The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

A National Conversation

A National Conversation

Review of the Professional Standards

Surprisingly, five years have now passed since the introduction of the current suite of Professional Standards. Having given a commitment to review the Professional Standards, it is time to reflect on how these have impacted the profession and to consider how they can be improved. This does not suggest a complete review or a whole-hearted change, but rather a time for a refresh to ensure that the suite of Professional Standards remains relevant to the profession.

International feedback via Improving Schools in Scotland: An OECD Perspective (2015) said:
"In Scotland, the desired characteristics and qualities of human capital are enshrined in an inspiring set of professional standards that, following revision after TSF, are based on core values of social justice, integrity, trust and respect, and professional commitment through undertaking processes of professional enquiry." (p126)

Now it is time to reflect and ensure that the Professional Standards remain contemporary and inspiring, and have a direct impact on the classroom and classroom practice. 


Five-year review to ensure that Professional Standards are contemporary, relevant and reflect the demands of teaching, now and in the future


Review the suite of Professional Standards


National Conversation Roadshow to support professional voice through engagement, listening and responding


Phase 3: September to December 2017

What will the review look like?

We are taking a phased approach to the review over a two-year period, which will include three phases:

Phase 1: Literature review

In partnership with leading academics from Scotland and internationally a literature review has been produced. This will help GTC Scotland to underpin the "new" (refreshed) Professional Standards with current thinking from around the world.

Phase 2: Working groups

Working groups have been put together and comprise
teachers, local authority representatives, professional
associations and other stakeholders. The working
groups held their first meeting in May and were fully
engaged in discussions about Professional Standards.

Phase 3: National Conversation

From September, we will begin a National Conversation around the Professional Standards. This will involve a Scotland-wide data gathering exercise led by GTCS staff to engage partners, teachers, parents, and children and young people in discussing what Professional Standards mean to them and what they should look like in the future.

Your Professional Standards, Your Professional Voice

Data gathering

In late September/early October, GTC Scotland staff and partners will be out across Scotland in a roadshow to include as many voices as possible into the National Conversation. These sessions will provide an opportunity for partners, parents, teachers, and children and young people to share their thoughts and ideas about Professional Standards in action. These sessions will be structured around the following questions with respect to the Professional Standards:

  • What works?
  • What doesn't work?
  • What would you change and how?

The roadshows will be clearly advertised on our website and through our e-newsletter and Twitter. We will also work with our local authority partners to help spread the word about the opportunities to engage in the National Conversation.

What next?

From January to April 2018 we will analyse all the responses and collate the key messages which will be shared with the working groups and on our website. The working groups informed by the data gathering exercise will then offer some suggestions for consultation with stakeholders in autumn 2018.

Get involved

Email us at

On Twitter: @gtcs #professionalstandards

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Editor contact: Evelyn Wilkins

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