News RSS FeedCopyright (c) 2021 Activeditionen<![CDATA[New Director of Education, Registration and Professional Learning joins GTC Scotland]]> 26 February 2021

Victoria Smith has been appointed Director of Education, Registration and Professional Learning (ERPL) at GTC Scotland, following competitive interview.

Victoria takes up the role on 23 April 2021.

Victoria is currently a Service Leader in Angus Council’s education department.  She started her career as a teacher at South Park Primary School in Fraserburgh, moving on to headteacher roles in several schools, as well as serving as a quality improvement officer. 

Victoria Smith

Victoria takes over the role from Dr Pauline Stephen, who will become GTC Scotland’s Chief Executive and Registrar on 12 March, following Ken Muir’s retirement.

Ken Muir, GTC Scotland Chief Executive and Registrar, said, “We are pleased to welcome Victoria to GTC Scotland. Victoria brings with her a depth of experience and knowledge which will allow us to continue to add value to the work we do on behalf of teachers and other education professionals in Scotland.”

Dr Pauline Stephen, current Director of Education, Registration and Professional Learning at GTC Scotland said, “Victoria will be a great addition to GTC Scotland. I look forward to working with her as part of the leadership team to deliver our three-year strategic plan.”

Victoria Smith said, 'I am thrilled to be joining GTC Scotland to help deliver the vision of “inspiring world-class teaching professionalism'.

“It is through collaboration and innovation that this vision will be achieved, and I look forward to working with our partners in education to realise it.”

  • Victoria is originally from Peterhead where she attended Meethill Primary School and then Peterhead Academy before moving on to Northern College of Education in Aberdeen. 
  • Dr Pauline Stephen is set to become GTC Scotland’s first female Chief Executive and Registrar on 12 March. Find out more.
  • GTC Scotland’s 2020-2023 Strategic plan has three distinct strategic outcomes that put registrants and learners at the heart of what GTC Scotland does. Read the Strategic Plan 2020-2023.
<![CDATA[Student Teacher Professional Placements: February 2021 update]]>GTC Scotland, ADES, SCDE and SPMG have released guidance on student teacher placements in Scotland:

COVID-19 Guidance  Student Teacher Professional Placements in Scotland 

COVID-19 Guidance Student FAQ

Publication date: 19 February 2021

<![CDATA[Court of Session decision]]> GTC Scotland is pleased with the outcome in GTC Scotland’s recent Court of Session appeal against an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision.

The Court has upheld GTC Scotland’s position that teachers should only be employed in accordance with their GTC Scotland registration category.

In making this decision, the Court has recognised that: “Registration is and has always been intended as a safeguard for the quality of school education”.

The integrity of the Register is fundamental to the registration and regulation of the teaching profession in Scotland and to assure the public and users of the education system that only those with the requisite qualifications are allowed to teach.

<![CDATA[Fitness to Teach hearing]]>Commenting on last week’s Fitness to Teach case, a GTC Scotland spokesperson said:

 “GTC Scotland is currently unable to comment on the Fitness to Teach hearing, which has followed a legal process.”

“Fitness to Teach panels are made up of independent members and the panel’s decision, along with its reasoning, will be published on the GTC Scotland website as soon as it is available.”

"The refreshed and revised Professional Standards for Teachers 2021, which will be formally enacted on 2 August, now include a section called ‘Being a teacher in Scotland’. This continues to highlight 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. Equality and diversity is embedded within these values.

"Our Equality and Diversity Hub contains a professional guide for teachers together with professional learning materials, which provides support for teachers to reflect on their understanding of equality and diversity."

<![CDATA[Statement by the Scottish Council of Deans of Education]]>12 February 2021

As a result of Covid-19 related restrictions, it was announced today that final year dental students would be required to repeat their final year of university studies, due to an inadequate opportunity to develop sufficient clinical experience of aerosol generating procedures. A similar requirement, to repeat the final year, is not envisaged for student teachers. Universities, represented by the Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE), together with GTC Scotland, Association of Directors of Education (ADES), and the Student Placement Management Group (SPMG), are finalising a national approach to ensure that student teachers have the opportunity to progress.

<![CDATA[Physical and emotional welfare of children Covid support for teachers]]>Hundreds of teachers who are new in post, or working in pastoral or child protection roles, are to be offered support to manage the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  
Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) have partnered with social enterprise organisation KnowYouMore who will provide coaches for the new online one-to-one sessions. Sessions are already being offered to headteachers as part of a support package funded by the Scottish Government in 2020.
The new programme now includes support for more than 500 teachers in their first four years of post-probation to discuss any personal or professional pressures they are facing as a result of delivering remote learning.
Education Secretary John Swinney said:
“Covid-19 has placed unprecedented strain on school staff and none more so than those who have pastoral care and child protection responsibilities ensuring the emotional welfare of our children and young people as we recover from the pandemic.
“The teacher support package I announced last year will complement the existing professional training and support already taking place for staff in schools across Scotland. Teachers need to be part of a supportive online community and have the space to stop and think about issues that are causing concern.”
Gayle Gorman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Education Scotland Chief Executive, said:
“Education Scotland is fully committed to ensuring the education workforce feel supported and I’m delighted this next phase of our coaching and mentoring offer is available more widely.
“We have found that it really benefits teachers to know there is someone with a listening ear who are there for them. Our 1:1 coaching and mentoring sessions for Headteachers have proved a really popular way of supporting their wellbeing and now the offer is also open to post probation teachers, teachers new to role and those with pastoral responsibilities. I would encourage more practitioners to sign up.”  
Ken Muir, Chief Executive, of the GTC Scotland, said:
"GTC Scotland is pleased to be working with our partners in education to deliver this important coaching to support hard-pressed teachers who are doing all they can to maintain quality learning in challenging circumstances. In addition to this coaching, GTC Scotland itself has invested heavily in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education professionals and will continue to do so throughout the pandemic.”

More information

Find out more about the support package from the Scottish Government, and see what's on offer on the Education Scotland website.  
<![CDATA[“Deep cultural change” is needed to support Scotland’s young people]]>Ten years since the publication of Teaching Scotland’s Future – Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland, Professor Graham Donaldson has revisited his seminal report looking at the changes and challenges in Scottish education.

Professor Donaldson delivered the GTC Scotland Lecture 2021 virtually, addressing the turbulent year the education sector has experienced, along with what the future might hold for our young people. Professor Donaldson identified three areas for immediate change: enhancing digital pedagogies, teaching ethics and global citizenship, and the role and types of assessment.

The refreshed and restructured Professional Standards 2021 were launched at the lecture, with Professor Donaldson highlighting the importance of values and Professional Standards in the teaching profession. A period of enactment support will now begin, allowing teachers and others to engage, explore and understand the relevance of the Professional Standards before formal enactment on 2 August 2021.

Commenting on the GTC Scotland Lecture 2021, Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland said, “Much work has been done to address the findings and recommendations in Professor Donaldson’s report over the last decade. However, much has also changed in Scottish education, especially within the last year.

“Professor Donaldson’s review of the last decade since the report has offered much for the teaching profession and Scottish education sector to think about in this rapidly changing world.”

Professor Donaldson said, “Scotland’s teachers are the key asset to Scotland’s education system. The quality of teachers is essential to the wellbeing and success of pupils.

“The challenge for education systems is to remain relevant in such a volatile context. The world in which our young people will live and earn a living in will be very different from today. Teachers must be given the opportunity and support to build confidence and knowledge in their practice.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said “We know that we are going to be living in constantly changing times. Therefore, the profession needs to have the confidence and sense of professional capacity and capability to be able to exercise their role in shaping the education system.

“I would also like to congratulate the General Teaching Council for Scotland on the launch of the new suite of professional standards. The Standards are vital in maintaining and enhancing teacher professionalism and I want to acknowledge the work required to develop such important documents.”

Watch the lecture