The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

SCEL Legacy Fund

A new fund to support teacher professional learning is being set up as a legacy of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership

The outgoing Board of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) is to establish a SCEL Legacy Fund to assist the promotion of professional learning and leadership in Scotland’s schools.

The Board, which is currently taking steps to close down the independent company which was set up in 2014, has £75,326 remaining after grants have been repaid to Government and the costs due to other creditors have been met. This sum will become the SCEL Legacy Fund.

Since the roles and functions of SCEL are now transferred to Education Scotland, and it is in the process of being dissolved as a corporate body, the SCEL Board sought a similarly motivated partner body which could hold the Legacy Fund and manage its distribution.

The Board identified the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) as the most appropriate body to take on this function. Scottish professional associations have also agreed to appoint suitably experienced individuals to serve on a selection panel which will choose which projects should be supported from the Legacy Fund. The panel will also include a senior representative of GTCS and Professor Anthony Finn from the outgoing SCEL Board.

The SCEL Legacy Fund will be used to establish a bursary programme for teachers at all stages of their professional careers. For as long as it lasts, the funding will support individual or group projects which are not currently provided for or funded by employers.

Starting this spring, teachers will be invited to put forward submissions to GTCS to seek financial support for professional learning programmes, activities or courses which allow them to improve their practice, pedagogy, subject knowledge and leadership, and to support improved outcomes for young people in Scotland. Ideally, this will be by means of a project or piece of professional enquiry which can sustain and develop the leadership skills and the professional learning of teachers.

The chair of the SCEL Board, Professor Anthony Finn, said:

“The Board is very proud of the exceptional progress which SCEL has achieved since 2014. It is a widely respected body which was characterised by its agility, its flexibility and its willingness to engage openly with local authorities, schools and teachers, while putting in place well-designed programmes which meet their needs. This Legacy Fund, targeted directly at the support of teachers’ professional learning, seems an appropriate way to ensure that these strong messages are continued while SCEL develops its new role within Education Scotland.”

GTCS Chief Executive, Ken Muir, welcomed this development:

“It is well recognised that successful education systems invest in developing teachers as reflective and enquiring professionals who can engage with the complexities of education and be key agents in shaping and leading educational change. The SCEL Legacy Fund will help to support teachers in their career-long professional learning and GTC Scotland is delighted to be playing a key role in that.”

It is hoped that the Legacy Fund will complement the ongoing work of the former SCEL staff who are now working hard to promote leadership and professional development within Education Scotland.

More information

The group that will oversee the SCEL Legacy Fund will soon meet to determine the criteria for the bursary. GTC Scotland will then announce further details about the submission process.