News RSS FeedCopyright (c) 2020 Activeditionen<![CDATA[GTC Scotland publishes guide for online good practice]]>The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has today published advice on online good practice.

The guide, Engaging Online, contains good practice for online working including on social media and when storing learners’ data. A reflective questions section aims to help teachers consider their professional practice.

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar said, “As the majority of teachers in Scotland have now moved from teaching in the classroom to teaching online, it is important that we refresh our advice on online working.

“This guide offers useful information on working in an online environment and is intended as a professional learning and discussion tool to enhance teacher professionalism.”

The guide has been endorsed by the Teaching Professional Associations of Scotland.

Further information

Access the Guide

Access working from home resources

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<![CDATA[GTC Scotland inspires world-class teaching professionalism]]>2 April 2020

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has today launched its Strategic Plan 2020-23, laying out what it aims to accomplish over the next three years.

The vision for the organisation is “inspiring world-class teaching professionalism” through collaboration and innovation.

The plan, which was formulated with the help of teaching professionals, has three distinct strategic outcomes that put registrants and learners at the heart of what GTC Scotland does:

1. Upholding public trust and confidence in teaching professionals;
2. Inspiring and influencing the ongoing transformation in the leadership and professional learning of teaching professionals; and
3. Delivering innovative, data-informed and high-quality accessible services to registrants and other stakeholders.

Each outcome has an underlying workplan setting out how it will be achieved, along with ways in which it will be measured; from working with local and international partners in education, to continually improving and evaluating the technology and systems available.

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar said, “Our vision of inspiring world-class teaching professionalism goes hand-in-hand with our statutory aims of maintaining and improving the quality of teaching, learning and professional standards for our registrants.

“Much of what we aim to achieve is rooted in professional learning. From championing health and wellbeing as key aspects of teacher professionalism to supporting the enactment of the refreshed Professional Standards for teachers and the revised Professional Code.”

“Over the next three years we are likely to witness fundamental changes to society, not least in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last few weeks have demonstrated the resilience and talent of the teaching profession in the face of adversity. None of us can see into the future, but whatever it holds you can be sure that the teaching profession in Scotland will rise to any challenges and GTC Scotland, as their professional body, will support them in doing so.”

David Innes, Convener of GTC Scotland Council said, “This Strategic Plan highlights the dedication GTC Scotland has to improving its services for registrants and learners, both current and future. It is by working with our partners in education and continuing to use the latest technology to inform our digital transformation that we will achieve our vision.”

The GTC Scotland Strategic Plan 2020-23 is available in both English and Gaelic.]]>
<![CDATA[GTCS response to Commission on School Reform paper]]>26 March 2020

GTC Scotland Chief Executive Kenneth Muir said:

“At a time of complexity and immense challenge for teachers, schools and local authorities this paper makes a number of suggestions that risk adding further unnecessary burdens on the education system.

“Firstly, anyone working with children and young people must have Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) certification. All registered teachers have this status and are the people whom families should be looking to for support with children’s learning at this time.

“Learning in Scotland has not stopped… it is ongoing in a different setting with new challenges. Teachers across the country have shown great flexibility and creativity to address these challenges by providing invaluable learning resources and continuing contact with children. It should be remembered that qualified, professional teachers are still working. While we recognise that this looks different across the country as we all respond to the new situation we find ourselves in, teachers are working hard to find meaningful connections with their learners.

“The assertion that many families are engaging private tutors has not been evidenced. We would urge all parents to ensure that any tutors they may choose to engage are PVG checked and registered teachers. Families can check that teachers are registered via our Search the Register facility.

“It is important that teachers are supported to get on with the incredible work they are doing to keep in contact with all learners, support well planned, high-quality learning and develop their own professional learning at this challenging time. GTC Scotland has created a Health and Wellbeing Hub on its website with a wealth of resource for teachers to access and help them be supported.

“While we welcome all views from partners on learning and teaching in Scotland it is important these do not detract from the current coordinated efforts being made. The last thing we need is adding further complexity to an already difficult situation.”

Report

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<![CDATA[How to look after your wellbeing]]>

Current circumstances are unprecedented.  You might be pushed to your limit, and you can run the danger of losing your perspective and patience, getting frustrated or angry and reacting in ways you wouldn’t normally.

This is why it is important to take care of your own health and wellbeing and to know where you can go to access support when you are feeling overwhelmed or unwell. If your wellbeing is suffering, you are unlikely to be at your best.

Over the coming weeks GTC Scotland will run a series of webinars from wellbeing experts which you may find helps you manage your wellbeing in these most difficult of circumstances. Keep an eye on our dedicated resources page for further details. In the meantime, you may find the following advice helpful.

What you can do

1. Talk

It is important not to keep worries and feelings to yourself. Talk to a friend, colleague or someone you trust. Teachers play a critical role in supporting the wellbeing of each other. Never more so than now.

2. Structure your workday

If you have you found yourself in a new working situation, consider how you can structure your routine to balance the various demands on you. What personal rules do you need to put in place to manage work and life expectations?

3. Use different ways to communicate

You may need to consider specific methods of communication with your colleagues and line manager to ensure that you are in regular contact with others. Technology is going to be at the fore in supporting us all to get through the current crisis. Try tools such as FaceTime; Skype; email and, of course, the telephone to keep in regular contact with your support network.

4. Plan

Sometimes it is helpful to consider what you can control, what you can influence and what you need to accept.  Plan for what you can, consider your response to what you can’t.

5. Access support

Are you aware of the resources your employer offers? Confidential support may be available through Occupational Health or Human Resources and a number of organisations have mental health first aiders or access to an employee counselling service.

Have you talked to your Professional Association representative? Professional Associations can offer excellent support in a wide range of areas including wellbeing, mental health, workload and stress.
Most importantly, you should follow NHS Scotland advice if you consider you are unwell in any way.

Further information

Access the resources

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<![CDATA[Teacher wellbeing resources during Covid-19]]>23 March 2020

GTC Scotland, the professional regulatory body for education professionals in Scotland, is acutely aware of the added demands and stresses being placed on all professionals in the education system as a result of Covid-19.


Teachers are playing a key role not only in helping keyworkers to provide frontline services but also ensuring children and young people remain engaged and learning in the most challenging of circumstances. For this it is important to recognise the essential contribution made by teachers during this time.

Teachers are responsible for creating environments that foster successful learning and teaching, but this can sap their energy and test their patience. In the current circumstances, teachers are working at pace to develop new learning and teaching environments and may well be working alone and/or managing specific family circumstances. 

It is important that throughout this time all education professionals care for their mental health and wellbeing. Pressures and worries can build up to a point where they have a detrimental effect on wellbeing, which in turn impacts teachers’ ability to do their job. In the current circumstances, it can be challenging to balance wellbeing with managing uncertainty and changing expectations.

To try to provide support, over the coming weeks GTC Scotland will collate and create resources that teachers may find helpful to manage their wellbeing in these most difficult of circumstances. This will include access to webinars and input from various experts. This information aims to highlight the centrality of teachers’ wellbeing to the profession and is intended to complement employers’ policies and guidance over which GTC Scotland has no remit. 

We are here to support teachers through this unprecedented time, and we will be keeping in regular touch.
Please contact us at communciations@gtcs.org.uk if there are particular topics you would like information about.

Further information
Access the resources

How to look after your wellbeing (two-minute read)

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<![CDATA[Covid-19 - Update and FAQs]]>18 March 2020

Updated 1 April 2020

GTC Scotland has been closely monitoring the development of Covid-19 and the expert scientific and medical advice provided by Scottish Government.

We want to reassure all registrants and stakeholders about the steps we have been taking to ensure we stay open for business as usual.

As an organisation we are well prepared to cope and, following the latest advice from Scottish Government, we have invoked our Business Continuity Plan. All GTC Scotland employees will work from home until further notice.

We owe a debt of gratitude for the commitment and professionalism of teaching professionals across Scotland who are doing all they can to ensure the delivery of high quality education to all children, young people and students in these most challenging times. Education in Scotland often comes under attack but the reaction of schools, colleges and education professionals to this crisis clearly demonstrates the moral imperative they hold in doing all they can for their students and Scottish society more generally.

GTC Scotland remains open for business. We aim to provide, as far as possible, a business as usual service to all registrants for as long as required.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs were published on 24 March 2020 and will be updated regularly in response to enquiries and as we develop processes.

Our telephone lines are open as normal: Mon-Thu 08:30-17:00 and Fri 08:30-16:00 Contact us

General enquiries: 0131 314 6000 or gtcs@gtcs.org.uk
Media enquiries: communciations@gtcs.org.uk
Fitness to Teach enquiries: regulation@gtcs.org.uk
Registration enquiries: registration@gtcs.org.uk
Early Careers enquiries for students: sps@gtcs.org.uk
Early Careers enquiries for probationers: pld@gtcs.org.uk
Professional Update enquiries: professional.update@gtcs.org.uk
Initial Teacher Education enquiries: charlaine.simpson@gtcs.org.uk
If you have a technical issue, please contact: techsupport@gtcs.org.uk
Where possible, please send any post electronically to: reception@gtcs.org.uk Please ensure that you make it clear in the subject heading of your email which department it is for.

 

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.

Can I still apply for registration?

Yes, our registration processes are operating as usual. You will find full details about how to apply and submit your application under Registration on this website, or email registration@gtcs.org.uk

How will the college lecturer registration programme be impacted?

The work of the College Lecturer Registration Steering Group and the two sub-groups will continue. Much of this work will be done via video and phone conference and will continue to move forward this important initiative.

I am due to attend a Fitness to Teach hearing – should I attend?

No. Due to the unprecedented circumstances of Covid-19 and, following advice issued on Monday 16 March 2020 by the United Kingdom and Scottish Governments, GTC Scotland has taken the decision to require its employees to work from home until further notice.

As we will not have access to the necessary facilities to hold full Fitness to Teach hearings, GTC Scotland has taken the decision to postpone all scheduled full Fitness to Teach hearings. If you have been asked to attend a hearing, you are no longer required to attend, and you will be contacted with new dates to attend once hearings are rescheduled.

If you are a member of the public or a journalist wishing to attend a Fitness to Teach hearing, please note that all scheduled hearings have been postponed until further notice.

If my Fitness to Teach Hearing has been postponed, how long will it be postponed for?

As things currently stand, we are unfortunately not able to advise when hearings will be rescheduled. We are carefully monitoring and assessing all government advice in relation to Covid-19 and therefore this will affect any decisions made in relation to when GTC Scotland recommences hearings. We will continue to provide updates, where possible, on the GTC Scotland website. Once hearings can be rescheduled, we will contact those who are required to attend with new dates.

How do I get in touch with GTC Scotland about my case?

All employees are working from home and are fully contactable. If you would like to discuss your case with a member of the Regulation and Legal Services (RALS) Team please email regulation@gtcs.org.uk

I currently have a Fitness to Teach case ongoing, what will happen to it?

If your case is at the investigation stage, the Investigating Officer assigned to your case will continue to carry out investigations and progress your case, where possible. As part of our investigations we rely on third parties providing us with information. In light of the unprecedented circumstances, third parties may not be in a position to provide GTC Scotland with information in accordance with the normal timescales. Regulation Officers will however continue to keep you updated about the progress of your case.

If due to the current circumstances you or your representative are unable to provide responses to requests for comment or information, please let the Investigating Officer know. We understand that this may be a very difficult time for you, and we would urge you to seek support from your representative or line manager. If you would like to speak to the Investigating Officer who is dealing with your case, please email

If your case has been referred for a hearing, the Servicing Officer will continue, where possible, to manage your case through the process up to the point of scheduling a hearing.

I have been asked to provide a response as part of a fitness to teach investigation within a certain time period but this is not enough time – what should I do?

In the first instance, we strongly encourage anyone subject to a fitness to teach investigation to appoint a representative as they will be able to provide you with help and support. However, we fully understand that you may not be able to access support in the same way at this time. As a result, if either you/your representative cannot comply with a deadline please contact us at and we will be happy to provide an extension of time to allow you sufficient time to seek support and provide information to us.

I want to raise a referral, are you still accepting/processing them at this time?

Yes, we are well prepared to operate as usual when it comes to receiving and assessing new referrals and able to accept and process new referrals in the usual way. Whether you are an employer wishing to make a referral or a member of the public, please visit where you will find information about how to make a referral and a link to the online referral form.

Is the National Probationer Event 2020 going ahead?

The National Probationer event scheduled for June 2020 has been cancelled. We are working to find alternative ways to celebrate the hard work of all probationers throughout Scotland. Please keep an eye on our website and e-newsletters for more information on this.

Is the GTCS and Education Scotland Leadership Awards ceremony (Standard for Headship) going ahead?

The GTCS and Education Scotland Leadership Awards event has been cancelled. We are working to find alternative ways to celebrate the hard work of those achieving Standard for Headship through Into Headship, and those who have achieved In Headship. All those who have completed the course will graduate and receive their certificates via the post.

My school/ learning community has been nominated for this year’s Excellence in Professional Learning Awards (EPLA) – are they going ahead?

Considering the ongoing developing situation with Covid-19, GTC Scotland has taken the decision to cancel the Excellence in Professional Learning Awards event due to be held in September 2020. GTC Scotland works in close partnership with colleagues across Scotland in order to carry out the EPLA panels, and we have decided that we must prioritise the health and wellbeing of all our partners.

Schools and learning communities involved have been updated with this decision. Once circumstances improve, we will be in a better position to identify how we take those nominations forward to future awarding panels; further communication will be issued in due course.

I am due to be an Advocate on EPLA panels – what do I need to do?

If you have been invited to attend panels as a Professional Learning Advocate, you can now free up those dates in your diaries as the panels have been cancelled. Once GTC Scotland has identified how we will progress with the Awards, we will be back in touch with you to seek your support with any future panels.

I need guidance on Professional Update, who do I contact?

GTC Scotland remains open for business as usual with staff working from home. If you have a PU enquiry the best way to contact our team is to email professional.update@gtcs.org.uk. Please quote your six-digit registration number and provide a telephone number so that we can provide a call back service as required.

My Professional Update sign-off is due by 1 July 2020 but some of my planned professional learning activities have been postponed due to current COVID-19 measures in place. What should I do?

We are extending the deadline for PU sign-off until 31 October 2020 for the 2019-20 cohort. The period from 1 July until 31 October is usually made available in extenuating circumstances where completion is likely to prove challenging. There is likely to be some challenge for all within this cohort to complete within the usual timescale, so this arrangement now applies to all who are due for PU sign-off this session. GTC Scotland will review this arrangement as COVID-19 measures continue to evolve.

Does this mean that PU deferrals are no longer available?

If you are not currently working, or you are not working in a Scottish school (or within an organisation which has not had PU/PRD processes validated by GTC Scotland) and would like to request a deferral please contact professional.update@gtcs.org.uk.

Where can I find learning resources while working from home?

The following resources may be useful to promote collaboration for ongoing professional learning and ongoing PRD-type conversations.

I don’t work in a Scottish school and my PU sign-off is due this year. How will this impact me?

You can complete your PU sign-off by Direct Submission. Direct Submissions - Teachers working outwith Scotland or within Scotland but outwith a validated system This can be done at any point and the revised deadline of 31 October 2020 also applies to you. If you need further guidance please contact the PU Team at professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

I’m a supply teacher and I’m not currently attached to a school. How do I complete my PU when schools close?

The revised deadline of 31 October 2020 also applies to you. If you need further guidance please contact the PU Team at professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

Our local authority is due to undergo Professional Update Revalidation for PU and PRD. What will happen?

All panels for PU Revalidation have been postponed with a view to rescheduling from September 2020. Your GTC Scotland link officer will maintain contact to support you through the process. In the interim period, GTC Scotland will be exploring possible options for revalidation and collaboration through digital platforms.

We are likely to have staff changes with a new officer having lead role for PU next session. Who should I inform?

Please advise the PU team professional.update@gtcs.org.uk if there is likely to be a change of lead officer. We will provide individual support as required to new officers. GTC Scotland is also in the process of developing a PU Lead Officer handbook which will provide guidance for local authority officers.

What will happen with seminars for the PU Officer network?

The seminar planned for April 2020 is being rescheduled for September 2020. In the interim period, GTC Scotland will be exploring options for communication and collaboration through digital platforms. We will keep you updated through email and PU Officer Sharepoint.

What advice should I give to staff due for PU sign-off this session?

We are extending the deadline for PU sign-off until 31 October 2020 for the 2019-20 cohort. The period from 1 July until 31 October is usually made available in extenuating circumstances where completion is likely to prove challenging. There is likely to be some challenge for all within this cohort to complete within the usual timescale, so this arrangement now applies to all who are due for PU sign-off this session. GTC Scotland will review this arrangement as COVID-19 measures continue to evolve.

What about short-term supply staff? We normally support them through the process.

The deadline for sign off is extended to 31 October 2020 for all registrants within the cohort, including those not currently employed. Any supply staff concerned about PU should contact professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

I am signed up to a GTC Scotland Coaching course – what do I need to do?

In order to ensure the health and safety of colleagues and partners in relation to Covid-19, GTC Scotland has taken the decision to postpone all pending coaching sessions until further notice. Once circumstances improve, we will be in a better position to identify any future dates to hold these sessions.

Can I make an individual application for Professional Recognition?

GTC Scotland continues to welcome applications from teachers for the award of Professional Recognition. Panels will convene to consider applications received as soon as it is safe for groups to begin meeting again. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support your application: Making an individual application for Professional Recognition

Will planned Professional Recognition panels go ahead?

Please contact jacqueline.morley@gtcs.org.uk to discuss any aspects of the Professional Recognition process.

Can I make an application for Professional Recognition for a programme?

GTC Scotland is working as far as possible a ‘business as usual’ policy and welcomes applications from programme providers for Professional Recognition. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support applications: Accreditation of Programmes Leading to Professional Recognition. Please contact jacqueline.morley@gtcs.org.uk to discuss any aspects of the Professional Recognition process.

Can I make an application for a Professional Learning Award for Organisations?

GTC Scotland welcomes applications from programme providers for the Professional Learning Award for Organisations. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support applications Professional Learning Award for Organisations Guidance.

Please contact jacqueline.morley@gtcs.org.uk to discuss any aspects of the Professional Learning Award for Organisations.

Will planned ITE accreditation panels go ahead?

All planned ITE accreditation panels will continue as already agreed with individual ITE providers. This has included some changes to timelines and using digital communication channels where possible.

Can ITE providers still advertise programmes which are subject to re-accreditation panel events prior to the next academic session?

Programmes which are required to be re-accredited prior to the start of academic session 2020-21 should continue to recruit students. GTC Scotland will proceed in a digital format with the planned accreditations as agreed with ITE providers.

Will there be any impact on the timeline for the accreditation panel process?

New arrangements have been made with ITE providers for planned re-accreditations.

For any other question about accreditation of ITE programme or accreditation panels please contact charlaine.simpson@gtcs.org.uk.

Students

What happens now that my school placements have been cancelled? Will I still pass my course?

We understand that this has caused some anxiety among student teachers across Scotland. Please discuss your concerns with your student placement coordinator at your University as they will be able to provide more information on your course requirements and any steps that you need to take. More information can be found in the GTC Scotland/ITE institutions position statement. Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice on student placements

Student placement co-ordinators and universities

Now that our schools no longer have student placements, what happens with the system – will this be updated?

We have no plans to remove student placements from the system at this stage. The information already stored is important for the following academic session. We do, however, ask that no-one removes matched placements or offers from the system in the meantime.

Probationers starting August 2020

Will the Teacher Induction Scheme allocation process be affected in anyway if schools close before the summer?

No, the allocation process by GTC Scotland will go ahead as planned.

Current Probationers

What are the expectations around probation requirements such as, observations, supporter meetings?

We understand that there may be issues in completing some areas of the profile e.g. observations and supporter meetings. Local authorities will receive further guidance around this from GTC Scotland and we advise that if you have any major concerns to contact your probation manager. We appreciate probationers’ concerns and GTC Scotland will be as flexible as we can.

How will this affect the number of days required in order to finish probation?

We realise that school closures and self-isolation may impact on the number of days completed. In order to gain full registration at the end of the school session in June 2020, we are asking the following:

  • Teacher Induction Scheme

    Anyone currently on the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) will be required to have completed a minimum of 120 (the revised requirement of 140 days minus the established absence allowance of 20) satisfactory days at school. We would expect that any days missed from the usual expectation of 190 days will, if possible, provide probationers with an opportunity to engage in some professional learning activities.

    The maximum number of days that can be missed is 70.

    The number of days missed should include any days of absence due to ill health or personal reasons (up to a maximum of 20 days). Any TIS Probationers who have completed less than 120 satisfactory days in a school have been asked to contact GTC Scotland for specific advice. It is our intention to offer any probationers in this position a support package in the autumn. GTC Scotland is currently taking time to consider the implications that days missed beyond the acceptable 120 may have on registration and will advise in due course.

  • Flexible Route

    At the end of this school session, GTC Scotland will accept a minimum of 200 satisfactory days in the classroom with any missed days from the usual expectation of 270 days possibly providing an opportunity to engage in professional learning activities.

Does work from home count?

We are working with employers to ensure that anybody who is working towards meeting the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) is not disadvantaged by the school closures. Probationers following the Teacher Induction Scheme or the Flexible Route have had the number of required satisfactory days reduced to take into account the school closures.

We hope that probationers will continue to work towards the SFR from home by engaging in learning activities and this can be recorded in the professional learning section of the profile.

When can I request a recommendation for full registration?

A recommendation for full registration cannot be requested either on TIS or the Flexible Route until the missed days i.e. when schools are closed, have passed. This is because there is an expectation from GTC Scotland that during the school closures probationers will continue to find opportunities to engage in learning activities related to the Standard for Full Registration.

I am a Flexible Route probationer working full-time in one school for the whole year. How many days do I have to do?

Flexible Route probationers who have a one-year contract in one school and were hoping to gain full registration after 190 days will be asked to meet the same number of satisfactory days as TIS probationers i.e. 140 days.

If I volunteer to work in a Children’s Hub during the school closures, will the days worked count towards my probation?

Please contact your employer for more information.

How do I record the days missed due to school closures if I’m a Flexible Route probationer?

Days missed should be recorded in a Record of Teaching Service and details of professional learning that you have engaged in recorded in an observation. The observation and Record of Teaching Service should be submitted to the school where you would have been working for sign off. When this is signed off by the school as satisfactory you will be credited with the days towards your probation.

I have read all the FAQs, but I don’t fit into any of the examples. What should I do?

We realise that there will be some probationers who have a slightly different journey through probation. If you are still unsure after reading the FAQs, please contact pld@gtcs.org.uk

I have submitted an application for a 2020 SCEL Legacy Fund Bursary. What will happen to this?

GTC Scotland will continue to process these applications to allow the selection panel to identify those who have been successful. However, the selection panel is very unlikely to meet before the summer. Successful applicants will be informed at the earliest opportunity thereafter.

I received a SCEL Legacy Fund Bursary in 2019. When do I submit my report?

Report templates will be issued in the coming weeks. The deadline for the submission of reports has now been extended to 31 October 2020 but this may be subject to further change and we will keep you informed.

Will there be a George D Gray CBE MA Award (for top undergraduate thesis) this year?

No. The George D Gray Award CBE MA Award was due to be presented at the Excellence in Professional Learning Awards event in September. As this event has now unfortunately been cancelled, there will be no award made until 2021.

Will Development Officer visits to local authorities continue?

There will be no face-to-face meetings, but the Development Officers will continue to meet with local authority personnel via video link wherever possible. If video link is not a possibility, a telephone call could take place.

Are Development Officers still able to engage with other stakeholders while the office is closed?

Yes, the Development Officers can engage with all stakeholders via video or telephone.

Will training events arranged with the Development Officers still take place while the office is closed?

If the training can be delivered by video link it can go ahead as arranged. It may, however, be better to postpone the event until a later date so that participants can benefit more from the interactive nature of training provided. This can be discussed with the relevant Development Officer. Their contact details are:

Jim Moore: 07775 626631 jim.moore@gtcs.org.uk

Sarah Stevenson: 07792 688171 sarah.stevenson@gtcs.org.uk

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<![CDATA[Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice for probationers]]>16 March 2020

Updated: 17 March 2020

GTC Scotland recognises that probationer teachers will understandably be anxious about the potential impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on their probationary period. There is a requirement for probationers to complete a minimum number of days on the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) or Flexible Route. This is currently 190 days and 270 days respectively. Due to the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves, GTC Scotland has revised this minimum requirement for this year only to ensure probationers are not disadvantaged by any absence or potential school closure as a result of the impact of Covid-19.

GTC Scotland’s current position is that we will accept 140 satisfactorily completed days for Teacher Induction Scheme probationers and 200 satisfactorily completed days for Flexible Route probationers. Please note that it may be necessary to review these figures should circumstances change significantly in the coming weeks and months.

Any probationers who find themselves unable to attend school for a period of time can consider reviewing their progress against the Standard for Full Registration and undertaking learning activities to address any gaps identified.

Teacher Induction Scheme extension procedures will remain unchanged. At this stage the date for final submission of Final Profiles remains unchanged as per individual employers.

Probation requirements such as observations will be reduced accordingly and all details will be shared with probation managers next week, and we will update the content here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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<![CDATA[Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice on student placements]]>

Joint statement from GTC Scotland and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education

16 March 2020

The following contingency plans have been agreed between the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education.

These plans have been agreed in the context of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers moving to alternative methods of programme delivery. They are designed to provide clarity and consistency to students, and to reduce the burden on schools and teachers.

It has been agreed that all initial teacher education placements in schools will end as of today, Monday 16 March, and for the remainder of this academic session 2019-20.

This includes placements for all undergraduate and postgraduate students in all years of their ITE programmes.

PGDE, or Masters programmes students, will be assessed on professional practice undertaken to date, drawing on all available evidence. Those who are presented to GTC Scotland by their ITE provider will be able to progress into the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) or Flexible Route with Provisional Registration awarded by GTC Scotland.

Final-year undergraduate students who have satisfactorily completed professional practice undertaken to date and as confirmed by their ITE provider, will be able to progress into the TIS or Flexible Route with Provisional Registration awarded by GTC Scotland.

Where the ITE provider judges that the student would have satisfactorily completed the placement, the placement module will be credited. This means that the credits associated with the module will be awarded to the student teacher. Therefore, student teachers on a PGDE programme or in their final year of an undergraduate degree, will be eligible to graduate.

Each ITE provider will identify any students whose performance requires them at this stage to undertake a retrieval placement next session. ITE providers will inform those students of this decision as soon as possible.

GTC Scotland will introduce an early check for all probationers on TIS or the Flexible Route in September 2020 to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress towards achieving the Standard for Full Registration. Any probationers not showing sufficient progress as determined by the school and local authority may be awarded Provisional (Conditional) Registration at this time. GTC Scotland will support the relevant schools and local authorities to monitor the progress of any such probationers and ensure that the necessary remedial action is taken prior to them being awarded Full Registration.

Undergraduate students who are in years one to three of their course will not attend school placements for the remainder of academic session 2019-20. Provision will be made in partnership with GTC Scotland, ITE providers and local authorities for additional placement time in subsequent years on a programme by programme basis.

In those areas where students have been unable to complete an on campus, taught programme, ITE providers are committed to offering online teaching as a replacement.

Please note

  • Any queries from students about this statement should be directed to their ITE provider
  • Probationer profiles on MyGTCS will be adjusted accordingly
  • Please refer to the GTCS website and Twitter accounts for further updates
  • Additional advice on Covid-19 is provided by Scottish Government here

Frequently asked questions

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<![CDATA[GTC Scotland publishes consultation outcomes]]>The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has today published the results of its consultation on a refreshed set of Professional Standards and revised Professional Code (replacing the current Code of Professionalism and Conduct). The responses were analysed and have led to 28 recommendations.

The Professional Standards and Professional Code outline what it means to be a teacher in Scotland and have a number of purposes:

  • as a benchmark of conduct and professional competency;
  • to provide a framework for initial teacher education;
  • to support career-long professional growth;
  • to develop and enhance professionalism;
  • to create a shared language for teaching professionals; and
  • to ensure and enhance public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.

Analysis of responses

Consultation concluded in December 2019 with 70.3% of respondents strongly agreeing/agreeing that the purpose of the refreshed set of Professional Standards and revised Professional Code is clearly set out.
Feedback demonstrated that more work is required to ensure the content of the documents is clearer and more accessible. This includes removing or explaining jargon and key terms. Responses also indicated that teacher values required to be better woven throughout the Standards.

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland said, “Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to this important consultation. The feedback provided was very informative and will help us to create a set of Professional Standards and Professional Code that reflects the contemporary context within which they sit, and which works well for the education profession in Scotland.

“The Standards and Code together are the foundation of teacher professionalism in Scotland and we look forward to further refining them on the basis of the feedback provided.” 

Next steps

GTC Scotland Council approved the 28 recommendations in March 2020 and a final redraft of the Professional Standards will now take place. These will be shared with the teaching profession in August 2020, to be followed by a year of enactment before they come into force on 1 August 2021. This will allow teachers and others to engage, explore and understand the relevance of the Professional Standards before they take effect.

In light of forthcoming registration of college lecturers, it has been determined that further review of the Professional Code is necessary and will be subject to further consultation. 

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Read the full report.

246 responses to the consultation were received: 136 (55.3%) were teachers and 10 responses were groups of teachers, meaning that almost three-fifths of respondents (59.3%) identified themselves as teachers. Twenty responses were submitted outwith the online consultation.

GTC Scotland enlisted the help of Children in Scotland who visited various schools across the country to gather feedback from children and young people.

The refreshed Professional Standards and revised Professional Code were developed in collaboration with the education profession, including teachers, children and young people, employer representatives, professional associations, parental groups and university teacher educators.

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<![CDATA[Annual registration fee 2020]]> Information on paying your annual registration fee

The processes and procedures used to collect the annual registration fee start in March each year. Fees are collected in two main ways, but most teachers pay through the Deducted at Source (DAS) process, meaning that the fee is deducted directly from your salary and subsequently paid to GTC Scotland by your employer.

Did you know you can claim a Tax Deduction on your GTCS Registration Fee?

Find out how here:

Registration fee - tax deduction

The DAS process applies to teachers who are in employment as a teacher in Scotland on 1 April. All local authorities in Scotland use the DAS process and many other employers also use it; however, it is important that individual teachers check their pay statements for March and April to ensure that their annual registration fee has been taken. If the payment has not been deducted from your salary, please do not worry as GTC Scotland will contact you to give you payment methods.

We endeavour to ensure that the DAS payment process works well but should you experience any issues please contact us as soon as possible so that we can work closely with you and your employer to resolve any difficulties regarding processing the payment of your registration fee.

If your annual registration fee is not paid through the DAS process, you will receive notification in early May with guidance on how to pay your fee.

We would ask all registrants to note that failure to pay their annual registration fee is likely to lead to them being removed from the Register of Teachers and therefore unable to work as a teacher in Scotland.

Keeping your details up to date

Please ensure that you keep your contact details up to date.

 You can update your details by using our secure online facility – MyGTCS. You can do this by logging in to your MyGTCS account or, if you haven't already done so, sign-up for an account by following the screen prompts.

 Login to MyGTCS

 If you would like any further information on the process, or to alert us of any issues experienced please email: registration@gtcs.org.uk

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<![CDATA[Summer retirals]]>Information from the Scottish Public Pensions Agency on what to do if you are planning to retire this summer.

It’s that time of year again when teachers are making their applications to retire in August. 

August is the most popular time of year to retire, and SPPA need to receive your a minimum of three, preferably four, months before your date of retiral. If SPPA receive your application on time, payment of your pension and lump sum will be paid in line with your requested date. 

Once you have completed your part of the application, this needs to be submitted directly to your employer for additional salary details to be entered. This then needs to be completed by your Employer’s Payroll / HR team and submitted to the SPPA at least three months before your retiral date.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of retiring this summer, please ensure that your application is submitted and received by the SPPA on time. If not, SPPA will still endeavour to pay your pension benefits on time; however, it is possible that they may not be paid until a later date. Please note that SPPA will issue you with an acknowledgement letter on receipt of your application; if you have not received this then your application was not received.

More information

Find out more in the SPPA Teachers Circular 2020

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<![CDATA[Into Headship Qualification for aspiring headteachers to become a prerequisite from August 2020]]>As of August, this year, any teacher appointed to their first permanent headteacher post must have been awarded the Standard for Headship.

Aimed at teachers likely to reach a headteacher post within the next two to three years, the fully funded ‘Into Headship’ programme brings a wealth of career benefits and opportunities.

Headteachers play a vital role in shaping schools and the lives of pupils and staff – and their leadership is central to it all.  The role has many different priorities to balance, and the programme has been specifically designed to help participants meet the requirements for the Standard for Headship. A great learning experience, the programme enables teachers to build career-long networks and opens the doors to longer term career prospects.

Throughout the programme, participants will have the assistance of a headteacher mentor and a local authority co-ordinator to support and develop the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding required of senior leaders in leading a dynamic school community.

On successful completion of Into Headship, participants are awarded the Standard for Headship – a required prerequisite for all new permanent headteachers in Scotland from 2020.

Shelley McLaren has been teaching for 11 years, 8 of which have been at Craigroyston Community High School in Edinburgh where for the past 18 months she has been headteacher.

“Doing the Into Headship programme has been the best decision I have made and the best experience I have had. The responsibility of being headteacher is huge, as you have so many aspects to managing a school, but the course gave me so much confidence to do my job and helped me to grow my relationships within the school. Through attending the programme, I have met so many headteachers and aspiring headteachers and together we are open and honest with each other and are able to share advice and give each other strength to do our job!”

The Into Headship programme offers support and guidance through a mix of theory and practical examples.

Shelley continues: “It is very challenging academically and you do need to be committed but what you get out of it is so worth it! I learnt so much and created new ideas that I was then able to put into practice back at school. Having the mix of professional and academic reading to support the work was invaluable”

The programme is led by Education Scotland in partnership with local authorities and universities. The application process is managed at local authority level who then provide the names of successful applicants to Education Scotland.

Education Scotland strategic director Gillian Hamilton said: “I’m really pleased that recruitment is now open for the Into Headship programme, which provides high quality professional learning for headteachers. Feedback from previous participants on each of these programmes is consistently positive about the impact of the professional learning on their confidence and knowledge.”

Find out more

The application process for entry to the programme starts in January each year with recruitment for this year open now. For further information please visit here

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