IN THIS SECTION
Revised Professional Standards
The following information on our revised Professional Standards will come into effect from August 2013. Our existing Professional Standards should continue to be used until the revisions come into effect.
The revised Professional Standards were approved at a full meeting of the GTCS Council, held on Wednesday 5 December 2012. Further guidance and support material will be available in the lead up to launch of the revised Professional Standards.
Our suite of Professional Standards have been revised in light of changing contexts within education and society. These complex, dynamic contexts mean that teachers in the 21st century need to be critically informed with professional values, knowledge and actions that ensure positive impact on learners and learning.
The revised suite of Professional Standards provides an opportunity to think differently about the purpose of Standards. The Standards for Registration provide a gate-keeping function for entry into teaching in Scotland and it should be noted that Full Registration continues to be the baseline Professional Standard for Competence. However, the other Standards go beyond the traditional view of a Standard as a benchmark of teacher competence, a concept which only applies to the Standards for Registration. For teachers who have achieved the Standard for Full Registration, we have developed Standards which offer constructive support for teachers as they consider how they might develop their professional knowledge and skills through on-going self-evaluation and professional learning.
Recognising the established strength of the teaching profession in Scotland as a secure platform on which to build, Teaching Scotland's Future (Scottish Government, 2011) affirmed the need to revise the Professional Standards. These revised standards support the creation of a reinvigorated approach to 21st century teacher professionalism, recognising the importance of teacher responsibility for, and ownership of, their professional learning. The teaching profession, working in partnership with other professions, has a moral imperative to secure the best learning opportunities and experiences for all learners in Scotland.
This reinvigorated approach to 21st century teacher professionalism is intended to "build the capacity of teachers, irrespective of career stage, to have high levels of pedagogical expertise, including deep knowledge of what they are teaching; to be self-evaluative; to be able to work in partnership with other professionals; and to engage directly with well-researched innovation." (Teaching Scotland's Future, 2011, p19)
Using the Standards
The suite of standards will be used for multiple purposes, including:
- 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
In addition, we use the Professional Standards to accredit programmes of study.
The Structure of the Suite of Professional Standards
This suite of Professional Standards provides a framework for teachers to examine, inform, and continually develop their thinking and practice. The suite includes:
- The Standards for Registration (incorporating Provisional and Full Registration)
- The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning
- The Standards for Leadership and Management (incorporating Middle Leadership
Within this suite of Professional Standards there are a number of key themes.
Professional Values and Personal Commitment
Democratic values are at the heart of Scottish society. Therefore, Professional Values and Personal Commitment are at the core of this suite of Standards. They are integral to, and demonstrated through, all our professional relationships and practices. For the first time, the same values are replicated across each standard, in recognition that these are the same for all teachers, irrespective of experience and stage in career.
Learning for Sustainability
‘Learning for sustainability’ is a whole-school commitment that helps the school and its wider community develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and practices needed to take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable future in a just and equitable world. All teachers should be confident in their knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing society locally and globally. Teachers support learners to become responsible citizens contributing to a fair and equitable society. Learning for sustainability has been embedded within the suite of Standards to support teachers in actively embracing and promoting principles and practices of sustainability in all aspects of their work.
We recognise that effective leadership depends on the principles of collegiality. All teachers have opportunities to be leaders. They lead learning for, and with, all learners with whom they engage. They also work with and support the development of colleagues and other partners. Different forms of leadership are expressed across the suite of Professional Standards including leadership for learning, teacher leadership and working collegiately to build leadership capacity in others.
For further information about the revised Professional Standards, contact:
T: +44 (0)131 314 6000
- Revision of the Professional Standards - Consultation Responses
- Standards for Registration
- Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning
- Standards for Leadership and Management
- Revision of the Professional Standards consultation - Preliminary findings
- Implications of revised Professional Standards on Probation and Competence
- SNCT statement on revised Professional Standards