The General Teaching Council for Scotland

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. 


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.