The General Teaching Council for Scotland [GTC Scotland] recently published its response to the Muir Review, the consultation led by Professor Ken Muir on the replacement of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the reform of Education Scotland.
The response calls for careful consideration as to the function and operation of each part of the education system. It highlights that “the education system does not need to be complicated – a system focus on humanity, compassion and wisdom are fundamental and allow for action to be prioritised on essential matters such as equality, diversity and sustainability.”
As the guardian of the Professional Standards for Teachers and the professional regulator of the teaching profession, GTC Scotland’s response focused on the strategic leadership of professional learning, leadership for teachers and system regulation.
Professional Learning and Leadership
In its response, GTC Scotland calls for clear strategic leadership of professional learning. A more bespoke offer needs to be considered for teaching professionals at different stages of their career, to ensure that they are supported in building their learning over time.
Dr Pauline Stephen, Chief Executive and Registrar at GTC Scotland said: “Over the last seven years, we have asked teachers for their views about how their ongoing learning is supported and what gets in the way of effective career-long teacher learning. Their feedback has consistently referred to having appropriate time and space to learn, think, reflect and consider the impact of their learning on themselves, their learners and their colleagues.
“There is an established framework in place for this – through mandatory and aspirational Professional Standards and Professional Review and Development – but this framework may well need different structural supports, such as the organisation of a school week that prioritises both learner and teacher learning.”
In its response, GTC Scotland stressed the need to ensure that system regulation is clearly understood, and functions across agencies are aligned. GTC Scotland further believes that the evidence presented during the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry leads to the question of which agency or body is the system regulator of education in Scotland.
Dr Stephen further commented: “While GTC Scotland is clear in our role regulating individual teachers, our feedback related specifically to responsibilities for regulating the education system, which is not within our remit.
“Effective public protection requires each part of the system to play its part. Our query relates to the management of events where there is a systemic failure and how we ensure that trust in the education system as a whole can best be maintained.
“We also asked where responsibilities sit for effective system regulation in ensuring the employers of teachers act as good employers, assuring that appropriate processes are in place and used for the management of teacher concerns.”
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