Our awards and events programme focuses on recognising the high standards of the teaching profession in Scotland.

Our refreshed suite of awards and events shines a spotlight on the professional standards and reflects the teaching profession of Scotland.

Awards and Events Overview

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Standard for Provisional Registration: The George D Gray Award

The George D Gray Award recognises the most distinguished assignment by a student teacher completing an undergraduate Primary teacher education programme in Scotland.   

Assignments are judged on: academic distinction; how the research and thinking involved aligns with the Standard for Provisional Registration; and how the candidates for the award have demonstrated their preparedness for entering the induction phase of their teaching career.

The award is presented by GTC Scotland under the terms of a trust fund which was set up by Dr Ethel Gray, the widow of George D Gray, as a memorial to her husband. Widely regarded as being responsible for securing government support for setting up GTC Scotland, George D Gray was also our first Registrar.


YearAward WinnerUniversity
 2001Emma Holding
Alistair Macdonald
 University of Strathclyde
 2002Lorraine Smith University of Edinburgh
 2003Andrew Foster University of Dundee
 2004Rhona McWalter University of Dundee
 2005Jane Harrison University of Dundee
 2006Jane Chiverton University of Dundee
 2007Karen Chrichton University of Dundee
 2008Elizabeth Fuller University of Dundee
 2009Kirsten Braden University of Strathclyde
 2010Marianne McCron University of Edinburgh
 2011No Award 
 2012Sharon Friel-Myles University of Dundee
 2013Ainslie McCabe University of Strathclyde
 2014Stacey McKillop
Steven McHarg 
 University of the West of Scotland
 University of Edinburgh
 2015Kirsty McLaren University of Dundee
 2016Amy Buchan University of Strathclyde
 2017Rachel Frew
Commendation – Abigail Stirling
 University of the West of Scotland
 University of Edinburgh
 2018Robbie Blair University of Edinburgh
2019-2022No Award
2023Lauren ThomsonQueen Margaret University
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Standard for Full Registration: Celebration of Full Registration

Our annual recognition of the achievement of Full Registration celebrates teachers achieving the Standard for Full Registration through the Teacher Induction Scheme, Flexible Route and Qualified Outside Scotland registration.

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Standard for Career Long Professional Learning: Professional Recognition

Professional Recognition

GTC Scotland’s Professional Recognition is an award that recognises the enhanced, significant, sustained and reflective enquiry a teacher has undertaken and the development of their professional learning in a particular area.

The award is open to registrants who have completed 1 year of professional practice after gaining Full Registration and have then gone on to engage in sustained, significant professional learning in a particular area.

Read about Professional Recognition for individuals

Accreditation of programmes leading to Professional Recognition

We welcome submissions from providers who wish to have their professional learning and development programmes accredited with the award of Professional Recognition if they meet with the required guidelines for accreditation.

Apply for programme accreditation

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Standard for Career Long Professional Learning: Saroj Lal Award for a Pioneering Spirit in Equality and Diversity

Saroj Lal Award for a Pioneering Spirit in Equality and Diversity

This award recognises the efforts of colleagues who exceed expectations by demonstrating a pioneering spirit and determination to facilitate a culture of equality and diversity by actively challenging discrimination.

The Life and Work of Saroj Lal

Saroj Lal was a trailblazing teacher and campaigner in Scottish race relations. Born and educated in India, she migrated to the UK in the late 1960s. Saroj taught at Edinburgh’s South Morningside Primary School for 3 years and was among the earliest Asian primary school teachers in Scotland. She was known for wearing her colourful saris, red lipstick, and being fundamentally proud of her heritage.

Saroj’s BME background and experience as a schoolteacher were central to her later work in multi-culturalism and anti-racist education. She would challenge perceptions throughout her career at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and Lothian Race Equality Council, fighting for equal representation of minority ethnic communities in the classroom, children’s literature and the media, as well as setting up Edinburgh’s first dedicated ethnic library, developing minority arts and expanding mother tongue teaching citywide.

Education and women’s rights remained a priority: throughout Saroj’s career she encouraged girls to pursue higher education by creating the Asian Cultural Girls’ Club at Drummond High School and the Continuation Course at Telford College. She also broke new ground with Lothian and Borders Police, defining the nature of racial attacks and encouraging the monitoring of racist bullying in schools. She became the first Asian woman in Scotland to be appointed as a Justice of the Peace.

Her pioneering achievements remain an inspiration to many and she leaves a lasting legacy in Edinburgh and beyond.

2021Theo Ogbhemhe
2022Katie D’Souza and Carrie McWilliam
2023Hardeep Kaur
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Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges: Connecting Trusted Teaching Event

As GTC Scotland registration becomes embedded in Scotland’s college sector, we are introducing a virtual event to celebrate and enhance college lecturer professionalism and centred on the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges.

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Standard for Middle Leadership: Connecting Trusted Teaching Event

We are introducing a new virtual event to stimulate professional thinking, discussion and national networking for those in promoted posts and middle leadership positions. We held the first of these in November 2023.

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Standard for Headship: Connecting Trusted Teaching Event

We will hold a new in-person professional event annually in May for those who have achieved the Standard for Headship. The event will provide inspiration through stimulating professional input from leadership and educational experts and an opportunity for cross-country discussion, connection and knowledge sharing.

This event will celebrate individuals who have achieved the Standard for Headship through the GTC Scotland accredited programme of Into Headship and assessed programme of UK and international headship qualifications.

Headship Qualifications

Award being withdrawn

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Professional Learning Award for Organisations

This award celebrates organisations that support and promote teacher professional learning. The award identifies organisations that aim through their work: “to develop and enhance teachers’ knowledge, expertise and skill; [and] develop their professionalism, and to impact positively on learning experiences and outcomes of children and young people” National Professional Learning Model.

To ensure alignment with broader GTC Scotland policy, the Professional Learning Award for Organisations is being withdrawn to new applicants. Existing recipients will continue to hold the award for 5 years and transitional arrangements are in place until 2023 for those organisations that have applications and re-applications in process.

Recipients of the award

Columba 1400
Dyslexia Scotland
Learning for Sustainability Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Highland Education Trust
School Leaders Scotland
Scotland’s Enterprising Schools

Scottish Film Education

Tapestry Partnership
The Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC)
The Wood Foundation
Tree of Knowledge

Legacy Awards

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Excellence in Professional Learning Award

This award celebrated and recognised schools and learning communities that promote, support and lead professional learning which has a significant and sustained impact on teachers, classroom practice and the learning of children and young people.

See past recipients

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Convener’s Award

This award was presented by the Convener of GTC Scotland Council.

The award was presented to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to the Professional Values – social justice, trust and respect and integrity – through the course of their career.

  2019 Paul Beaumont, SSERC
  2018 Mig Coupe, Salveson Mindroom
  2017 Professor Rowena Arshad OBE, University of Edinburgh
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