Our Consultations

The consultation page is used to invite comments on what we are doing. You can find out about and participate in our current consultations and read about the results of past consultations, together with our response to any comments received as part of our consultations.

We are committed to working with teachers, members of the public, including parents, children and young people, and all stakeholders with an interest in Scottish education and the work of GTC Scotland in maintaining and improving professional standards. Through consultations we invite your views when we are planning new areas of work or proposing to change the way we do things. We always welcome suggestions for improving the way we do things and we will tell you below about how you can send us feedback.

We undertook a number of consultation exercises as part of our planning for the granting of independent status to GTC Scotland on 2 April 2012. We thank all respondents for taking the time to help inform, and improve, the detail of our proposals and the documentation that we proposed. We will be consulting on other areas in due course and look forward to continuing to receive your comments.

You can view all of our consultations by clicking on the radio buttons below:

  • Revised Registration and Standards Rules Framework

    Status: Closed (11 March 2014 to 20 April 2014)

    Background

    We recently ran a consultation on revised Registration and Standards Rules (accompanied by a revised Statement of Registration Principles for those qualified outside Scotland (the "Statement of Principles")). Changes were proposed to these documents as a result of:

    (i) Professional Update
    (ii) Revised Professional Standards
    (iii) Efforts to simplify the process for review of registration decisions
    (iv) Updates in registration policy
    (v) Efforts to increase the transparency of the Register

    Following analysis of responses to the consultation, we have now published a revised, final version of the Registration and Standards Rule Framework. These will come into effect from 1 August 2014.

    The rationale for the changes that have been made in view of the consultation responses received is set out in the section entitled "Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions" which is available below.

    Overview of Respondents

    Submissions were received from 5 respondents; 4 responding on behalf of an organisation and one responding as an individual.

    We thank all respondents for taking the time to help inform, and improve, our proposed Registration and Standards Rule framework.

    Overview of Responses

    (i) Professional Update

    A comment was received that the timeframe of publication of the Rules Framework alongside the launch of Professional Update meant that there would be insufficient time for reflection and amendment meaning that the launch of Professional Update should be pushed back.

    A comment was received that the Guidance on Professional Update needs to be finalised at the same time as the Rules Framework given that the Guidance is incorporated into that Framework. That same response indicated concerns regarding the equality and diversity impact of the Professional Update process (particularly related to disability and sex discrimination flowing from career breaks, supply work and similar) that need better addressed by the Guidance. Concerns related to teachers on career breaks or undertaking supply work were replicated in another organisational response.

    Information was provided from a body providing a comparative perspective on what they do in the context of their Professional Update equivalent process.

    One respondent voiced a hope that Professional Update be used to help provide for a workforce, particularly at primary education level, that is skilled and confident in delivering stimulating science learning.

    (ii) Revised Professional Standards

    Only two comments were received related to this area: one to indicate that they were content with the proposed revisions; and the other to suggest that the fact that the Standard for Headship was awarded without limit of time should be reviewed.

    (iii) Simplifying the process for review of registration decisions

    One comment was received from an organisation in this area, welcoming the proposed simplified process. Another indicated that the removal of internal appeals mechanisms would lead to a requirement for costly Court of Session appeals.

    (iv) Updates in registration policy

    A comment was received to the effect that further clarification should be provided as to the rationale for changes in relation to the matter of Additional Support Needs (ASN) registration. It was noted by the same respondent that a purposive approach should be taken to registration requirements in this area.

    The commitment to undertake a full review related to the Further Education registration provisions was welcomed and it was suggested that any changes in this area be made in one go.

    The removal of restrictions related to partial age range qualifications for those applicants qualified outside Scotland was welcomed by one respondent.

    (v) Efforts to increase the transparency of the Register

    Comments were received from one organisational respondent to the effect that the proposed changes related to the publication of Fitness to Teach Panel and temporary service provider information be reviewed. The other changes in this respect were noted as being wholly appropriate.

    (vi) Additional comments

    Comments were received from the individual respondent that:

    Greater clarity should be provided within the Rules Framework as to the subjects and sectors in which GTC Scotland offers registration, the varying terminology used in different countries or with varying subject focuses needs to be considered and there needs to be specificity and consistency with regard to subject specific requirements;

    GTC Scotland should review the "exaggerated focus" that is placed on the subject specificity of teaching qualifications and recognise that a teaching qualification provides a teacher with the skills to teach students. The requirement for a teaching qualification to be subject specific is unfair and impractical in the context of applicants who are qualified outside Scotland where the teacher training process is different;

    The Rules framework needs to better address the distinct differences in teacher training that will apply for applicants qualified outside Scotland, for example in Australia, Canada and the USA where teaching qualifications are not subject specific. To require subject specific teaching qualifications is discriminatory;

    Greater clarity should be provided as to the number of days of probationary service that will require to be completed in different circumstances;

    The Rules Framework should reflect the relevant EU law that applies in this area;

    A Panel decision relating to an application review should be given verbally on the day and clear reasons should be given so that the decision may be understood by the applicant;

    Holding Qualified Teacher Status should be viewed positively by GTC Scotland and registration in another part of the UK should lead to full registration with GTC Scotland;

    The Teaching Service section of the Statement of Principles should reference subject specificity if this is a requirement; and

    It should be made clear how any teaching service in a similar (but different) subject is to be taken into account e.g. Industry and Enterprise within the context of the English system, or humanities in the context of the Australian system, rather than modern studies which is uniquely Scottish. If such service is not to be taken into account, the Statement of Principles should make this clearer.



    Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions

    Responses to the comments received (as summarised above) are set out below.

    (i) Professional Update

    We recognise and accept that the timeframe that we have set for finalising the Rules framework is tight. However, we consider it important to bear in mind that this is the formal, final stage in a process that has been carried out over the last two and a half years. We have been engaging with stakeholders and the profession throughout this time on how the scheme of Professional Update should operate and we are confident that what has been proposed in our Guidance document is appropriate. However, we do not consider it possible or appropriate to finalise the Guidance until the pilot process has been completed and fully evaluated. We think that this is in the interests of all involved.

    As regards the specific equality and diversity matters identified we would note firstly that teachers on career breaks will be able to apply for a deferral from the completion of the Professional Update sign off if they are due to complete this during the course of the career break. Further information on the deferral process can be found on the GTC Scotland website. As part of the preparations for the National Roll Out of Professional Update, local authorities have been putting in place arrangements to ensure that supply teachers working for them will be able to access local authority systems designed to support the Professional Update process. Supply teachers with no access to employer systems will have access to the MyGTCS system to record their professional learning, and if they have no access to a PRD system, will be able to submit information directly to GTC Scotland in order to complete the sign-off process. We are working on enhanced guidance on Professional Update specifically for supply teachers, and this will be available on our website in the near future.

    (ii) Revised Professional Standards

    Currently there are two routes to the award of the Standard for Headship: completion of the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) through a GTC Scotland accredited programme of academic study delivered by a Scottish University or completion of Education Scotland's Flexible Route to Headship Programme, a programme also accredited by GTC Scotland. There is no time limit attached to the award of the Standard for Headship no matter what route is followed. It is important to note, however, that a strategic group has recently been established by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL) which has been tasked with taking forward the report on routes to Headship, and there may be further discussion and review in this particular area as a consequence.

    When the revised framework of standards was published, we were clear that the Standard for Full Registration would remain the benchmark for teacher competence. The Standards for Leadership and Management specifically state, "The Standards for Leadership and Management have not been designed as benchmarks of teacher competence and therefore should not be used in this way." The document does however, highlight that "they were designed...to support individual self-evaluation and reflection as an integral part of leadership development" so the expectation is that Standards for Leadership and Management will form an integral part of the PRD process developed by employers to meet the needs of Head Teachers.

    (iii) Simplifying the process for review of registration decisions

    We would clarify that we are not removing any internal review mechanisms that are currently available. The replacement of the Appeals Board process in the context of registration decisions with a simpler registration review process does not change or add to existing Court of Session appeal rights. These rights remain as set out in GTC Scotland's governing legislation, The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011.

    (iv) Updates in registration policy

    We have reviewed the requirements related to ASN registration and provided further clarification on these. GTC Scotland is concerned that those obtaining ASN registration have an appropriate qualification in this area. The introduction of this specialist area of registration seeks to reflect and recognise the specialist nature of ASN teaching.

    (v) Efforts to increase the transparency of the Register

    We consider that the information we propose to make available on the Register is appropriate and fair.

    No additional information will be made available on the Register related to Fitness to Teach Panel proceedings than that which is already available through the public hearings process. Where issues of health or disability apply, there are mechanisms that a teacher or applicant may use to ensure that this sensitive information is kept private, both in the course of hearing proceedings and in the associated GTC Scotland publications.

    (vi) Additional comments

    We have made further amendments to the Statement of Principles to seek to make it clearer as to how any previous teaching service may be taken into account in considering whether full registration may be offered in a subject/sector. We will also be reviewing our Provisional Registration and Probationary Service policy shortly to similarly make it clearer as to what is satisfactory probationary service that may be taken into consideration.

    With regard to the requirement for subject specific teaching qualifications in the secondary education context, we note the distinctions and difficulties that can arise given the systems that operate in different countries and consider that it would be appropriate to undertake a more detailed review in this area. Any amendments to the Rule Framework arising from this review will form part of a separate exercise at a later date to allow time for that review to take place.

    We consider that the Rules Framework as a whole does reflect the relevant EU law that applies in respect of EU applicants for registration. See Rules 1.3.2 and 5 of the Registration and Standards Rules.

    It would be impractical for a Panel to deliver its decision orally at the end of considering its review of a case (or similar). Every case is different and the time that a decision takes to make (as well as to write up) can vary significantly. In the context of the review process set out in the Rules, decisions must be issued within 14 days and set out reasons for the decision. We consider that this is fair and appropriate, balancing the time that it may take for a Panel to reach its decision and reflect the reasons for it in writing as well as an applicant’s interests in hearing the decision within a reasonable time.

  • Consultation on Constitutional Documents

    Status: Closed (11 March 2014 to 20 April 2014)

    Background

    We recently ran a consultation on some small proposed revisions to GTC Scotland's constitutional documents (the Appointments Scheme, Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme and Election Scheme).

    Following analysis of responses to the consultation, we have now published a revised, final version of the Appointments Scheme and Election Scheme. We are carrying out a further review of the Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme meaning that the consultation response on this document will be published separately in due course. The revised documents can be viewed below:

    The rationale for a small number of changes that have been made in view of the consultation responses received is set out in the section entitled "Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions" which is available below.

    Overview of Respondents

    Submissions were received from two respondents; both responding on behalf of an organisation. We thank the respondents for taking the time to help inform, and improve, our constitutional documents.

    Overview of Responses

    Appointments Scheme

    The change to remove Executive staff from sitting on the Appointments Committee selection panel was welcomed by one respondent.

    It was suggested by one respondent that the Appointments Committee quorum would benefit from further clarification regarding the specific role of one lay member of that Committee in particular.

    It was suggested by a respondent that the complaints procedure should be set out in more detail.

    In terms of the implementation of appointments procedures, it was suggested by a respondent that equality impact assessments and relevant equality and diversity analyses should be made public to seek to strengthen diversity within GTC Scotland and make clear how GTC Scotland is meeting its general equality duty in this context.

    Election Scheme

    No comments were received on this document other than from one respondent noting its support of the suggested changes.

    Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions

    Responses to the comments received (as summarised above) are set out below.

    Appointments Scheme

    We have sought to further clarify the Appointments Committee quorum as suggested.

    It is the central GTC Scotland complaints procedure that would apply in the context of appointment procedures and this is described in some detail on GTC Scotland’s website. We think that this provides sufficient and appropriate information on the procedure and that it is unnecessary to replicate this within the Scheme but we will keep this under review.

    With regard to the feedback related to the equality and diversity impact of the appointments procedure, we would note that we are committed as an organisation to promoting equality and diversity in all that we do. We will therefore seek to ensure appropriate transparency in this area in the evaluation of the next round of appointments.

  • Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Scotland, and Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland

    Status: Closed (16 April 2013 to 17 May 2013)

    Background

    Following an informal consultation on the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Scotland and the Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland, work was carried out on redrafting these two documents in the light of what was said during the informal consultation.

    Consultation

    Comments were sought on the redrafted versions below:

    To assist, we included commentary documents which outline the changes proposed in both documents:

    No formal response document was issued and comments were invited from all interested parties with submissions preferred via email.

    The deadline for comments was Friday 17 May 2013.

    In addition to written comments, or as an alternative if preferred, Tom Hamilton, Director of Education and Professional Learning, was happy to meet with organisations or interested parties to discuss their views on these two documents.

    Results

    The legislation setting up the independent GTCS requires us to consult on any changes we intend to make and this we have done leading to the revised versions of these documents which you will find below.

    The Entry Memorandum sets the minimum qualification requirements for students entering Initial Teacher Education in Scotland and the Guidelines set the parameters for programmes of Initial Teacher Education.

    As well as the revised documents you will also find an outline of the consultation process and how the comments from it influenced the revision of the two documents:

    The revised Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland comes into effect for entry to programmes in academic session 2014/15.

    The revised Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Scotland come into effect from the beginning of academic year 2013/14.

  • Informal consultation on issues relating to Initial Teacher Education in Scotland

    Status: Closed (11 January 2013 to 31 January 2013)

    Background

    GTC Scotland is responsible for determining what constitutes a recognised teaching qualification for those seeking registration as a school teacher. We are now seeking comments from stakeholders and interested parties relating to the Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Courses of Initial Teacher Education (ITE), and the Guidelines for Courses of ITE in Scotland.

    The purpose of this informal consultation was to gain some early comment from stakeholders. We will feed these comments into a redrafting of both the Guidelines and the Entry Memo before consulting formally on specific proposals in the Spring. We aim to have the revised versions in place for our council meeting in June.

    The revised Guidelines will be used for all programme accreditations after that date, and the revised Entry Memo will be used to consider applications for those wishing to enter ITE in and after August 2014.

    Consultation

    This consultation provided an opportunity for the education community to raise any matters regarding the Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Courses of ITE, and the Guidelines for Courses of ITE in Scotland.

    View the information and issues below:

  • Revision of the Professional Standards

    Status: Closed (29 August 2012 to 6 November 2012)

    Background

    The GTC Scotland framework of Professional Standards has been revised in the light of changing contexts within education and society. The complex dynamic nature of education and society mean that teachers need to be and become critically informed adaptive experts whose professional values, knowledge and actions ensure positive impact on learners and learning. In addition, Teaching Scotland's Future affirmed the need to revise the Professional Standards. The revised Professional Standards reconceptualise what it means to be a teacher in Scotland in the 21st Century. Our profession has a moral imperative to secure the best learning opportunities and experiences for all learners in Scotland.

    Development of the Professional Standards

    In revising the Professional Standards, GTC Scotland has worked in partnership with members of the educational community. The revised Professional Standards have been developed by three writing groups, made up of teachers at various career stages, as well as local authority and university colleagues. A steering group also provided helpful feedback on proposals and early drafts of the Professional Standards.

    Read our update on the progress of the draft revised Professional Standards

    Principles

    The draft Professional Standards aim to provide a coherent framework to support teachers at all stages in their careers. The same values have been incorporated in each of the standards, as have leadership and sustainability.

    The Standards for Registration

    The draft revised Standards for Registration incorporates the Standard for Provisional Registration and the Standard for Full Registration. The Standard for Provisional Registration outlines what is expected of a teacher at the end of Initial Teacher Education and the Standard for Full Registration outlines what is expected of a teacher at the end of their probationary period, as well as what all teachers are expected to maintain and enhance over the course of their careers. By including these two standards in one document, we have attempted to demonstrate the expected progression in the early phase of a teacher's professional learning journey.

    The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning

    This draft standard aims to support teachers to develop and advance their thinking, learning, practice and expertise throughout their careers. The actions, knowledge, skills and abilities identified in the Standard for Full Registration will continue to be the foundation of practice. Teachers who work with this standard will evolve and develop their practice and expertise beyond the registered level. The standard recognises that during their careers teachers may undertake a variety of roles within and beyond the classroom. It also recognises the potential leadership roles that all teachers have.

    Standards for Leadership and Management

    The draft revised Standards for Leadership and Management have been extended from the previous Standard for Headship to include a standard for Middle Leadership, as well as the Standard for Headship, in order to meet the needs of all teachers in, or aspiring to, formal leadership roles in our schools.

    Consultation

    You can view the consultation responses and the preliminary findings below:

    The consultation provided an opportunity for the education community to respond to the draft framework of Professional Standards. There was significant thought, discussion and time to get to the consultation stage with a great deal of input from a variety of people. Find out who has been involved in the steering and writing of the draft framework of Professional Standards:

    You will find the draft framework of Professional Standards documents below:

    We held a number of meetings across Scotland to gather views, and we also hosted a series of GLOW Meet events to provide additional opportunities for discussion about each Professional Standard. We also hosted three regional consultation meetings in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Following receipt of consultation responses, we will finalise the Professional Standards. We plan to publish the revised Standards framework at the start of 2013.

  • Scheme of Professional Update

    Status: Closed (1 February 2012 to 12 March 2012)

    On 17 March 2011, the Scottish Parliament approved the Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 which sets out the Government's plans for the granting of independent status to us from April 2012. As part of this legislation (Section 31), the Government placed us under a duty to introduce a scheme of 're-accreditation' for teachers.

    This consultation provided an opportunity for the education community to respond to the position we have adopted in our proposals for a scheme of Professional Update.

    You can view the consultation responses and position paper below:

    View our draft advice notes which have been prepared as part of our initial thinking about Professional Update and how it could operate:

  • Framework on Teacher Competence

    Status: Closed (17 January 2012 to 14 February 2012)

    The Framework on Teacher Competence (FTC) replaces the Code of Practice on Teacher Competence from 2 April 2012. It sets out the procedures to be used by employers when addressing teacher under-performance.

    View a summary of the responses:

    Following analysis of responses to this consultation, we have published the following final version:

  • Code of Professionalism and Conduct

    Status: Closed (1 September 2011 to 17 October 2011)

    The Code of Professionalism and Conduct (CoPAC) is intended to assist registered teachers and members of the public to understand the standard of behaviour expected of a registered teacher. Version 1 of CoPAC was introduced in August 2008.

    In the light of the legislative changes to apply to us from 2 April 2012, CoPAC required to be revised to embrace new legislative terminology and a new Fitness to Teach framework. We also took the opportunity to revisit the content of the Code, remove reference to the current disciplinary process, and make the revised Code less legalistic and technical in character.

    View a summary of the responses:

  • Student Teacher Code

    Status: Closed (1 September 2011 to 17 October 2011)

    The Student Teacher Code (STC) is intended to be a supportive document for those undertaking or proposing to undertake a programme of teacher education. Accordingly the STC reflects the stage at which students find themselves in their career and also the context in which they are involved with pupils.

    The original draft was produced by a small working group which comprised staff from some Scottish Universities and a GTC Scotland Officer.

    View a summary of the responses:

  • Fitness to Teach and Appeals Rules

    Status: Closed (1 September 2011 to 17 October 2011)

    We launched a consultation on new Fitness to Teach and Appeals Rules (the Rules) which set out how we will investigate and determine the fitness to teach of individuals who are applying for registration or who are already registered where it is alleged that they have fallen short of the standards of conduct or professional competence that GTC Scotland expects.

    View a summary of the responses:

    Following analysis of responses to this consultation, we have published the following final version:

  • Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme and election and appointment processes

    Status: Closed (31 January 2011 to 20 February 2011)

    We launched a consultation on our proposals relating to how registered teachers are elected and individuals appointed to a future independent Council, or to serve on its committees and panels. This ran from 29 September 2010 to 11 January 2011.

    We also launched a short consultation on our proposed Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme which is to be applied to seek to ensure that public and stakeholder confidence is maintained in the effectiveness, impartiality and integrity of those who serve on the Council as well as its committees and panels. This ran from 31 January 2011 to 20 February 2011.

    Following analysis of responses to these consultation exercises, and taking into account the impact of the final version of the draft Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011, we published revised, final versions of each of the documents on which we consulted (as noted below).

    The reasons for the changes made to the documents in view of the consultation responses received are set out in the section entitled "Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions" in our response available below.

    Overview of respondents

    Submissions were received from 13 respondents in terms of the consultation on our election and appointments processes; 10 responding on behalf of an organisation and 3 responding as individuals.

    Submissions were received from 13 respondents in terms of the consultation on the proposed Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme; 12 responding on behalf of an organisation and 1 responding as an individual.

    We thank all respondents for taking the time to help inform, and improve, the documentation that we proposed.

    View a summary of the responses:

  • Registration and Standards Rules

    Status: Closed (1 October 2010 to 3 January 2011)

    We launched a consultation on new Registration and Standards Rules (accompanied by a Statement of Registration Principles for those qualified outside Scotland) which were proposed to update our current registration and standards rules framework to align with the Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council Scotland) Order 2011 and current law. In proposing the new rules, we also took the opportunity to simplify and streamline the framework to try to make it more accessible and easier to understand.

    Following analysis of responses to the consultation, and taking into account the impact of the final version of the draft Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011, we have published a revised, final version of the rules framework which can be downloaded below:

    The rationale for the changes that have been made in view of the consultation responses received is set out in the section entitled "Summary and GTC Scotland Conclusions" which is available below.

    Overview of Respondents

    Submissions were received from 9 respondents; 7 responding on behalf of an organisation and 2 responding as individuals.

    We thank all respondents for taking the time to help inform, and improve, our proposed Registration and Standards Rules.

    View a summary of the responses:

When it is appropriate, we respond to external consultations in relation to the teaching profession in Scotland and education in general.

Find out what external consultations we have responded to:

Our external consultation responses