The SSTA at its December Council meeting passed a motion to oppose the Deputy First Minister’s proposal regarding the formation of an Education Workforce Council and urges the Government to abandon plans to create such a Council.
Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said “The SSTA believes that by removing the GTCS it would be a retrograde step and would compromise the independence and integrity of the GTCS. This would be to the detriment of the teaching profession in Scotland.
“The thrust of ‘Empowering Scotland’s Schools’ in the area of the General Teaching Council (Scotland) seems to be aimed at the dissolution of a world class, self-funded and independent body that registers and maintains teacher standards in Scottish schools.
“GTCS is self-funded by teachers and requires full registration before someone can work in our schools. Considering it is one of the few areas in education that is still generally viewed as being world class and a model of good practice due to it ensuring that high standards are met and maintained, it is somewhat curious that it is now under attack”.
“The consultation bill says, ‘We intend that the Education Workforce Council for Scotland should operate independently from Scottish Ministers’ (p27) except when it suits ‘We intend to include in the Education Bill a power for Ministers to amend the list of practitioners required to register‘ (p29)”.
“The GTCS has many critics but it is democratic, fairly representative and open to all to put themselves forwards to directly influence our professional standards”.
Kevin Campbell, SSTA President concluded
“The GTCS was set up in 1965 to counter fears about the number of unqualified teachers in schools. It now seems that the Scottish Government, rather than tackling salary and working conditions that are falling through the floor, see the upholding of professional standards as an obstacle to the insertion of cheap labour into our schools”.
Further information from:
7 December 2017