The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Update on the review of the Professional Standards

GTC Scotland is currently reviewing the Professional Standards for teachers


A commitment was given in 2012, when the current standards were published, that they would be reviewed in five years’ time.

The review will:

  • ensure that the standards remain contemporary and relevant to all teachers
  • address a number of gaps which have emerged as education has developed
  • ensure that the standards remain world leading.

How has the review progressed?

  • A large-scale National Conversation with the profession has taken place.
  • A number of working groups have been meeting.
  • A literature review has been undertaken by Professor Margery McMahon of the University of Glasgow which will soon be published on our website.
  • A report by Children in Scotland has been produced which outlines the views of young people regarding the role of a teacher.
  • A first draft of the Standard for Full Registration has been completed.

What is happening at present?

  • GTC Scotland has sought permission from its Council to reduce the pace of development of a revised suite of Professional Standards in light of wider developments and thinking in Scottish education. An amended timescale for implementation has been approved.
  • GTC Scotland is working with a number of key groups such as the Career Pathways and Head Teacher Empowerment groups to help shape the thinking.
  • GTC Scotland continues to develop its thinking and is drafting, with the help of writing groups, the revised suite of Professional Standards, which continue to promote excellence in professionalism, teaching and learning.
  • As the discussion continues, there is an increased link between the Professional Standards and professional learning and professional growth.
  • GTC Scotland continues to consider the range of views on the need for a System Leadership Standard.

What does the revised timescale look like?

  • The draft of the revised suite of Professional Standards will be completed by June 2019.
  • A full consultation of the revised suite of Professional Standards will take place in the autumn through to December 2019.
  • Amendments in light of the consultation will be made between January and March 2020.
  • Full implementation will take place in August/September 2020.

Get involved

The review of the Professional Standards is very much an ongoing process and GTC Scotland would encourage all of its registrants to take the opportunity to engage with us. Please feedback your thoughts on where you, as a profession, would wish to see the Professional Standards develop.