Commenting on the "Future of Teaching Employment" statement by Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, SSTA General Secretary Ann Ballinger said:
"This decision to end the Chartered Teacher Scheme devalues both the professionalism of teachers and the merits of teaching as a career choice. There is now no route for the experienced professional to develop his or her career and remain in the classroom. It also suggests that this decision is driven by the financial demands of Local Authorities.
The Chartered Teacher Scheme which was set up to enable excellent practitioners to remain in the classroom has recently undergone a review. This review focused the emphasis of the qualification firmly on proven excellence in the classroom and addressed the very minor criticisms of the initial scheme. There has been a total failure to even attempt to evaluate these changes. Chartered Teachers have shown an extraordinary commitment to education, using their own time and resources to develop skills and expertise which benefit their pupils and the wider school community. Chartered Teacher was also one of the few remaining areas of career development for teachers in Scotland.
"It is difficult to comment on the potential roll out of the suggestion to move the profession on to a Master's level. The nature of the proposal is unclear particularly in terms of funding, remuneration, time for study and mechanism to select those who would wish to take up the opportunity. Announcements of this kind are unhelpful and we suspect the intention is to distract from the surgical excision of a useful and proven part of teacher development.
"We note with interest the Cabinet Secretary's comments on professional review and professional development. The GTCS is currently developing a system of Professional Update which will provide teachers with entitlement to the training they require. There is no need to add another layer of bureaucracy which will potentially distort and devalue the process.
"This Association welcomes the Cabinet Secretary's comments about good practice in relation to the use of ‘experts' in schools. Many schools make use of local people from a variety of backgrounds to add personal experience or knowledge to particular lessons, supervised by the teacher, and following an agreed agenda. Building on this good practice will be beneficial to the education of young people and encourage experienced teachers to develop this area of the curriculum."
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