Provisional professional standard for college lecturers approved; new transitional route to GTC Scotland registration opens
The General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTC Scotland) Council has approved the Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges), providing a new transitional route to registration for a defined group of college lecturers who do not yet hold a GTC Scotland-recognised teaching qualification, or the equivalent for those qualified outside of Scotland.
Registration with GTC Scotland, the teaching profession’s independent registration and regulation body, is mandatory for college lecturers in Scotland, as part of agreed national terms and conditions of employment.
This new transitional route will be ringfenced and time limited. Lecturers must meet the Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges) and achieve a GTC Scotland-recognised teaching qualification or the equivalent, to be awarded Full Registration in the Further Education Category on the Register of Teachers.
Teaching qualification – the foundation for registration
More than 3,000 college lecturers who hold a GTC Scotland-recognised teaching qualification, or the equivalent for those qualified outside of Scotland, have registered with GTC Scotland following the launch of the national roll-out of registration in 2021. Those registered so far held GTC Scotland-recognised teaching qualifications or their equivalent, and also met the criteria set out for registration under the GTC Scotland Registration and Standards Rules 2015.
The new route for entry to the Register of Teachers, is a transitional arrangement for a defined group of lecturers and has been approved by GTC Scotland Council. This will ensure that college lecturers from this group who do not yet have a GTC Scotland-recognised teaching qualification, can still meet their employment terms and conditions, while working towards meeting the requirements for Full Registration.
GTC Scotland Chief Executive and Registrar, Dr Pauline Stephen said, “A teaching qualification is the foundation for registration with GTC Scotland. This registration route under our current Registration and Standards Rules provides a transitional arrangement for a defined group of college lecturers as they work towards meeting the requirements for Full Registration.
“Any changes to GTC Scotland’s registration rules, which underpin the operation of the Register of Teachers, need to work for the whole education system. There are currently over 80,000 individuals on the Register of Teachers. That we have this new transitional route to registration is down to strong partnership working, led by the College Lecturer Registration Working Group.
“Registration with GTC Scotland provides a supportive framework for enhancing lecturer professionalism, ultimately improving outcomes for students and enhancing trust in the teaching profession.”
Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of College Employers Scotland, said: “We welcome this new transitional route to registration with GTC Scotland. This is a significant step forward for the sector which will ensure that all current lecturing staff in colleges are recognised for their professionalism and ultimately enhance the quality of provision available to students across the country. We will continue to work in partnership with key stakeholders to deliver registration and ensure that the college workforce is professionally recognised to meet the needs of students.”
EIS General Secretary, Andrea Bradley said, “We welcome the decision of GTC Scotland Council to approve the Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges) and provide a new transitional route to registration for all those currently teaching in the college sector. Like teachers, college lecturers work tirelessly to meet the needs of their students and all deserve to have their professionalism recognised through registration with GTC Scotland.”
Vice President EIS-FELA, Anne-Marie Harley said, “This news is an acknowledgement of the professionalism of all college lecturers and that teaching in a college requires a body of knowledge and the development of skills and experience to deliver vocational and academic qualifications to a diverse range of learners.
“This development would not have happened without the partnership work undertaken through the College Lecturer Registration Working Group and we look forward to continuing collaboration to embed registration across the sector and in so doing, realise a long-standing EIS-FELA policy objective.”
It is anticipated that this transitional route will be available for registration applications from April 2023.
The College Lecturer Registration Working Group (CLRWG) is the cross-sector steering group charged with establishing routes to registration for college lecturers and supporting professionalism within the sector. Implementation details for the transitional route will be discussed by this cross-sector group.
In March 2018 Colleges Scotland Employers Association and the EIS – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) agreed that mandatory registration was part of the outcome of national bargaining (NJNC Circular 03/18). Registration with GTC Scotland now forms part of the agreed national terms and conditions of employment for all college lecturers under the new harmonisation arrangements.
The Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges) went out for public consultation towards the end of 2022. You can find out more about GTC Scotland’s key principles of registration in the latest edition of Teaching Scotland magazine.
Last year GTC Scotland consulted on proposed changes to its registration rules. You can read the external independent researcher’s report here. In the next phase of consultation, the competing priorities inherent in the education system will be discussed with partners to develop registration rules which will work for the whole education system and continue to support high standards in the profession.