11th April 2023
Scottish Education News

GTC Scotland writes to the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

GTC Scotland highlights the critical role teachers play in the education system in a letter to the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

6 April 2023

Dear Cabinet Secretary

Many congratulations on your appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) welcomes the opportunity to work with you in the interests of trusted teaching.

Our increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world faces many social, environmental and economic challenges, and an effective, responsive and inclusive education system is vital to address these.

As a registered teacher yourself, you will know only too well the critical role that teachers play in our education system, and their wider impact on society. Engaged, reflective, empowered and skilled teachers and learners acknowledge Scotland’s place in the world, our history, our differences and diversity, our unique natural environment, and our culture based on social justice. Scotland’s teachers help to embed sustainable and socially just practices in order to help us flourish as a nation.

GTC Scotland is the independent registration and regulation body for the teaching profession; we have more than 81,000 teachers and college lecturers on our register. We have a responsibility to provide Ministers with expert insight about matters central to trusted teaching. This ranges from advice on teachers’ professional standards, fitness to teach and education to teacher supply.

GTC Scotland has this week published our strategic plan for 2023-28.  Our vision is Trusted Teaching.

To achieve our vision we will be focusing our change and improvement work over the next five years on expertly delivering our core functions of registration and regulation and speaking up for high standards in teaching. This work can be summed up in two words: trust and impact.

Our strategic plan includes two strategic outcomes:

  1. 1) Trust in teaching is enhanced at an individual, group and system level, positively impacting learners and guiding educational change, and
  2. 2) Improve our performance and impact for the teaching profession and in the public interest.

As set out in our plan, we are committed to contributing to improving the quality of learning and teaching in Scotland’s schools and colleges. We keep a public register of teachers and set and uphold the high standards teachers in Scotland must meet to enter and remain in the teaching profession, and we uphold the standards and protect the public by investigating serious concerns about teachers and college lecturers.

We are independent from government and receive no funding for our core role of registration and regulation. This work is funded by the fees teachers and college lecturers pay.  We are governed by a Council of 37 members.  We are here to use our voice to champion the highest professional standards, build trust in the profession and enhance the status of teaching.

As you take over the brief including reform of education there is an opportunity to deliver a more coherent and aligned system that centres on a shared, common purpose. We would be delighted to meet you to discuss how we can support your work and will continue to work closely with your officials and other stakeholders in this area.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Pauline Stephen

Chief Executive and Registrar

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