GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Refreshed and restructured Professional Standards for Teachers officially enacted

The Professional Standards for Teachers 2021 have been officially enacted today (2 August 2021).

The refreshed and restructured Professional Standards have a greater focus on equality and diversity, additional support needs, digital literacies and Learning for Sustainability.

They now include a section called ‘Being a teacher in Scotland’ which highlights the professional values of social justice, trust and respect and integrity as being at the heart of what it means to be a teacher in Scotland.

The Professional Standards for Teachers 2021 are the product of collaboration, engagement and consensus building across Scottish education. This involved the convening of strategic working groups, a national conversation, commissioned research from Children in Scotland giving a voice to children and young people, and public consultation.
Dr Pauline Stephen, Chief Executive and Registrar of Scotland said, “This has been a long and detailed process, which has had teachers and learners at its heart from the beginning.

"While GTC Scotland acts as the guardians of the Professional Standards, they very much belong to the teaching profession, capturing what it means to become, to be and to grow as a teacher in Scotland.”

The Professional Standards have multiple purposes:

  • to create a shared language for teaching professionals;
  • as a benchmark of professional competency (the Standard for Provisional Registration and the Standard for Full Registration);
  • 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.

Along with a newly-designed suite of Professional Standards, materials have been created to support teachers to explore, engage, enact and embed the Professional Standards including: an interactive tool to compare professional knowledge and understanding, and professional skills and abilities across up to three Professional Standards; self-evaluation coaching wheels; a professional learning resource; and integration with MyPL, the online platform, to support teachers to reflect on their professional learning.