News RSS FeedCopyright (c) 2019 Activeditionen<![CDATA[SCEL Legacy Fund]]> A new fund to support teacher professional learning is being set up as a legacy of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership

The outgoing Board of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) is to establish a SCEL Legacy Fund to assist the promotion of professional learning and leadership in Scotland’s schools.

The Board, which is currently taking steps to close down the independent company which was set up in 2014, has £75,326 remaining after grants have been repaid to Government and the costs due to other creditors have been met. This sum will become the SCEL Legacy Fund.

Since the roles and functions of SCEL are now transferred to Education Scotland, and it is in the process of being dissolved as a corporate body, the SCEL Board sought a similarly motivated partner body which could hold the Legacy Fund and manage its distribution.

The Board identified the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) as the most appropriate body to take on this function. Scottish professional associations have also agreed to appoint suitably experienced individuals to serve on a selection panel which will choose which projects should be supported from the Legacy Fund. The panel will also include a senior representative of GTCS and Professor Anthony Finn from the outgoing SCEL Board.

The SCEL Legacy Fund will be used to establish a bursary programme for teachers at all stages of their professional careers. For as long as it lasts, the funding will support individual or group projects which are not currently provided for or funded by employers.

Starting this spring, teachers will be invited to put forward submissions to GTCS to seek financial support for professional learning programmes, activities or courses which allow them to improve their practice, pedagogy, subject knowledge and leadership, and to support improved outcomes for young people in Scotland. Ideally, this will be by means of a project or piece of professional enquiry which can sustain and develop the leadership skills and the professional learning of teachers.

The chair of the SCEL Board, Professor Anthony Finn, said:

“The Board is very proud of the exceptional progress which SCEL has achieved since 2014. It is a widely respected body which was characterised by its agility, its flexibility and its willingness to engage openly with local authorities, schools and teachers, while putting in place well-designed programmes which meet their needs. This Legacy Fund, targeted directly at the support of teachers’ professional learning, seems an appropriate way to ensure that these strong messages are continued while SCEL develops its new role within Education Scotland.”

GTCS Chief Executive, Ken Muir, welcomed this development:

“It is well recognised that successful education systems invest in developing teachers as reflective and enquiring professionals who can engage with the complexities of education and be key agents in shaping and leading educational change. The SCEL Legacy Fund will help to support teachers in their career-long professional learning and GTC Scotland is delighted to be playing a key role in that.”

It is hoped that the Legacy Fund will complement the ongoing work of the former SCEL staff who are now working hard to promote leadership and professional development within Education Scotland.

More information

The group that will oversee the SCEL Legacy Fund will soon meet to determine the criteria for the bursary. GTC Scotland will then announce further details about the submission process.

<![CDATA[My Kid's Career]]><![CDATA[Gaelic National Standardised Assessments]]> Information on the Gaelic Medium Education National Standardised Assessments/Measaidhean Coitcheann Nàiseanta airson Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig (MCNG) from the National Improvement Framework Unit at Scottish Government

As part of the ongoing implementation of the National Improvement Framework, the Measaidhean Coitcheann Nàiseanta airson Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig (MCNG) was made available to schools on 19 December 2018.

MCNG content was co-created and quality assured with the close involvement of the Gaelic Medium Education sector. The constructive input, feedback and involvement of GME colleagues has been incorporated into the system now available, and has helped to establish a standardised assessment system which is aligned to Curriculum for Excellence and, for the first time ever, the Gaelic Medium Education system.

Please have a look at the teachers’ section of the MCNG public website for further information about the MCNG, including login and help desk contact details.

A comprehensive and bespoke training package on the MCNG system, and how to use the information it generates, will be made available to teaching and local authority staff by Giglets Limited, the supplier of the MCNG system. Giglets will be making contact with authorities in the new year to put in place arrangements for training which meet local authority needs. If you have questions about any aspect of the training to be provided, please contact your local authority.

It is important that practitioners have the information they need to be able to respond accurately to parents' and carers' queries and any concerns about the way their child is assessed. The following information is available to support discussions about the assessment model for the broad general education, and the introduction of national standardised assessments:

Assessment is a central part of everyday learning and teaching for children and young people, and helps to identify where strengths lie and where more support is required.

The MCNG offers an operational adaptive assessment system, which generates diagnostic information to support teachers in planning next steps in children’s learning and to inform their professional judgment on pupil progress.

Further releases of assessment content planned for March and July 2019 will optimise assessment adaptation, and provide an opportunity to make any further improvements to the system, identified through ongoing user research and liaison with the Gaelic Medium Education sector. The Scottish Government is keen to ensure that the co-creation approach followed when developing the MCNG to this point continues now that the system has launched, and is encouraging practitioners to share their feedback as they become familiar with the system over the coming months.

In light of in-year enhancements, assessment data from year one will not be used as a baseline for standardisation. Standardisation work will begin from year two. This process will inevitably take longer than for the Scottish National Standardised Assessments, given the relative size of the GME cohort.

Further information about the MCNG and assessment with specific reference to Gaelic Medium Education can be found on the public website.

Visit the Scottish Government website for further information about the National Improvement Framework:

Date added: 20.12.18

<![CDATA[GTCS George D Gray winner announced]]> University of Edinburgh graduate Robbie Blair is the 2018 winner of the George D Gray CBE MA Award, presented annually by the General Teaching Council for Scotland


Robbie was issued his award at a meeting of GTC Scotland’s full Council in Edinburgh on Wednesday, 12 December 2018.

George D Gray Awarded to Robbie Blair

From left to right: David Innes, GTCS Council Convener, Professor Rowena Arshad, University of Edinburgh, George D Gray Award Winner Robbie Blair, Ken Muir, GTCS Chief Executive and Registrar.

Now in its eighteenth year, the George D Gray CBE MA Award seeks to find the most distinguished BEd assignments in Scotland. The assignments are judged by an experienced panel of educationalists comprising: Professor Rowena Arshad, Convener of the Award Panel; Professor Teresa Moran of Dundee University; and Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive of GTCS.

Winner Robbie Blair graduated with a MA Primary Education (with Religious Studies) from the University of Edinburgh and is now teaching at Balbardie Primary School in Bathgate. His dissertation is entitled “How has the experience of a growth mindset initiative affected children’s attitudes to learning in numeracy, in an upper primary setting?”.

On receiving his award Robbie said: “Winning the George D Gray Award has come as an unexpected surprise, and it feels great to receive this recognition.”

“My research found that adopting a growth mindset approach has the potential to improve attainment and attitudes in numeracy across all socio-economic levels, particularly amongst lower attaining children. In light of Scotland’s current – and consistent – attainment gap in numeracy, the results highlighted the need for transformative teachers who can implement successful mindset initiatives.”

Presenting the award, GTCS Chief Executive, Kenneth Muir, said:

“As in previous years we have received extremely high-quality submissions for the George D Gray Award and we were very impressed by the wide range of interesting and important research being undertaken by undergraduate students across Scotland.”

“Robbie’s research focuses on attitudes towards learning in numeracy, which is recognised as requiring targeted action nationally. Deep-seated attitudes can be difficult to shift and we need to continue to work hard in this area. Robbie’s research has shown the positive impact that the introduction of a growth mindset can have in improving positive attitudes and attainment in numeracy in a primary school setting.”

About the George D Gray Award

The George D Gray CBE MA Award is presented by GTCS under the terms of a trust fund which was set up by Dr Ethel Gray, the widow of George D Gray, as a memorial to her husband. Widely regarded as being responsible for securing government support for setting up GTCS, George Gray was also its first Registrar.

Previous winners include:

  • 2001 – Emma Holding and Alistair Macdonald – both from the University of Strathclyde
  • 2002 – Lorraine Smith – University of Edinburgh
  • 2003 – Andrew Foster – University of Dundee
  • 2004 – Rhona McWalter – University of Dundee
  • 2005 – Jane Harrison – University of Dundee
  • 2006 – Jane Chiverton – University of Dundee
  • 2007 – Karen Crichton – University of Dundee
  • 2008 – Elizabeth Fuller – University of Dundee
  • 2009 – Kirsten Braden – University of Strathclyde
  • 2010 – Marianne McCron – University of Edinburgh
  • 2011 – No award was made
  • 2012 – Sharon Friel-Myles – University of Dundee
  • 2013 – Ainslie McCabe – University of Strathclyde
  • 2014 – Stacey McKillop – University of the West of Scotland
  • 2014 – Steven McHarg – University of Edinburgh
  • 2015 – Kirsty McLaren – University of Dundee
  • 2016 – Amy Buchan – University of Strathclyde
  • 2017 – Rachel Frew – University of the West of Scotland
    •   Commendation Award to Abigail Stirling – University of Edinburgh
<![CDATA[Update on the review of the Professional Standards]]> GTC Scotland is currently reviewing the Professional Standards for teachers


A commitment was given in 2012, when the current standards were published, that they would be reviewed in five years’ time.

The review will:

  • ensure that the standards remain contemporary and relevant to all teachers
  • address a number of gaps which have emerged as education has developed
  • ensure that the standards remain world leading.

How has the review progressed?

  • A large-scale National Conversation with the profession has taken place.
  • A number of working groups have been meeting.
  • A literature review has been undertaken by Professor Margery McMahon of the University of Glasgow which will soon be published on our website.
  • A report by Children in Scotland has been produced which outlines the views of young people regarding the role of a teacher.
  • A first draft of the Standard for Full Registration has been completed.

What is happening at present?

  • GTC Scotland has sought permission from its Council to reduce the pace of development of a revised suite of Professional Standards in light of wider developments and thinking in Scottish education. An amended timescale for implementation has been approved.
  • GTC Scotland is working with a number of key groups such as the Career Pathways and Head Teacher Empowerment groups to help shape the thinking.
  • GTC Scotland continues to develop its thinking and is drafting, with the help of writing groups, the revised suite of Professional Standards, which continue to promote excellence in professionalism, teaching and learning.
  • As the discussion continues, there is an increased link between the Professional Standards and professional learning and professional growth.
  • GTC Scotland continues to consider the range of views on the need for a System Leadership Standard.

What does the revised timescale look like?

  • The draft of the revised suite of Professional Standards will be completed by June 2019.
  • A full consultation of the revised suite of Professional Standards will take place in the autumn through to December 2019.
  • Amendments in light of the consultation will be made between January and March 2020.
  • Full implementation will take place in August/September 2020.

Get involved

The review of the Professional Standards is very much an ongoing process and GTC Scotland would encourage all of its registrants to take the opportunity to engage with us. Please feedback your thoughts on where you, as a profession, would wish to see the Professional Standards develop.


<![CDATA[Support from the GTCS Education Team]]> The Senior Education Team at GTC Scotland has undergone a number of changes, and roles and responsibilities have been reallocated

It is important that, as a registrant, you are able to access professional advice and support.

The Education Team deals with a very wide range of issues every day but, to make sure that registrants receive in-depth information and advice, officers have been given a lead role in particular areas.

We have three sub-teams in Education:

The Early Career Team, which supports all areas involving students, probationers and those teachers in the first three years of their career. This team is led by Elaine Napier, who has an enhanced role of Senior Strategic Manager – Early Career.

Professional Update and Quality Assurance led by Senior Strategic Manager David Graham. David offers advice to all registrants, local authorities and independent schools on all aspects of Professional Update, including using MyGTCS, sign-off processes across the various systems, validations, revalidations, Direct Submissions and deferrals.

Senior Education Officers, who have specific remits, as follows:

  • Charlaine Simpson – Accreditation and Reaccreditation of all Initial Teacher Education Programmes, Accreditation of TQFE, and Professional Update for the university sector and national organisations.
  • Vikki Robertson - Professional Update for the college sector, validation and revalidation, college registration and LGBT lead within GTCS.
  • Sharon Smith (Secondee) – Supporting teacher Professional Review and Development (PRD).
  • Avril Wilson (Secondee) – Supporting Head Teacher PRD.

As well as have these specific responsibilities the team as a whole works together on a number of areas of interest such as:

  • leading on and supporting self-evaluation using the Professional Standards
  • Professional Recognition for individuals and organisations
  • the Excellence in Professional Learning Awards and
  • Professional Learning in general.

Jacqueline Morley Senior Education Officer has been temporarily seconded to Education Scotland to support the delivery of the National Professional Learning model, originally developed by GTC Scotland in leading Teacher Professionalism through the National Improvement Framework and developing a strategic approach to Excellence in Professional Learning.

Get in touch

GTC Scotland is keen that, as a registrant, you have an opportunity to access and work with the range of officers.

You can access them by simply contacting the GTC Scotland reception on 0131 314 6000 or emailing them directly:

<![CDATA[College Professional Standards]]> College Development Network (CDN) has launched new Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges


Extensive consultation and a robust review process with partners, stakeholders and the college sector has resulted in a modernised set of Professional Standards for college lecturers, which firmly embeds the importance of digital approaches in learning, teaching and assessment.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead MSP, said:

‘The revised Professional Standards will help college lecturers to continue to deliver the high-quality education that is available to all learners at Scotland’s colleges, as well as informing training and continued support.

‘I would like to thank the Steering Group for their work in modernising these Standards, and offer my support to the sector on their implementation.”
Mhairi Harrington OBE, Chair of the Review of Professional Standards Steering Group and CDN Fellow, said:

‘We will face many societal and economic challenges in the coming years and therefore it is vital that we have a set of Professional Standards for our lecturers which will support effective learning for the future.

‘I would like to thank my colleagues on the Steering Group and to pay tribute to the staff in College Development Network and partners in the General Teaching Council for Scotland who all worked with tenacity and passion to ensure the college sector has a set of Professional Standards for lecturers to be proud of.’

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, said:

‘As the professional body for teachers and lecturers in Scotland, I am pleased to welcome the launch of revised professional standards for college lecturers. 
‘Modern teaching standards have a range of uses, including being a tool for accrediting TQFE programmes, a benchmark for learning and teaching, and as a vehicle to enhance and promote professional learning. Importantly, they ensure the quality of teaching and learning experienced by children, young people and adult learners.

‘What has been achieved through partnership working between GTC Scotland and the College Development Network provides professional standards which convey a strong sense of lecturer professionalism and identity. With these refreshed standards now in place, GTC Scotland looks forward to our continued work with partners across the college sector and wider education system to support and enhance lecturer professionalism. GTC Scotland is committed to continuing to support the college sector and to offer lecturers a suite of services to support their ongoing professional development.’

Jim Metcalfe, Chief Executive of College Development Network (CDN) said:

‘The new Professional Standards set a new benchmark for the college sector. We are proud to have worked with partners to deliver an excellent, modernised and user-friendly set of Standards that are fit for the needs of college lecturers and students today, and into the future.’

The new Professional Standards may be viewed and downloaded at:

<![CDATA[Webinar recording: Supporting children’s mental health]]>

GTCS Webinar SeriesWatch a recording of our webinar on health and wellbeing delivered by Catriona Robb, Teaching Fellow in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Strathclyde

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our webinar held on Tuesday 27 November.

Supporting children’s mental health starts from considering what mental health is and the implications of this for school staff. The webinar explored the rationale for schools having a role in supporting children’s mental health and what that role might look like.

If you were unable to join us, you can now watch a recording of the webinar:


The webinar was delivered by Catriona Robb, Teaching Fellow in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Strathclyde.

The presentation slides are also available to download:

Further information

To contact Catriona, please email:

We will be running further webinars and would welcome your suggestions on topics we might cover. Please email your suggestions to: