and the Standard for Chartered Teacher. The focus on teacher leadership and leadership for learning and the aspirational nature of the standards is to be welcomed.
Overall, these standards align very well to promote a coherent and connected approach to delivering effective teaching and learning in Scottish schools. The clear definitions of how each area of responsibility meshes should encourage stronger self-evaluation, critical enquiry and improvement processes for all. With regard to the role of Chartered Teachers within this framework of standards, we share the following observations, alignments with our standard, and points to note.
The Standard for Full Registration
The emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, learning across the curriculum, using contexts for learning effectively and pedagogy is welcome. The statements regarding working with others – for curricular reasons and to enable links with individuals and groups out-with school are also advantageous.
Effective use is made of diagrams throughout the standards – see note below regarding SCLPL. The organisational use of Professional Values and Commitments, Professional Dispositions, Professional Knowledge, Understanding, Skills & Abilities and Professional Actions throughout helps to unify aims and responsibilities for all.
The Standard for Career Long Professional Development (SCLPL)
There are many aspects of this standard which echo elements of the Chartered Teacher programme and overlap with our standard:
- Reflection on practice which informs self-directed on-going professional development
- The application of self-evaluation processes as part of this reflection
- Clear statements of the ways in which this reflection could be targeted
- The integrated use of professional enquiry to develop and improve impact on learners
- The ability to habitually source and use educational research to inform on-going professional development
- Fostering networks of influence which enhance professional reflection and inform enquiry projects or developments to practice – being collegial is now a defined part of being an accomplished professional
- Encouragement of the active engagement with current issues like global citizenship within teaching and learning – engaging with real world, controversial issues including education policy and issues which are topical in society
- On-going academic study
Points to note:
- The additional element of “Professional Dispositions” as set out , unlike the other three elements, has no actual descriptors of what it translates to, despite it being part of the diagram (SCLPL , Pg 6) in a rightful and important place to encircle “Professional Values and Personal Commitments and illustrated as being integral to developing “Professional Actions” and “Professional Knowledge, Skills and Abilities”. As every quality specified within Professional Dispositions is already shown or implied elsewhere in the Standard, particularly in Values and Personal Commitments it comes across as overly complex to create four separate elements in the Standard when by incorporating “Professional Dispositions” into” Values and Personal Commitments” would simplify the document as a working tool.
- The description of the multiple phases through which a teacher might progress throughout their career is welcome and acknowledges an existing progression familiar to most. However, the brevity of the descriptions of “Accomplished” and “Leading” could lead to misinterpretation of the timescale and relative value of each of these phases. Although the text explains these phases and the need for individual exploration of these very well, it may imply that “Leading” is a progression from “Accomplished”, and is therefore more valuable. This engenders a view of the accomplished role of a classroom practitioner as the lesser of the two. The central aim of the Chartered Teacher programme as a way in which to acknowledge the value and vitality of retaining accomplished teachers in the classroom seems to be contained in these statements. If this standard aims to champion the importance of expert classroom teaching, it needs to communicate this message more strongly. Perhaps another diagram or adaptation of the existing diagram in order to express the inter-changeability or potential pathways through this would be helpful to express this better and to avoid any wrongful prioritisation or assumptions.
- To what extent can the criteria offered be effectively mapped against individuals on their career journey through a balance of PRD/PLD, teaching experience, formal qualifications and evidence of commitment to career long development and indeed by whom? Will external agencies be involved along with line managers? Greater clarity would be valuable around this and delineation between levels within SCLPL and transition from SCPL to SLM. It will be difficult to quantify because these criteria are qualitative and benchmarking would have to come into this. More information about the processes or criteria to be applied for a teacher to make the transition to the Standard for Leadership and Management once he or she fulfils or surpasses the criteria of “Leading” re the Middle Standard (SCLPL) is required. According to the elements set out in both documents, working at the upper end of SCLPL and well within SLM at the level of Middle Manager can in fact be inseparable. That said, it is notable that nowhere in the SLM does the word classroom appear and it speaks of “educational communities” and “teaching and learning”. It seems tacit that those “aspiring to leadership roles” are seen as on a continuum leading to management.
- How can sustained professional learning as expressed take place unless Universities and access to quality academic interchange and challenge is offered as an entitlement. For example, releasing teachers from classes during the working day to move within their communities to collaborate between schools and across sectors would be a requirement if the elements suggested are to be fairly facilitated and applied. Systems are not in place to allow this to be universally facilitated in all LEAs for all interested teachers. A recurrent issue for chartered teachers has been that their abilities to engage with a range of literature and research in order to inform and change policy and practice, where appropriate, is governed by budgets for cover, but also by the openness of line managers to facilitate this in the working day. Teacher professional development as defined by the SCLPL may be vulnerable to the same potential for misappropriation in the allocation of support.
- How can one become accomplished if not offered a role to formally take forward learning? Will the SLM ensure that HTs govern and allocate opportunity fairly?
The Standard for Leadership and Management
The clear definition of leadership in all of its forms is welcome, as is the definition of management and the emphasis on distributed leadership. This standard demonstrates strong integration with elements of the Chartered Teacher programme and standard, including:
- The use of coaching and mentoring and collaborative programmes to improve learning outcomes for colleagues and pupils
- 3.2 Professional Knowledge and Understanding are all reminiscent of CT standard, as are 3.2.1, 3.2.2, and part of 3.2.3
- Elements of 3.3 Personal Dispositions and Interpersonal Skills – self-awareness, questioning of practice through reflective processes and critical enquiry, analysis of current practice used to inform enquiries into improvements, effective communication in order to achieve impact, engagement with the politics involved in education
- Elements of 4.1 Professional Actions relating to self-evaluation
- Chartered Teachers will value the stated commitments to structured and tailored professional development stated in 4.2.3 and 4.2.4
- The term “leadership roles” is open to different interpretation by different HTs. For example, it is surely different to lead or contribute to a cross- city initiative rather than to lead an eco-group within a small rural school
Points to note:
- The delay in publishing the framework for Educational Leadership and Development is unhelpful in evaluating the efficacy and practicality of both SCLPL and the Standard for Leadership and Management. Until, this can be held against both SCLPL and SLM any evaluation can only be half informed.
- This standard defines the role of head teacher really well, so that, if adhered to, a chartered or “accomplished” teacher would be encouraged and enabled to very effectively increase the quality and impact of teaching and learning on pupils.
- This standard could be viewed as being intent on closing the gap between leadership and management. Management is described as being the “operational implementation and maintenance of the practices and systems required to achieve change (and as outlined in the document this is to be first brought about through effective leadership). Many chartered teachers are functioning at this level when given the freedom, right and position to do so and may be perceived, in this respect, as currently functioning as managers within the SLM Standard.
- Some elements of this standard continue to convey and affirm the commonly held impression that educational leadership sustains and maintains a top down process of influence and control.
The Professional Actions of Middle Leaders as described in the standard align particularly well with the Chartered Teacher standard also:
- 5.1.1 Professional self-evaluation methods and processes which impact further
- Leading and influencing others in critical analysis of practice
- 5.1.4 identification and use of knowledge from literature and other sources to inform improvement processes
- 5.3 “To lead and work collaboratively to enhance teaching which leads to high quality learning experiences” – seems to be written for the role of CTs and implies that CTs could contribute greatly to this element of improving educational provision
Points to note:
- “Middle leaders have line management responsibility” and therefore this implies that only those prepared to accept this will be encompassed within this standard.
- The fact remains that many head teachers have themselves not undertaken formal academic studies, many colleagues choose to simply tick along (due to pressure of different home/work pressures) while others are dedicated to a fault. Yes, these standards are indeed “aspirational” for those who have not already aspired to and successfully undertaken academic studies at a high level , who have “deep subject/curriculum knowledge and pedagogical expertise and have, already developed the dispositions necessary to be “knowledge creators curriculum, developers… etc ”
- Chartered teachers may vary in their desire and motivation to operate within the Standard for Middle Managers. Some will relish the opportunity to access their entitlement to lead professional dialogue and teams as the SLM suggests. Some will feel that being defined as accomplished teachers will not allow them to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and ability to promote learning for pupils and colleagues effectively. Is there a way in which to allow CTs a choice in which standard they wish to meet? Can we gain some clarity over where and how the Standard for Chartered Teacher now fits?
- The role of chartered teachers within any standard remains dependent on the leadership and dynamics in their schools and establishments and they cannot be judged or assessed on their efficacy in this role within the constraints which may be imposed upon them.
Whether what is set out in the Standards is a practical and attainable representation of what can be achieved by all teachers , the vast majority of whom are class committed, and subject to constraints such as access to quality CPD and PR to facilitate this, will be tested as these Standards embed in practice. These standards should enable teachers in the classroom to realise that they are the future – the makers and shakers of learning, responsive to change, sharing values as a priority, taking on challenge and meeting it. This suite of standards is aspirational, a continuum, and as human nature dictates, will no doubt allow many to exercise their own limits and progress as far as they wish to at any given time in their career. They define the formal requirement of accountability for all involved in education and it is in full awareness of their importance that ACTS offer these comments which we hope will be helpful before finalisation of the suite.
ACTS received a reply from Drew Morrice, Assistant Secretary of the EIS and Joint Secretary of the SNCT, at the beginning of October (click here to open the letter).
The committee of the Association of Chartered Teachers (ACTS) wish to thank each of the three parties to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) for reaching an agreement on Chartered Teacher (click left to open SNCT Circular 12/35) that will enable all those on the Chartered Teacher Pay Spine to continue to play a career-long role that makes an enhanced contribution to the quality of teaching and learning in Scotland, whether in school or across the wider educational community. We support the expectation of the SNCT that Chartered Teachers be “leaders of learning” (Updated Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher). ACTS recently envisioned the ongoing role of Chartered Teachers as such.
The committee recognise that the SNCT have a full work schedule and we are grateful that agreement has been reached by the end of school session 2011/12. This enables Chartered Teachers to begin to envision their own future role and contribution, for example through building on established relationships with school managers and leaders, or utilising new systems of Professional Review and Learning (or Development) (PRL/D).
The newly published Updated Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher (detailed in the SNCT guidance on the Role and Enhanced Contribution of Chartered Teachers) and the existing Standard for Chartered Teacher requires to be fully understood by management as they engage in trusting and respectful dialogue.
We note that the “SNCT continues to recognise that Chartered Teachers and those who were working towards achieving the Standard (for Chartered Teacher) bring benefits to the school or wider educational community through the impact of their professional actions”, and that such individuals “remain primarily classroom teachers and should not be regarded as part of the school’s management structure.” (SNCT guidance on the Role and Enhanced Contribution of Chartered Teachers)
The ACTS committee welcome the updating of the 2009 Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher. We believe that The Role and Enhanced Contribution of Chartered Teachers document, contained within SNCT Circular 12/35, is fit-for-purpose and complements the Standard for Chartered Teacher.
The committee appreciate the intensive work of The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and partners to produce the new ‘suite’ of Professional Standards. Two ACTS committee members have been involved in writing the (presently-titled) Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning. ACTS will contribute to the Standards consultation later in 2012. Presently, the committee believe that the Standard for Chartered Teacher; with its focus on Educational and social values, Critical self-evaluation and development, Impact and evidence of sustained enhanced practice, and Collaboration with, and influence on, colleagues; remains relevant to the professionalism and practice of teachers on the CT Pay Spine.
The ACTS committee are comfortable with the following list of professional actions, expanded upon in the Updated Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher:
(a) Leading and/or contributing to focused projects to initiate change at school, cluster or authority level;
(b) Supporting, advising and mentoring colleagues in developing their skills of professional reflection, self-evaluation and continuous improvement;
(c) Developing and evaluating aspects of the curriculum and leading curricular change and assessment in the school;
(d) Leading in-service on research work on educational development; and
(e) Promoting and developing effective relationships with pupils, parents, stakeholders and the wider community.
We note that the SNCT state an individual’s contribution “must … reflect the Chartered Teacher’s own expertise which will take account of their teaching experience, interests, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and programmes of study undertaken.” (Updated Code of Practice)
We request that the SNCT, LNCTs, national bodies, school management, and teachers on the CT Pay Spine engage with the updated Code, and that national and local leaders assist in its promotion and implementation through committing themselves to the Code’s principles.
The ACTS committee are deeply disappointed that it appears some Chartered Teacher candidates may be unable to complete their studies within the Chartered Teacher Scheme at a point which they had ‘set out’ to reach. Early responses to Circular 12/35 from ACTS members and others indicate some confusion regarding the circumstances, up to 30th June 2013, under which current Chartered Teacher candidates will gain recognition for recent, ongoing or future professional learning; or successful resubmission of earlier assessments or ‘claims’.
With a deadline of 21st September 2012 for the SNCT Joint Secretaries to consider ‘exceptional circumstances’, ACTS will be advising current Chartered Teacher candidates to contact the SNCT at the earliest possible opportunity. Those successful in applying for dispensation to continue their studies up to 30th June 2013 will need a lead-in time to arrange study opportunities with their Chartered Teacher provider. ACTS intend to contact the GTCS and all Chartered Teacher providers over the next two months, in order to gain an impression of how the updated Code is ‘playing out’ nationally for Chartered Teacher candidates.
ACTS will continue to make key contributions to the “advancement of education” through the enhanced professionalism and practice of Chartered Teachers working in Scotland. We aim to improve networking between Chartered Teachers and other educationists, through attracting to the association many more teachers who are on the CT Pay Spine. The ACTS committee are working hard to organise our 2013 Winter Conference, where we will continue our work around sharing and co-constructing excellent professionalism, through Chartered Teachers engaging with practice, policy and research. The theme and details of this event will be announced in September.
Members of the association have been involved in some of the work of the National Partnership Group, taking forward the recommendations of ‘The Donaldson Report’. One focus that we have engaged with is the successful implementation of future systems of PRL/D. In light of the updated Code, we will continue to contribute to discourse around this and hope that others, such as local authorities, will share ‘good practice’ around PRL/D for Chartered Teachers.
Returning to the contents of Circular 12/35, the committee find the illustrative (and not exhaustive) examples contained within the updated Code to be helpful. However, the following points have been raised:
- We are not comfortable with the suggestion that Chartered Teachers might “assist in supporting underperforming teachers”, and ask if this is materially different from established notions of “supporting” or “mentoring”.
- ACTS have continually highlighted difficulties with teachers “access(ing) relevant research” once academic programmes of study end. To fulfil this specific role and contribution, Chartered Teachers must be provided with wide access to research literature.
- We agree that Chartered Teachers “develop relationships beyond the school”. However, post ‘McCormac Report’ there is concern that it will become increasingly difficult for teachers to be provided with sufficient time or permission from school managers.
- In relation to PRL/D processes for Chartered Teachers, there may be a need in some educational establishments to raise awareness or build capacity and time for school managers to discharge their role effectively.
- The updated Code appears to differentiate, according to the point on which they are placed on the CT Scale, the degree or amount of ‘role and enhanced contribution’ a teacher will take on or make. Clarification will be required around how such differentiation ought to be made by Chartered Teachers and managers, where there is a general expectation that all on the CT Scale continue to be ‘class committed’ for 22.5 hours within a 35-hour working week. This matter also raises the question of whether teachers on Points 1-5 of the CT Scale will be known as, and considered to be, Chartered Teachers.
- We would like to ask the SNCT if there will be an appeals procedure for teachers on the CT Pay Spine who ask the Joint Secretaries for consideration of ‘exceptional circumstances’ and who are, in the first instance, refused dispensation to continue their studies up to 30th June 2013.
In conclusion, the Updated Code of Practice on the Role of the Chartered Teacher and Circular 12/35 are supported by the ACTS committee. This SNCT agreement ensures that all teachers on the Chartered Teacher Pay Spine will be visible in their school and/or authority, having negotiated with their managers how their enhanced professionalism best improves teaching and learning, and outcomes for young people. The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland will, as ever, work with a wide range of individuals, national and government agencies, and professional organisations to support the effectiveness of Chartered Teachers and the quality of education across Scotland.
David Noble, ACTS Chair, on behalf of the ACTS committee
1st July 2012
The ACTS committee will fully respond once the exact wording of the SNCT agreement on Chartered Teacher is published later this month.
[Beginning of statement]
I thank the parties to the SNCT for reaching agreement, thereby ending the uncertainty for the over one thousand Chartered Teachers working across education in Scotland.
The agreement will allow each of us to continue to make an enhanced contribution to teaching and learning, planned and agreed through respectful and collegial PRD dialogue.
With regards to “exceptions to no further salary progression”, I ask that the SNCT respectfully consider the position of those Chartered Teacher candidates who are in the latter stages of their long and committed ‘journey’.
Following publication of the final version of the agreement, I will communicate to the SNCT issues and potential issues around implementation as ‘flagged up’ by ACTS members and others.
ACTS continues to play a relevant role in the advancement of education and I look forward to the association engaging with future discussions around ‘The Role and Enhanced Contribution of Chartered Teachers’.
David Noble, ACTS Chair
1st June 2012
[End of statement]