General Teaching Council for Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) (Scottish Gaelic: Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba) is a fee based registered charity[1] and the world's first independent self-regulating body for teaching.[2] The current Chief Executive is Ken Muir.[3] The GTCS maintains a register of qualified teachers; there were 73,306 teachers on the register on 1 May 2016.[4]

HistoryEdit

GTCS was the first professional registration body for teachers in the United Kingdom, and one of the first teaching councils in the world. It was set up in 1965 under the Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 following concerns that entry requirements had lowered after the Second World War and unqualified teachers were working in Scottish schools.[5] Its powers, remits and duties have since been amended by other legislation, including the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998[6] and the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000.[7] It is a legal requirement for all teachers working in Scottish local council schools to be registered with GTCS (The Requirements for Teachers (Scotland) Regulations 2005).[8]

On 2 April 2012 GTCS was granted independence status by the Scottish Government. The Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 was repealed and replaced by the Public Services Reform (GTC Scotland) Order 2011.[9] The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 was made by Scottish Ministers in accordance with the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and passed into law on 17 March 2011.[10]

Proposed reformEdit

In June 2017 Scottish the Scottish Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, announced plans to reform the General Teaching Council for Scotland, bringing it together with other professional development bodies in a new Education Workforce Council for Scotland, similar to the Education Workforce Council in Wales.[11] Although described as independent, half of the Welsh EWC members are directly appointed through the Welsh Government public appointments system.[12] The Scottish Government intended to establish the Education Workforce Council for Scotland (EWCS), which it proposed would replace and take on the responsibilities of the GTCS, the Community Learning and Development Standards Council and register others working in education. Details were published in the Scottish Government's Empowering Schools consultation on a planned Education Bill in November 2017.[13][14] However, this proposed Bill was put aside on 26 June 2018 with the Scottish Government instead publishing a joint agreement with Scottish Local Authorities on school empowerment and collaboration.[15][16]

The Educational Institute of Scotland, the dominant teaching union, said in a statement in June 2017 that: "We remain to be convinced about the need for potential changes to the General Teaching Council, a world renowned teacher-led body which ensures the highest professional standards are maintained."[17] The EIS view is that the plans "risk putting years of progress on teacher professionalism into reverse".[18][19] The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) also voiced opposition saying it would be "a retrograde step".[20] The GTCS published its response to Empowering Schools on 1 February 2018 stating its strong opposition to the establishment of the EWCS.[21][22] The GTCS response stated: "...there is no evidence-based rationale for replacing GTCS, with its strong brand and highly-regarded national and international reputation, with a new body".[21]

John Swinney stated in the Scottish Parliament on 26 June 2018 that he accepted the “strength of feeling” in the sector to keep the GTCS.[23] The GTCS accepted Swinney had responded to concerns raised by teachers and the "comprehensive opposition to this proposal in the consultation returns". The GTCS said it would continue to work closely with Scottish Government "to consider how a wider range of educational professionals most directly involved in teaching might be registered with GTCS".[24] The EIS said it had "vehemently opposed" the proposal to abolish the GTCS and welcomed "the fact that the Scottish Government has listened to the voice of the teaching profession on this very important issue".[25]

FunctionsEdit

The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 describes the GTCS’s general functions.[26] The main ones are to keep a register of teachers qualified to teach in Scottish schools and to establish and review the standards of education and training appropriate to teachers.

The GTCS's general functions also include:

  • the standards of conduct and professional competence expected of a registered teacher;
  • investigating the fitness to teach of registered teachers;
  • to keep itself informed of courses for the education and training of teachers;
  • to make recommendations to Scottish Ministers on teachers’ education, training, career development and the supply of teachers (with some exceptions);
  • to keep registers of other individuals working in educational settings as it thinks fit.[27]

Standards of education and trainingEdit

A suite of Professional Standards provides a framework for teachers at all stages in their careers.[28] A revised set of standards came into use in August 2013.[29] Professional Update was launched 18 August 2014.[9] The Standard for Provisional Registration (SPR) and The Standard for Full Registration (SFR) are part of the overall set of GTC Scotland's Professional Standards which also includes The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning and The Standards for Leadership and Management.[30]

The GTCS rules around the subjects that Scottish teachers are allowed to teach have been criticised for being too strict because they constrain the ability of head teachers to determine the curriculum in schools and prevent experienced teachers who qualified outside Scotland from being able to take up teaching posts.[31][32]

Governing Council and committee structureEdit

Role of the CouncilEdit

The Council has a significant role to play in shaping the teaching profession of Scotland and maintaining and improving professional standards. It does this by developing and monitoring the strategic direction and policy of GTCS by determining entry standards to teaching, accrediting courses of teacher education and by setting clear expectations of the profession in its range of published Codes and Professional Standards.[33]

Council membershipEdit

GTCS is governed by a Council made up of 19 elected teachers, 11 nominated educational stakeholder representatives and 7 appointed lay members, who make decisions on matters of strategy and policy. Council membership is determined following a rolling programme: election, nomination and appointments processes take place every two years and half of the members step down at the end of each two-year period.[34]

Committee StructureEdit

Council members may serve on the following committees and sub-committees:[35]

  • Executive Committee: advises, informs and puts forward recommendations or proposals to Council on all aspects shaping the strategic and policy direction of the Council.
  • Regulatory Governance Sub-Committee: advises, informs and puts forward recommendations or proposals to the Executive Committee on all rules, guidance and policies relating to the Council's panels.
  • Education Committee: advises, informs and puts forward recommendations or proposals to council on all educational matters within the Council's remit.
  • Finance and General Purposes Committee: advises, informs and puts forward recommendations or proposals to council on GTCS's annual report and accounts, financial matters (including the setting of registration fees) and ensure that GTCS acts legally and within its statutory authority.

Adjudication panels, appointments and appealsEdit

The Council has a series of panels that investigate and adjudicate cases about fitness to teach and registration of individual teachers.[36] The panels consist solely of registrants and lay persons who are independent from the Council and who are appointed by the Appointments Committee. The Appointments Committee and the Appeals Board also consist solely of appointed registrants and lay persons who are independent from the Council.[35]

Supporting education in ScotlandEdit

GTCS performs a number of functions to support and inform the teaching profession and the wider public about Scottish education. It produces Teaching Scotland magazine.[37] This publication carries a range of news articles and features about education activities across the Scotland and is issued to teachers on the GTCS register.

In addition to this, GTCS holds a number of events throughout the year to promote and recognise the teaching profession. This includes, among many other activities, its Annual Lecture. The Lecture has previously been given by Annie Lennox, Lord David Puttnam, Christopher Brookmyre, Baroness Warnock and Sir Harry Burns amongst others.[38]

GTCS operates a number of web-based resources providing information about education in Scotland including Teacher Journey and in2teaching (a website for probationers).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Extract from the Scottish Charity Register". Office of the Scottish Charity Register. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  2. ^ "EIS welcomes election of world's first independent teaching council". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Corporate Management Team | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  4. ^ "GTC Scotland Statistics | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 (repealed)". Expert Participation. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000". Expert Participation. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "The Requirements for Teachers (Scotland) Regulations 2005". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b "History of GTCS | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  10. ^ "The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  11. ^ "New powers for schools". Scottish Government. Scottish Government. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Wales: Education Workforce Council members". ewc.wales. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Education Governance: Next Steps: Empowering Our Teachers, Parents and Communities to Deliver Excellence and Equity for Our Children" (PDF). Scottish Government: Education Governance. Scottish Government. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  14. ^ Scottish Government, St Andrew's House (7 November 2017). "Empowering Schools: A consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Flagship Scottish education bill shelved". BBC News. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  16. ^ Scottish Government, St Andrew's House (26 June 2018). "Education Bill Policy Ambition - Joint Agreement". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  17. ^ "EIS Response to Scottish Government Education Governance Review". The Educational Institute of Scotland. The Educational Institute of Scotland. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  18. ^ "GTCS: 'A global success under government attack'". Tes. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Union opposes new education body". BBC News. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  20. ^ "SSTA opposed to the formation of an Education Workforce Council – Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association". Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Response to Scottish Government Consultation Empowering Schools: A consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill" (PDF). General Teaching Council for Scotland. 1 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Scrapping teacher watchdog risks 'irreparable harm' to profession". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Schools reform bill will not be brought in 'at this time', Swinney confirms". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Scottish Government Announcement | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  25. ^ Scotland, The Educational Institute of. "EIS Welcomes Education Bill Rethink & Calls for a Period of Stability for Schools". www.eis.org.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  26. ^ "The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  27. ^ "The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 (Part 2, Article 6),". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  28. ^ "The Standards". General Teaching Council for Scotland. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  29. ^ "GTCS launches revised Professional Standards". Teaching Scotland Online. GTCS. 13 March 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Standards for Registration | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Reformers argue that teaching outside your specialism can be a strength". Tes. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  32. ^ "Experienced maths teacher in England 'told to retrain' for Scots job". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  33. ^ "The Council | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Council members | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Committees and Panels | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  36. ^ "Committees and Panels | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  37. ^ "teaching-scotland-magazine | General Teaching Council for Scotland". www.gtcs.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Events: National Lecture 2014". Teaching Scotland. GTCS. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.

External linksEdit