The General Teaching Council for Scotland

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.”

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