News RSS FeedCopyright (c) 2020 Activeditionen<![CDATA[GTC Scotland Chief Executive announces retirement]]>Ken Muir has announced his intention to retire by March 2021. Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, has announced today at a full Council meeting his intention to retire by March at the latest next year. He has served in his post for seven years.
 
In making his announcement to Council members, Ken said that he has had connections with GTC Scotland for his entire career in education – as a registered teacher, as a Scottish Government observer on Council while HM Chief Inspector of Education and as Chief Executive and Registrar. 
 
He said “After working for over 42 years, and in a wide variety of roles in Scottish education, I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to lead GTC Scotland and to see it take on an ever-important role in the Scottish education system and internationally. It is a job I have loved and have always considered it to be the best job in Scottish education. 
 
“I am very fortunate during my seven-year tenure to have had excellent relations with, and the full support of, a series of able and highly-committed Council members, and Council and Committee Conveners and Vice-Conveners.  Equally, staff at GTC Scotland and my current team of Directors have shown commendable loyalty and drive over a period of many changes. I will continue to rely on them over the coming months as we look to deliver on our new strategic plan priorities and further enhance the reputation of GTC Scotland as a world-class professional body.”
 
David Innes, GTC Scotland’s Council Convener, has said that the steps necessary to appoint Ken’s successor will be taken immediately with the intention of having someone in post before the end of December which will allow plenty of time for a handover period.  In addition, he wanted to place on record his appreciation for the outstanding service Ken has provided Scottish education over his long career and his gratitude for the leadership Ken continues to bring to GTC Scotland as its CEO and Registrar.]]>
<![CDATA[Strengthening support for school staff]]>GTC Scotland has been working with partners to help deliver a package of mental health support for school staff.

School staff will be offered new support as part of a £1.5 million funding package to help manage additional pressures as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barnardo’s Scotland and mental health charity Place2Be will offer new mental health support for staff with the intention this will be available after the October break.

Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council for Scotland will also offer new professional learning opportunities for post-probation teachers and develop a new coaching and mentoring offer for teachers who need it most.

The funding package also includes the continuation of the Scottish Government’s commitment, in partnership with the Hunter Foundation, to the values-based leadership programmes delivered by social enterprise and charity Columba 1400.

The package of support for school staff has been developed in partnership with organisations represented on the Education Recovery Group.

Education Secretary John Swinney said:

“Supporting the health and wellbeing of teachers and other staff is of paramount importance. This was true before COVID-19, but it is of crucial importance as school staff support our children and young people to recover from the pandemic. This additional package of measures will complement the excellent practice which is already taking place to support the wellbeing of staff in schools across Scotland.”

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

"GTC Scotland is pleased to deliver this important support to hard-working teachers in collaboration with our partners in education. GTC Scotland has invested heavily in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education professionals and we look forward to continuing to do so.”

Gillian Hamilton, Strategic Director at Education Scotland, said:

“Ensuring school staff feel well supported, particularly at this time, is essential.  This new support package, designed collaboratively with partners in the Education Recovery Group, provides direct access to a range of focused supports including coaching, reflective supervision and opportunities for school staff to learn together through the challenges presented by COVID-19.”

Laurence Findlay, Aberdeenshire Council Director of Education and Children’s Services, said:

“I am delighted with the support package being put forward as part of ongoing efforts to support the education workforce. I hope as many practitioners as possible make use of these resources.”

Health and Wellbeing Hub

Our Health and Wellbeing Hub is full of resources which have been created and curated for teachers.

GTC Scotland is also launching a Wellbeing Wednesday series on the last Wednesday of each month. The first webinar takes place on 30 September at 4pm and will focus on the impact of the transition back into schools and self-renewal practices. Register now.

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<![CDATA[New research links socioeconomic inequalities to school absenteeism]]> Research carried out by the University of Strathclyde in partnership with GTC Scotland and Poverty Alliance Scotland, shows that socioeconomic status is a strong predictor of school absenteeism, supporting previous studies on the issue.

"Socioeconomic Inequalities in School Attendance in Scotland: Research Brief" found that all dimensions of socioeconomic background were uniquely linked to overall absenteeism.

The unique study reflects that different dimensions of socioeconomic status are independently associated with absenteeism. It also indicates that to fully understand the links between socioeconomic background and absenteeism, research must account for multiple dimensions of each.

Key findings

The results show that pupils from more deprived areas, living in socially rented housing, coming from households with lower levels of parental education and social class, and those registered for free school meals were more frequently absent from school than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds.

Pupils from socially rented households, and households with no qualifications are the most likely to be absent from school.

When looking at specific forms of absenteeism, the analysis revealed that there were socioeconomic inequalities related to truancy, sickness and temporary exclusion but not in relation to absences due to family holidays.

Living in socially rented housing, and parental education had the most pervasive effect on all forms of absenteeism.

In addition, the research showed that girls were more frequently absent than boys, and that those in urban areas had higher levels of overall absenteeism than those living in rural areas. The analysis did not find that socioeconomic differences in school absenteeism were more or less pronounced between girls and boys or people living in urban or rural areas.

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<![CDATA[Equality and Diversity Hub launched by GTC Scotland]]>20 August 2020

GTC Scotland has today launched an Equality and Diversity Hub which includes a range of resources to support registrants to promote equality and diversity in schools, colleges and across learning communities.

The Equality and Diversity Hub includes:

  • an Equality and Diversity Professional Guide, which provides support for teachers to reflect on their understanding of equality and diversity and how it relates to their professional lives, actions and behaviours;
  • two Equality and Diversity Professional Learning Modules to support teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of equality and diversity matters, which have been produced in collaboration with Dianne Cantali of the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee;
  • a range of resources collated from partners on protected characteristics; bias and stereotyping; discrimination, harassment and victimisation; intersectionality; leadership; and equity; and
  • case studies to support the critical thinking of teachers around some real-life examples of inequality and discrimination to help challenge and support thinking and professional actions.

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland, said: “It is almost half a century since the 1976 Race Relations Act came into force and 10 years since the 2010 Equalities Act came into effect. Yet, still, in the second decade of the 21st century, we have a long way to go in addressing some issues of equality in our society.

“Our schools, colleges and learning communities are enriched with a diverse mix of people with a variety of experiences and from different cultures and backgrounds. Teachers should strive to promote equality and diversity ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and that individual differences are valued.”

“The resources available in our Equality and Diversity Hub aim to support teacher professionalism and professional learning. By gaining greater knowledge and understanding of equalities and diversity, teachers can then consider any necessary changes to their learning environment, their practice and their learning and teaching materials.”

Access the Equality and Diversity Hub at gtcs.org.uk/equality-diversity-hub

Further information

GTC Scotland has been working on a number of other equality and diversity initiatives including those from the Teaching in a Diverse Scotland action plan.

GTC Scotland is very grateful for the contributions of our partners in collating materials and providing feedback on our professional learning materials.

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<![CDATA[GTC Scotland publishes draft Professional Standards 2021]]>18 August 2020

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has today published its draft Professional Standards 2021 for teachers in Scotland.


The Professional Standards describe teacher professionalism in Scotland, and have multiple purposes:

  • to create a shared language for teaching professionals;
  • as a benchmark of professional competency;
  • to develop and enhance professionalism;
  • to support career-long professional growth;
  • to provide a framework for Initial Teacher Education, probation and leadership pathways and programmes; and
  • to ensure and enhance public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.

The draft Professional Standards 2021 are available to view on the GTC Scotland website and they will be used by the profession from August 2021.

What’s new in the draft Professional Standards 2021?

The draft Professional Standards 2021 were further refreshed following public consultation last year and now include a section called ‘Being a teacher in Scotland’ which highlights that the professional values of social justice, trust and respect and integrity are at the heart of what it means to be a teacher in Scotland. This roots the Professional Standards as a framework that supports what it means to become, to be and to grow as a teacher in Scotland.

Ken Muir Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland said, “We have worked with a range of partners over the last three years to bring greater coherence across the Professional Standards.

“Through discussions, consultations and workshops it became clear that content relating to equalities and diversity, additional support needs, digital literacies, and Learning for Sustainability, amongst others, needed strengthened to ensure the Professional Standards epitomise what it means to be a teacher in Scotland today. 

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in education to spend some time exploring the Professional Standards to understand better the teaching profession in Scotland and the extraordinary work they do to on behalf of our children and young people.”

Seeking education professionals’ views

Further views on the draft Professional Standards 2021 will be sought after the October break. 

Virtual focus groups will be run with the aim of providing feedback on the following areas:

  • Is the structure, language and content of the Professional Standards 2021 coherent, clear and usable? 
  • How well do the Professional Standards 2021 articulate what it means to be a teacher in Scotland? 
  • What help is needed to support the enactment of Professional Standards 2021 as central to teacher professional learning and development?

If you are interested in contributing to these feedback sessions, please complete this short form.

What’s happening with the Professional Code?

Feedback from last year’s consultation indicated that the draft Code required further debate.  GTC Scotland will facilitate further discussion about the content of the Professional Code for teachers later this session. It is anticipated that a redrafted Code for Teachers will be subject to further consultation and available for use by next session alongside the refreshed Standards. Work is also beginning on developing a Professional Code for Lecturers.

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