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The New Scottish Teacher Education Professional Standards and the Development of the Professional Update System Tom Hamilton Director of Education and Professional Learning HoSS Forum January 2014. #gtcsPU #gtcsPL. The General Teaching Council for Scotland: Background. History:

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The New Scottish Teacher Education Professional Standards and the Development of the Professional Update SystemTom HamiltonDirector of Education and Professional Learning HoSS ForumJanuary 2014

#gtcsPU #gtcsPL

the general teaching council for scotland background
The General Teaching Council for Scotland: Background


  • Set up by Act of Parliament in 1965: Non-Departmental Public Body
  • GTCS became independent April 2012: Professional Statutory Regulatory Body


  • Contribute to the development of a world class education system in Scotland.
  • Maintain and enhance professional standards in schools and colleges in collaboration with partners.
  • Be recognised as an advocate for the teaching profession.
independent gtcs functions
Independent GTCS Functions
  • Keep a register of teachers
  • Establish and review the standards of education and training appropriate to school teachers
  • Establish and review the standards of conduct and professional competence expected of a registered teacher
  • Investigate the fitness to teach of individuals who are, or are seeking to be, registered
  • Maintain a scheme of Professional Update for teachers
independent gtcs
Independent GTCS

It is for the GTCS to determine what constitutes a recognised teaching qualification for individuals seeking registration as a school teacher.

A determination may make such provision about the education and training required to attain such a qualification as the GTCS thinks fit.

TQFE: determination remains with Scottish Government

new standards 2013
New Standards 2013
  • The Standards for Registration (Provisional, Full)
  • The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning
  • The Standards for Leadership and Management (Middle Leadership, Headship)

(Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges Scottish Government March 2012)

aspects of professional development

Professional Skills and


Professional Knowledge and Understanding

Professional Values and Personal Commitment

Aspects of Professional Development
professional values and personal commitment
Professional Values and Personal Commitment
  • Social Justice
  • Integrity
  • Trust and Respect
  • Professional Commitment

Professional values are also relevant to COPAC (Code of Professionalism and Conduct)

uses of the standards
Uses of the Standards
  • Providing benchmarks for entry into the teaching profession
  • Providing a benchmark for teacher competence (Standard for Full Registration)
  • Providing a continuum for career-long learning and professional development
  • Providing a framework for self-evaluation and reflection
  • Designing and assessing professional learning programmes, including award bearing programmes
  • Assisting with recruitment and selection processes
  • Supporting teachers working in other educational settings, adapted as appropriate
  • Informing discussion and debate about teacher standards and professionalism
  • Informing Professional Review and Development (PRD) and Professional Update
  • Informing discussion, debate and public expectations about teaching standards in schools and the wider education system
standard for career long professional learning
Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning
  • Optional and aspirational
  • A focus for teachers throughout their careers (unless they move into leadership and management)
  • Advanced professional knowledge and pedagogical expertise
  • Reflective, accomplished, enquiring professionals
  • Adaptive experts, open to change and engaging with new and emerging ideas about teaching and learning
  • Fully capable of Educating for the Future.
professional recognition
Professional Recognition

Key Areas:

  • Deepening subject, curricular and pedagogic knowledge
  • Developing areas of expertise/accomplishment
  • Systematically examining and developing practice and consideration of impact
  • Developing collegiality and working collaboratively
  • Critically engaging with theory, research and policy
developments in professional recognition
Developments in Professional Recognition
  • The accreditation of programmes leading to Professional Recognition
  • Streamlining the process of application by making it online
  • Professional Recognition at Masters level?
professional update
Professional Update

35 hours contractual CPD each year

Annual Professional Review and Development interview

Standard for Full Registration

Code of Professionalism and Conduct

Five year sign-off to GTC Scotland

Framework on Teacher Competence

key principles of professional update teachers will have
Key principles of Professional Update: teachers will have.....
  • a responsibility to consider their own development needs
  • an entitlement to a system of supportive PRD
  • confirmation that they are maintaining the high standards required of a teacher
professional update working group
Professional Update Working Group


  • Scottish Government
  • Directors of Education
  • Teacher Unions
  • Education Scotland
  • Parents
  • University Staff
  • College Staff
  • GTC Scotland
professional update consultation development and evaluation
Professional Update Consultation, Development and Evaluation
  • Regional Public Meetings
  • Online Surveys and Comment
  • Pilot Projects: Phases 1 and 2
  • Evaluative Research:

surveys, focus groups, etc

comments from phase 1 pilot
Comments from Phase 1 Pilot

"Teachers have a professional responsibility and accountability to provide quality education for our young people and this annual and 5-yearly process gives teachers the chance to show their commitment to career-long professional learning.” (Head Teacher)

“The purpose is to help manage our PRD, and to ensure we are taking responsibility for it. It is not onerous or time consuming.” (Teacher)

“It made me think a lot more about what impact the CPD I was involved in would have and how it would benefit me, the school and my pupils. It has helped me and my colleagues to focus on identifying the most appropriate CPD.” (Teacher)


Some important starting points about Professional Update....

  • Each PU scheme should be developed with professional associations and staff
  • GTCS will seek to validate PU schemes to ensure fairness and consistency across Scotland
  • Effective and supportive PRD is a key feature of this development. This process should:
    • be led by the teacher’s self-evaluation
    • be supportive, challenging but not threatening
    • help teachers keep their skills up to date
how should prd work
How should PRD work?
  • PRD is not just a meeting. It is a supportiveprocess which:
    • needs careful preparation, including:
    • training for all involved
    • an emphasis on coaching and mentoring support
    • builds on a teacher’s self-evaluation
    • shouldhelp teachers to:
  • identify constructive ways to update their skills
  • gain access to opportunities which can address areas they have identified as requiring support
  • manage change
  • focus on ways in which they can enhance their careers
what will happen in practice
What will happen in practice...?
  • An annual update, involving submission to GTCS of changes in personal details

  • Continuing engagement in the PRD process and professional learning
  • Reflection against the appropriate GTC Scotland Professional Standard
  • Maintenance of a professional learning record and portfolio of evidence
  • A five yearly Professional Update procedure
professional update sign off process
Professional Update sign off process
  • Teacher:

I confirm that I have engaged in ongoing professional development in line with the GTCS Professional Standards, maintained a CPD record and portfolio of evidence, and have discussed the impact of my professional learning with my line manager as part of my Professional Review and Development process.

  • Line Manager:

I confirm that..... has engaged in ongoing professional development in line with the GTCS Professional Standards, maintained a CPD record and portfolio of evidence and has discussed the impact of this as part of the Professional Review and Development process.

national roll out august 2014
National roll out August 2014


teachers with registration years ending in a 9 or 4


teachers with registration years ending in 0 and 5


teachers with registration years ending in a 6 or 1


teachers with registration years ending in 7 and 2


teachers with registration years ending in 8 or 3 etc.

the big issues
The big issues...
  • Professional Update: perception and reality
    • Communication of key messages
  • Improving PRD:
    • developing a scheme which will work for teachers
    • Emphasis on enhancing teachers’ skills, NOT extending competence procedures
  • Addressing
    • the needs of teachers not currently working in schools
    • the role of Head Teachers and employers


e-mail: [email protected]