The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Award-winning professional learning

Individuals and organisations within Scotland’s education sector celebrated at third-annual awards ceremony.

It was a night of celebration as this year’s Excellence in Professional Learning Awards. Winners joined celebrity host Dougie Vipond at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. The awards, presented in partnership with Education Scotland and Leckie, recognise outstanding commitment, leadership and professionalism within professional learning.

epla_converes_awardConvener’s Award 2019 winner

Paul Beaumont, Director of Professional Learning at the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC)

This prestigious award is presented to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership and through their work, has exemplified the GTCS Professional Values of Trust, Respect, Integrity, Professional Commitment and Social Justice.

Professional Learning Award for Schools and Learning Communities 2019 winners

Alloa Academy, Clackmannanshire

Alloa Academy has a strong culture of formal and informal learning supported through activities across the school. Learning is there for everyone irrespective of their role, level of experience or responsibility. All staff are empowered to make decisions about learning.

epla_award-winners_1Angus Virtual School, Learning Community, Angus

Angus Virtual School exemplifies professional courage, holding teacher agency and professional growth at the heart of what it does. This ensures schools that request engagement and advice are supported through coaching conversations to empower and motivate.

Bankton Primary School, West Lothian

 Professional learning is a key focus of the school, which has an ethos of trust, self-evaluation, self-reflection and mutual respect. Through learning experiences that have a strong focus on visible thinking, they provide real, relevant contexts for learning to ensure that learners develop confidence and resilience.

Capshard Primary School and Torbain Primary School, Fife

Capshard and Torbain are part of a joint headship arrangement with staff across both schools engaging positively and collaboratively. At the centre of this culture are teachers-as-learners who are highly ambitious for one another and the young people in their care.

Earlston High School, Scottish Borders

All staff have opportunities to lead learning in their own classroom. This is demonstrated through an expectation to complete pedagogical enquiry plans. This is a major strength of Earlston High School. The enquiries are shared in an open and supportive way, allowing colleagues to make connections across their own learning and learn with, and from, each other.

epla_eymouth_hsEyemouth High School, Scottish Borders

At the heart of Eyemouth High School’s learning journey has been a culture change with a vision of creating a ‘warm, right and challenging’ school. This change has been steered by the leadership team who remain humble about their own achievements in creating a positive learning culture.

Hillhead High School, Glasgow

Staff spoke with passion about their learning and the impact it could have on the children they support. Staff recognised and appreciated the investment that had been made in them to build on their professionalism through the school’s supportive culture.

Kirkintilloch Learning Community, East Dunbartonshire

The link Quality Improvement Officer, Educational Psychologist and Headteachers across five associated primaries work together to support the professional learning of all colleagues. A culture of trust is very evident, with colleagues openly talking about how this has positively impacted on their professional learning experiences.

North Berwick High School, East Lothian

There are many opportunities at North Berwick for all to be leaders of change, not only within their classrooms but across the wider school, through Professional Learning Communities and Strategy Groups. Value and commitment are given to the importance of developing individual and collective knowledge.

epla_primary_schoolSmithycroft Secondary School, Glasgow

Teachers at Smithycroft Secondary School described the school culture as empowering. Leadership of learning is strongly supported and encouraged, regardless of post or experience. Nurture and restorative practices are central principles for all learners and are at the forefront of all learning and teaching.

St Ninians Primary School

There is an innovative and enterprising attitude at St Ninians. Risks are encouraged, and there is an openness to change. Staff in all roles across the school show a true commitment to their professional learning. They reflect on what they are learning and why, making links to professional reading and then measuring impact.

University of Strathclyde PGDE course team

There is an authentic culture of kindness in Strathclyde’s PGDE learning community based on trust and honesty. There is a strong, supportive culture where collective professionalism and collaboration pervades all that they do. 

Professional Learning Award for Organisations 2019 winners

GTCS also celebrated Organisations who support and promote high levels of professional learning for teachers.

  • The Wood Foundation
  • Learning for Sustainability Scotland
  • School Leaders Scotland

Professional Recognition, an award for Professional Learning, 2019 winners

Professional Recognition is an award which recognises the enhanced, significant and sustained enquiry a teacher has undertaken and the development of their professional learning in a particular area.

  • MEd (named Pathways), University of Dundee
  • Making connection through Learning for Sustainability, University of Edinburgh
  • Support for learning, City of Edinburgh Council • Improving our classrooms, Glasgow City Council
  • Supporting teacher learning, University of Strathclyde


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