The Professional Standards for Scotland’s Teachers support and promote partnership, leadership, enquiry and professional learning. They describe teacher professionalism in Scotland as they way teachers become, be and grow as professionals.

In the paper below, we lay out GTC Scotland’s position on teacher professionalism and professional learning.

GTC Scotland Position Paper: Teacher Professionalism and Professional Learning in Scotland

Professional Update and Professional Review and Development

Teachers maintain their registration through an ongoing process of engagement in professional learning and Professional Review and Development (PRD) as part of the Professional Update process.

Professional Standards offer a self-evaluation framework that can be used to affirm, inform, shape and guide professional development and practice.

Professional Update is explicitly signposted through the Professional Standards, for example, in the Standard for Full Registration, as below:

3.3.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise

Professional Actions

As a registered teacher to demonstrate your professional skills and abilities you are required to:

  • commit to lifelong learning, through an ongoing process of professional review and development that impacts on the learning of children and young people;
  • reflect and engage critically in self-evaluation using the relevant professional standard;
  • adopt an enquiring, reflective and critical approach to professional practice;
  • enhance learning and teaching by taking account of feedback from others including children and young people and actively engage in professional learning to support school improvement;
  • work collaboratively to contribute to the professional learning and development of colleagues, including student teachers;
  • maintain a reflective record of evidence of impact of professional learning on self, colleagues and learners; and
  • engage with the Professional Update process.

Professional Learning

Professional Standards both support and inform professional learning and are central within the National Model of Professional Learning.

The model places the teacher at the centre as the lead learner and explores the dynamic relationship between the learning of children, young people and adult learners and the teacher’s professional learning.

The Professional Standards provide a framework to help examine, consider and understand the connections and coherence across professional practice and sit dynamically with the core aspects of PRD:

  • To self-evaluate and engage in critically reflective thinking about practice as part of regular, planned and ongoing professional learning dialogues and development
  • To support professional growth and agency
  • To ask critical questions of self, school or organisation and system
  • As a catalyst for learning
  • To frame to support thinking and practice
  • As a way to signpost and plan learning
  • To challenge and consider beliefs, values and professional actions
  • To explore professional identity

Tools to support professional learning

For more examples of professional learning and tools to help support you visit this section.

Myths around the Professional Standards

Over time a few myths have developed around how to engage with the Professional Standards. These myths, outlined below, conflict with our ‘way of being’ as described by the Professional Standards and are to be avoided.

  • ‘I need to evidence all the professional actions for the area of the Standard I am focusing on.’
  • ‘Every year I need to focus on and develop a different aspect of the Standards in my practice.’
  • ‘I need to cover professional learning on every aspect of the Standards.’
  • ‘I will be told at my Professional Review and Development meeting which aspect of the Standard I need to focus on for the year.’
  • ‘An awareness of our Professional Values and the notion of Professional Commitment is enough.’
  • ‘I need to stick with the Standard for Full Registration for the first five years of my career.’
  • ‘I need to ‘traffic light’ myself against all aspects of the Standards.’
The content you are looking for is through this button

Did you find this article useful?

If you would like to provide any feedback or comments on this article you can do so through this form: