The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

50th anniversary

Ken Muir CEO


As GTCS celebrates its 50th anniversary, it’s a good time to look back to where the organisation has come from and how it has got to where it is today. Ian Matheson, a former member of staff at GTCS, has written a detailed history of the organisation, from its roots in the 1960s when the Council was founded out of teachers' desire to have greater control over their profession, through to Independence in 2012, the revised Professional Standards in 2013 and the launch of Professional Update in 2014. Much has happened over the years and it’s remarkable to look back at this history and reflect on the change that has taken place in Scottish education and the role played by GTCS.

Now is also a time to take stock of where GTCS is currently and, most importantly, of where it is going.

You may be aware that GTCS recently commissioned independent stakeholder research. This was principally to help us better understand the views of our stakeholders and gather concrete evidence of areas that need to be improved upon and addressed in the coming years.

We're working hard at GTCS to provide a better service to our stakeholders and ensure we remain a forward thinking, dynamic and proactive organisation. One example of this is the steps we are currently taking to review our registration rules and requirements – an area that was highlighted in our stakeholder research as requiring a more flexible approach and one which, we know, will better help meet the needs of the system going forward.

Over the coming years GTCS will of course continue to evolve with, as well as influence, the wider educational and societal context in which it operates. We are continually adapting our processes on all levels to meet external demands and respond to, as well as attempt to foresee, the requirements of the profession. We are staying at the forefront of the regulatory world, ensuring that high standards of teacher professionalism are maintained, giving confidence to the public and to users of the education system. And we are working with our partner organisations across Scotland and beyond to ensure that the teaching profession in Scotland is as strong and well-supported as it can be to deliver high quality learning and teaching in ever-changing times.

Later this year we will be holding a Council Election and I would encourage you all to take part in the election process. Over the past fifty years our Council has played an extremely important role in GTCS decision making, as it continues to do today. I'd like to thank all GTCS Council members past and present, who have played such a crucial role in supporting and improving Scottish education and, in doing so, have enhanced the reputation of Scottish teachers. Lastly, I'd like to thank all our registrants who are so strongly committed to delivering the highest quality of education to children and young people across Scotland.