The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

MyProfessionalLearning: What you need to know

GTC Scotland will be piloting the new MyProfessionalLearning (MyPL) service for professional learning with teachers and lecturers across Scotland. The service was developed following an in-depth consultative process. This new service will offer teachers a new improved way to record your professional learning. Find out more about the background of MyPL and what it will offer you as a teacher below.

1. What is MyPL?

MyProfessionalLearning (MyPL) is a new online professional learning service, due to launch with a pilot ion 24 October 2016. The central aim of MyPL is to offer a flexible, easily accessible system for teachers to log and reflect upon their professional learning activities.

2. When will MyPL be introduced?

MyPL will launch with a Phase One pilot in August 2016. This will involve organisations that currently use MyGTCS to log Professional Update. There will be a Phase Two pilot in 2017 involving local authorities who use the Gateway and SOPRA systems with a full roll out likely to take place in 2018 following improvements to the service in response to pilot feedback.

3. Why has MyPL been introduced?

MyPL has been introduced following recommendations made in the Teaching Scotland's Future report. This report recommended the development of a National E-Portfolio for teachers across Scotland. MyPL is a Scottish Government initiative, developed by GTC Scotland in conjunction with other educational stakeholders. Following a range of feedback and survey data gathered from teachers and local authorities, a scoping study recommended developing MyGTCS as the home for this National E-Portfolio, to be named MyProfessionalLearning.

MyPL is designed to offer a professional learning record that teachers can use throughout their career as they move between schools and to different local authorities, and has a range of functions to help teachers to structure and plan their professional learning (see these under question 5).

4. Will MyPL replace MyGTCS and Professional Update (PU)?

MyPL will be accessed through the existing MyGTCS system and will incorporate PU. The MyPL service is designed to make recording your professional learning simpler and clearer, and to make the PU process more manageable. You will be able to log your professional learning as you currently do on MyGTCS for PU. What will change is the look and feel; the functionality; and the services available in order to support your professional learning.

Engaging in professional learning is part of PU and MyPL exists to support that professional learning. MyPL will dovetail with PU and offer a streamlined range of services to teachers to enhance their professional learning activities.

The longer term intention is that MyPL will become the overarching tool for professional learning within MyGTCS and PU will be subsumed within it.

5. What will I be able to use MyPL for?

  • Set areas for development for the professional learning you want to achieve as part of your PRD
  • Access a tailored calendar and timeline to plan your professional learning
  • Share your professional learning with others should you wish
  • Share your learning with your line manager as part of the staff review process
  • Access a library of links to professional learning advice and resources
  • Use an optional visualisation tool, a ‘focus map’, to display learning you have engaged in in relation to the Professional Standards
  • Have space to reflect on the impact of your learning
  • Tag learning so your preferences will be remembered for future activities
  • Keep your employment history up to date
  • Access a range of learning materials and guidance through a resources section
  • Links to other services such as GLOW

6. My Local Authority/ school uses another online service to record professional learning (e.g. Gateway/SOPRA), will MyPL work with these?

Work is ongoing to ensure there are links between MyPL and Gateway, SOPRA and other services. The Phase Two pilot will involve local authorities that use these systems.

7. Who has been involved in the development of MyPL?

GTCS chaired the National E-Portfolio Working Group, with representatives from across Scottish education including trade unions. The group involved GTC Scotland, Scottish Government, Education Scotland, SCEL, ADES, EIS, AHDS and STEC.

8. I don’t have time to record my professional learning on top of my work schedule. Will MyPL help?

We are working to develop the new MyPL service so it is simple to use, which will help to cut down on the time it takes to record your professional learning. The service will point you towards a range of free learning resources and other learning opportunities and allow you to set aspirations for your professional learning to ensure you can achieve valuable learning to manageable, self-appointed timescales.

MyPL will act as a reflective learning journal allowing you to develop your learning and questioning, supporting you to create new learning experiences and opportunities.

9. Were teachers’ experiences with MyGTCS and PU taken into account in the development of MyPL?

Yes. The MyPL service has its foundation in detailed significant feedback from, and engagement with, teachers and their supporters through PU. We also carried out a number of teacher, surveys, focus groups and Discovery Days to gather information about what teachers want MyPL to offer.

10. How has the service been tested?

Teachers took part in usability testing organised by independent company User Vision. These one-to-one sessions involved being asked to compete some on-screen tasks, answer questions and then give feedback on the experience and how it could be improved. Further development was made to the system following this user feedback.

11. How will the pilot operate?

Up to 300 teachers from seven local authorities; two schools from the independent sector; and lecturers from a college and university are being asked to volunteer to use MyPL to log their professional learning. We are also hoping to include teachers who are either working outwith a validated system or working overseas.

For further information on MyPL contact:
E-mail: gtcs@gtcs.org.uk
Phone: 0131 314 6000