2 Editorial 3 Cabinet Secretary at the Scottish Learning Festival 4 Advancing Professionalism in Teaching 2011 6 George Street Research Analysis of the Call for Evidence 7 ACTS Letter to the Education and Culture Committee 8 Education and C ulture ultu re C ommittee Round Table Discussion Transcript of Professor McCormac and Isobel Boyd at the 9 Education and Culture Committee 12 Achieving Transformational Change in Education Systems 1 4 Heading for “Unchartered” Territory 16 Here’s a Knocking I n deed 1 7 Chartered Teacher – Where now? 20 Back to the Future 2 3 Impact of Chartered Teacher 2 5 Postbag 29 Annie McSeveney EdD 30 Research into Chartered Teachers using Glow CTNet CPD links through Glow 31 Book Review – Inspirational Ideas 32 Call ing all writers 3 3 Social Pedagogy ACTS committee 3 4 Join ACTS - Membership form
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Welcome to the ACTS Newsletter October 2011 I have parents consultations next week. I look forward to this chance to meet people who share an interest in the children I teach. I prepare thoroughly for these interviews so that I can be sure that my observations are backed up by evidence. This is not a defensive strategy but motivated by a desire to be fair and useful to the child and his or her parents; to give feedback that will help us all to plan next steps in the child’s learning; and to build trust with the parents so they know that at heart, my professional skills are being used to further the education of their child. I want them to know that I feel privileged to have been entrusted with the education of their child, and that I do not take this lightly. Compare then the report that chartered teachers were given in the McCormac team’s Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland 2011. Observations? Yes. Backed up by evidence? No. In fact, the observations are contradicted by evidence from several sources. So, fair? No. And the only next step proposed is to discontinue the whole scheme. As teachers, finding ways forward for some pupils can be challenging, but simply abandoning them is not an option for those of us dealing with real people whose lives matter to us. So, does the report earn our trust that its authors have the best interests of education at heart? I fear not. Unlike my parent consultations which are genuine and honest, the report is a political document: we cannot take it at face value. Could the recommendation to discontinue Chartered Teacher simply be a ploy in a bargaining game? Negotiation from this position could perhaps force us to clutch at the straw which is dilution of the quality of Scotland’s acclaimed chartered teacher scheme, rather than succumb to its brutal drowning? Chartered teachers, initially scattered individuals, took the initiative to organise themselves, for no government or professional body thought to do so. In a short time, we have organised our own national events and represented chartered teachers at many more. The number of active chartered teachers is now reaching a critical mass allowing collaborative development, sharing thinking, research and motivation in a way that is gathering momentum. This could not possibly be achieved through individual CPD. And though still relatively small in number, we think big, not through arrogance, but through integrity. We want to maximise our professional potential in the only way open to us because know this is the way to nurture the people whose growth mindset will solve the problems of our world and the ones we do not yet know about: find ways to integrate human productivity with fairness for all; end the terrible human blight of hunger and poverty; find alternative energy sources; explore beyond the bounds of our current knowledge… What a pity the McCormac team did not adopt the way of the Iroquois, who considered carefully what the longer term repercussions of any decision might be - how would this affect our children seven generations from now, they asked. And we might wish that the report and its recommendations provided even half the evidence of academic rigour or depth of professional thinking and understanding required of chartered teachers. Dorothy Coe Chartered Teacher at St Peter’s Primary School Galashiels and Editor
The Cabinet Cabinet Secretary Secretary at the Scottish Learning Festival Festival 2011 David Noble, Chair of ACTS, was able to put a question to Michael Russell MSP at the Scottish Learning Festival 2011. David Noble of the Association of Chartered Teachers: I’m looking for a straightforward answer to a simple question. When the Scottish Government are entering SNCT negotiations later this year with regard to chartered teacher, will you be entering those negotiations with the conclusion of the analysis of Call for Evidence responses produced by George Street Research or will you be going into the discussions with the entirely incompatible recommendation 19 of the McCormac report?
I think to be honest that was what you would call a weighted or loaded question. The George Street Research is not unequivocal I have to say. The George Street Research indicates that 38 % of people wanted the chartered teacher scheme to be retained as it currently operates, 37% wanted it to be retained in an amended format, and 25% wanted it the scheme disbanded altogether but there was a very strong weighting within that from existing chartered teachers. Now I’m going in with the recommendations of McCormac there but I’m going in as I have answered those other 2 questions to have a discussion with all those involved about how we take this forward. But you know the McCormac report was a unanimous report. I’m not saying I endorse it, but you can’t just blow it away by saying it’s inconsistent with the research it commissioned. It published the research it commissioned and it also published and explained paragraphs 5.23 and 5.24 explaining why it came to this conclusion. so that is an opinion. We’ve got to be very careful in Scotland, we shouldn’t be intolerant of opinions. We can disagree with opinions certainly but we shouldn’t be intolerant of them. This is an opinion unanimously from this group this is what should happen. It has research and explained how it treated that research. We now have a discussion. That is the straight answer I’ll give you… we will have that discussion with the interested parties and we will take it forward.
Advancing Professionalism in Teaching 2011 The McCormac teamâ€™s recommendations with regard to Chartered Teacher: Recommendation Recommendation 19: 19 The Chartered Teacher Scheme should be discontinued. Recommendation 20: Skills gained in achieving chartered teacher status should be harnessed and negotiations through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) should ensure that credit is given for completed modules. Recommendation 21: A form of professional recognition should be developed by the GTCS and/or universities for teachers who demonstrate long term innovative classroom and collaborative practice or who have a successful history in mentoring or research Chartered Teacher 5.16 The grade of chartered teacher was created with the intention of rewarding teachers who remained in the classroom and to simultaneously provide encouragement for main grade teachers at the top of their salary scale to engage in a robust, self-funded continuous professional development programme. The design intent was to recognise and reward excellence. To encourage participation in the Chartered Teacher Scheme two routes to chartered teacher status were created; one via accredited prior learning, the other on completion of twelve modules (for each two modules completed a salary increment is awarded). 5.17 As of May 2011, 1,216 teachers have attained chartered status and a further 2,800 are currently on the programme and have gained at least one module. Entry to the accreditation route to chartered status was ended in 2008. 5.18 While we received evidence that demonstrated the commitment and professionalism of many chartered teachers, the widely held view is that the existing cohort of chartered teachers does not singularly represent the best teachers in Scotland. The reasons for this are several; the means of entry to the scheme when it was first created and the self-selection process for entry did not provide a sufficiently robust means of screening applicants; also some of our very best teachers for a variety of reasons have not embarked on the route. 5.19 Until recently, self-selection without approval of a headteacher resulted in instances of headteachers not being aware that staff in their schools had applied for chartered teacher status. This has been revised recently and headteachers must now approve applications for staff to participate in the programme â€“ albeit that this process is still rather light touch. Absence of specific duties attached to the role of chartered teacher means that in some instances, chartered teachers are paid more to undertake the same job they have always done with no improved outcomes for children and young people. 5.20 We heard evidence that there are barriers to participation in the Chartered Teacher Scheme in the form of finance and the time available to complete the modules. Thus some dedicated classroom teachers are unable to embark on the programme of study that would result in achieving chartered teacher status because of other commitments. 5.21 Local authorities have no means of controlling the cost of the Chartered Teacher Scheme because it is essentially self-selecting. Additional salary is, in some instances, paid to staff for little tangible benefit, and indeed we heard evidence that some chartered teachers would prefer that it were not known within their schools that they had achieved the status, lest expectations would rise that they should contribute more. We also heard some evidence that the scheme is seen as mainly academic and did not sufficiently recognise good classroom practice. Chartered Teacher Database (General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2011)30 advancing professionalism in teaching
5.22 The responses to the Review’s call for evidence clearly demonstrate that there are mixed feelings amongst the education community about chartered teachers. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents felt the scheme should be retained, 37% felt it should be amended and 25% felt it should be discontinued. 5.23 We are of the view that the Chartered Teacher Scheme, while laudable in its aims, has not delivered against its stated objectives. The available evidence does not show that the ‘best’ teachers have remained in the classroom rather than pursuing promoted posts – indeed promoted post holders have commented to us that theirs is a vital role and should not be equated with not wanting to teach or being inferior teachers. Furthermore, the overall contribution made to education in Scotland by chartered teachers does not represent a good investment, due mainly to the lack of any formal role post qualification. 5.24 Taking all the evidence into account, we believe that the Chartered Teacher Scheme should now be discontinued. Our view is that despite positive steps such as the introduction of the revised Standard by the GTCS and notwithstanding the excellent practice we are sure some chartered teachers bring to schools, the concept of chartered teacher has not worked successfully since it was introduced by the Teachers’ Agreement. The model by which individuals are able to enter the system without sufficient gate keeping regarding their appropriateness has damaged the credibility of the Chartered Teacher Scheme. Similarly the lack of clarity as to the role of chartered teachers has made it difficult for both local authorities and the teachers themselves to make the most of their skills. the report of the review of teacher employment in scotland 5.25 In place of a system of organised study that leads to a new status and a commensurate pay rise, we believe that consideration should be given to the creation of a system of professional recognition of teachers that demonstrates long term innovative classroom practice. Universities and/or the GTCS could validate tiers of recognition that would be progressive and acknowledge CPD and wider pedagogic and education contributions by individuals. Indeed, involving the University sector in the recognition of good teaching practice, and validating tiers of recognition, aligns with recommendations from the Donaldson Report which suggests it is necessary for schools and universities to develop closer links thereby encouraging a culture of lifelong personal development. 5.26 We acknowledge that removing chartered teacher as a grade within the career structure as set by the Teachers’ Agreement could, taken in isolation, be seen as resulting in a flattening of the career structure and a reduction in the opportunities for career development available to classroom teachers. We believe that any such effects from our recommendation to discontinue the Chartered Teacher Scheme will be mitigated, by our recommendations in relation to the more flexible use of the principal teacher grade (see recommendation 18). 5.27 Recommendation 45 of the Donaldson Report, which the Scottish Government remitted to us for consideration proposed that: The award of Chartered Teacher status should be based on a range of evidence, including improved teaching skill and significant impact on improving the learning of the young people and colleagues with whom they work. The award should be reviewed as part of PRD and professional reaccreditation. Local authorities should have greater control over the number of teachers who apply for the award.” 5.28 If our recommendation regarding the Chartered Teacher Scheme is accepted and the grade of chartered teacher is discontinued, then recommendation 45 is no longer required Full membership of the group was: • Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling • Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Hamilton Burns WS Solicitors, Glasgow • Professor Graham Donaldson CB, former Senior Chief inspector, HMIE, now of the University of Glasgow • Isabelle Boyd CBE, Headteacher, Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill • Sue Bruce, Chief Executive, City of Edinburgh Council • Moira McCrossan - Retired primary Headteacher and former President of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) • Alf Young - Journalist and economic commentator
George Ge orge Street Research Analysis of Call for Evidence Evid ence Summary: Chartered teachers Views on the Chartered Teacher Scheme were variable, with 51% considering this has retained skilled professionals as classroom teachers but only 43% thinking this has had a positive impact on learning and teaching across the school. Those most positive about this scheme were chartered teachers themselves. There was clearly support for retention of the CT scheme: 38% wanted this to be retained as it currently operates and 37% wanted to retain this in an amended format (only 25% wanted to see the scheme disbanded altogether). Individuals, unions, local authorities, professional bodies and chartered teachers were most likely to support retaining the scheme in its current format, while organisations, depute and head teachers, national organisations and other organisations were most likely to support change to the scheme. There was a perception that the quality of CTs is inconsistent and key requirements to the CTS were: Consistent application across all local authorities; A requirement for CTs to demonstrate an enhanced level of teaching competence or skills and have a positive impact on outcomes for pupils; Head teachers playing a greater role in decisions over which staff undertake CT status and removing the option for self-recommendation; Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations for a CT in the school that are different to classroom teachers. There was reference from a small number of respondents that the Standard for Chartered Teacher was redesigned in 2009 and this should help address some of the issues that have been highlighted in this report. While the current CT scheme was criticised by some, its concept was well received by many, with its key advantage perceived to be that it offers opportunities for career development, which has become increasingly important with the introduction of the faculty system in some secondary schools.
Letter from ACTS to the Education and Culture C ommittee David Noble, Chair of ACTS prepared the f ollowing paper f or Committee members prior to its meeting with Prof essor McCormac on 27 t h Septem ber. I understand that Professor Gerry McCormac will meet with the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture committee on Tuesday, 27 September. In advance of this, as Chair of the Association of Chartered Teacher Scotland (ACTS) I wish to outline our present stance in relation to Recommendation 19 of the ‘McCormac Report’, regarding the future of the Chartered Teacher Scheme. Also, I would like to request that the association meets with the Education and Culture Committee following our CT (Chartered Teacher) Futures summit, to be held in Stirling on 8 October. This event is open to all educationists. At its conclusion, we intend to provide all parties to the SNCT, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and others with a clear and sustainable vision of how chartered teachers and those ‘on the route’ will develop and contribute in the future. ACTS formed in 2009 as a professional association for chartered teachers and candidates. We are preparing for our third national Chartered Teacher conference in February 2012, sponsored by the Scottish Government. At each event, educationists from across the Scottish system work with chartered teachers and other delegates on matters relating to educational policy, practice and research. We run the only programme of Teachers as Researchers events in Scotland. Interactive sessions, aimed at developing research and writing skills among all teachers, have taken place at the Universities of the West of Scotland and Aberdeen, with the next event due to be held at the University of Oxford in December. ACTS committee members are regularly invited to take part and present at conferences run by the National CPD Team, Scottish Government, and GTCS. ACTS provided oral evidence to the McCormac Review team and, despite similar time pressures to that faced by everyone involved in the review, presented well over one hundred items of good practice by chartered teachers, with written corroboration from line managers and headteachers. We continue to promote the dissemination of the work of chartered teachers through our freely accessible quarterly publication. The association has been inundated with strong responses to Recommendation 19 of the McCormac Report. Generally, correspondents are educationists who have been committed to the scheme and notions of extended professionalism and practice. These are teachers who have incorporated the Revised Standard for Chartered Teacher (2009) and the Code of Practice on the Role of the CharteredTeacher (2010) into their work within schools and learning communities. All correspondents have noted that the Analysis of the Call for Evidence Responses (George Street Research, September 2011), which informed the McCormac Review team’s recommendations, states in its summary and conclusion that: • • •
“The concept of Chartered Teacher (CT) was generally well received” (p27) “There was clearly support for retention of the CT scheme” (p39) “(T)here were suggestions for changes to be made to the Chartered Teacher Scheme” (p47).
Following publication of the McCormac Report, and on behalf of all chartered teachers and those ‘on the route’, ACTS would like to pose the following questions to Professor McCormac:
What is the cause of the significant divergence between Recommendation 45 of the ‘Donaldson Report’ (January 2011) and Recommendation 19 of the McCormac Report (September 2011), relating to the Chartered Teacher Scheme? Why did anecdotal evidence which was critical of the scheme appear in the final report, yet evidence, often corroborated, of enhanced professionalism and improved outcomes did not? Why is the role of chartered teachers who continue to ‘meet’ the Standard, engage with the Code of Practice, learn at Masters level, and model enhanced professionalism under threat?
Education and Culture Committee C ommittee round table on McCormac Report The Educat ion and Culture Committee held a round table discussion regarding the proposals in Prof essor McCormac’s repor t on 20 t h September 2011. Not all participants at this round table commented on Charter ed teacher proposals. Comments about other parts of the report were interspersed and have been omitted here. Claire Baker: Part of the pursuit of teacher f lexibilit y is about how we impr ove outcomes f or young people… Do Prof essor McCorm ac’s proposals pr ovide appropr iate incentives f or teachers?... Do the pr oposals contain enough options f or career progression? …Has Prof essor McCormac brought f orward any improvements in that area? Ann Ballinger: The alternative route, which was intended t o keep teachers in the classroom but allow them to have some career progression, was the chartered teacher scheme. I will certainly not sit here and say that that scheme was wonderful, because there were huge f laws in it. W e were ver y hopef ul that Prof essor McCormac would exam ine the scheme and amend it appropriately. W e hoped that he would make it more classroom f ocused, more f ocused on proven abilit y in teaching and less f ocused on academ ic achievem ent. That has not happened, and he recommended that the scheme be removed, so I ask… what progression? Jane Peckham:…The proposed removal of the chartered teacher grade is interest ing, because that grade was never intended to be a career progression post. It was a recognit ion of good classroom pract ice, Drew Morrice: The chartered teacher post …provided the opportunit y f or those who chose to remain in the classroom to do so.. Chartered teachers in particular f eel betrayed by the McCormac review. I am sure that committee members’ postbags will ref lect what I receive in m y postbag, which is the view that chartered teachers have been cut adr if t. To return to one of my earlier cr iticisms of Prof essor McCormac, he disregards what the SNCT has done since 2001. The code of practice f or chartered teachers and the revised standard f or chartered teachers that the GTC developed provided a lot of focus f or what char tered teachers are about. W e should not disregard the added extra that chartered teachers, who are working to masters level, have br ought to the qualit y of education in schools. If it is about improving pupil outcomes, charter ed teachers have by and large delivered on that, although I accept that there ar e some criticisms at the edges. There is also a practical issue here f or the SNCT because Prof essor McCormac recommends disestablishing the post. The SNCT will have t o do a lot of work to ensure that t hat is done in a way that pr otects the people who invested their time and money to achieve a masters-equivalent level and brought that to bear in the classroom . George Jamieson: The charter ed teacher route is correct in principle. …I believe t hat there should be a r oute f or exceptionally talented people. However, ultimately, it must be delivered in the classr oom. ..It is f undamental to a prof ession such as teaching that it can be trusted to empower and progress good teachers …W e want to
be able to trust ever y teacher to deliver good outcomes f or our childr en. W e want to empower the good, motivated teachers who do the extras Jim Thewliss: I will r eturn to the vexed problem of chartered teacher status. I would shed no tears over t he removal of that status. I might take issue a wee bit with Drew Morrice’s point that the scheme has impr oved the qualit y of educat ion in schools and classrooms. The idea was good in theory but, in pr actice, it has not turned out as expected. There is no evidence that chartered teachers in schools have enhanced the qualit y of educat ion. The impact on pupil outcomes is dubious. As I said, I would shed no tears over the removal of chartered teacher status. ..In theor y, charter ed teacher status looked as if it might provide something f or the prof ession, but its impact in pract ice has been disappointing . Claire Baker is Deputy Convener of the Education and Culture Committee and Labour's Shadow Education Minister Ann Ballinger is General Secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association Jane Peckham is Organiser - Scotland, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers Drew Morrice is Assistant Secretary, Educational Institute of Scotland Jim Thewliss is President, School Leaders Scotland
Professor McCormac and Isabelle Boyd at the Education and Culture committee: transcript of answers to Chartered Teacher questions
Jean Urquhart MSP: You won’t be surprised that there was a great deal of discussion r ound recommendation 19 and the dramat ic withdr awal of that complet ely. In the report you say that you had no evidence that it impr oved children’s education and t hat was t he r eason f or withdrawing it. Just on the question of prof essional development which you also ref er to, the representatives of the teachers we were speaking to f elt that that was almost a sacred cow. There is a real need f or people to f eel that they have been rewarded f or excellence in the classroom and that your report is not really of f ering the same kind of compensation if you like, or reward. Prof essor McCormac: W e obviously recommended that the CT scheme is discont inued and the reason f or that is that it hasn’t delivered against the object ives that were int ended f or it. W hen you speak to those who we heard evidence f rom there was a considerable amount of discussion ar ound t hose who were f or exam ple Head teachers or t hose who’d gone down promoted post s and said there is an assumpt ion that we as having taken that have moved into management and are not good classroom teachers and those who remain in or who pursue the charter ed teacher route ar e the individuals who are those that excel. And the evidence we saw was that they were not a unif ormly successf ul group in terms of the deliver y of what was intended f or them and of course it was also - and there’s an element of this
within it - it was a self selecting process ear ly on and I think there were some mistakes that were perhaps made in the ear ly introduction of the chartered teacher scheme which didn’t get it off to a good start, that it was a self -selecting process. Now that has changed there is the revised scheme f or – revised standard f or Chartered Teacher t hat was subsequent ly introduced but on balance when we looked at the evidence when we talked to everyone concerned it was a f airly consistent message that came across to us and that was that this isn’t delivering f or schools, it isn’t deliver ing f or young people. And we mention this in the report, that there are instances within that report wher e Chart ered Teachers didn’t wish t o have it known that they wer e Char tered Teachers lest they be asked to do f urther work. And we heard that statement I know it ’s been cr iticised, or we’ve been criticised f or saying it, but we heard that repeatedly as we took evidence. Isabelle Boyd: I think Recommendat ion19 is unambiguous, it says quite clearly that it should be discont inued, but I think I could also point you to Recommendation 21 that’s also making that ver y point about prof essional recognition. W e are recommending in this report that there should be som e kind of prof essional recognit ion developed by GTCS so that if teachers who can demonstrate long term innovat ive classroom and collaborat ive practice or pract ice where they’ve been successf ul in mentor ing, should have some kind of prof essional recognition. That is common pr actice in other sectors within educat ion and maybe not common in the school sector. There is a recommendation through this report that prof essional recognit ion is import ant but again when you read the deliberat ions through the report about our decision to discontinue chartered teacher its because there was no clear evidence that the Chartered Teacher programme even f ollowing revision was making a signif icant dif f erence to outcomes f or children and young people in their schools W e heard evidence f rom some Chartered Teachers themselves that the Charter ed Teacher programme was quite academic and not classroom based enough to have any clear evidence of making a signif icant dif f erence but I think the view of the review is that in terms of Recommendat ion 21 we should develop some system of prof essional recognit ion. Jean Urqhuart MSP: In taking that evidence did people have ideas? Did teachers themselves say rather than this charter mark that I don’t even want to tell anybody that I have … Isabelle Boyd The discussion we had f ell around 2 areas f or discussion, one being, if you read the recommendations in t he rest of the report about cont inuous prof essional development and about prof essional review and personal prof essional development then we are saying that the opportunities and that engagement in continuous prof essional development chimes ver y much with Prof essor Donaldson’s report then that should be the dut y and responsibilit y and available f or all teachers so the benef its of Chartered Teacher really should be about the teaching prof ession as a whole. Jean Urquhart MSP: The reason f or abandoning the Chartered Teacher accreditat ion is that there’s no evidence in pupil attainment or outcomes that makes it relevant to your f ocus in this report. W hat evidence is there that any ot her – you do go on to discuss prof essional development – I think we should – but I think there has to be some really creative thinking about what makes a good teacher in the classroom actually produce the kind of outcomes and the results and there ar e really good
examples across Scotland – but they don’t appear – they’r e not recommended there’s nothing that says here’s something that had that outcome, that’s evidenced, that actually shows child development and child advancement in its educat ion and yet that ’s the reason f or saying that you abolish t he charter mark – chart ered teacher. Prof essor McCormac W e recommend a revised and revit alised PRPD system wit h this ver y much f ollowing on f rom the recommendations in Gr aham Donaldson’s report and we t hink that should be national. W hat we heard was that that was ver y pat chy across Scotland that CPD and PRD tended to be tick box exercises. People had to accumulate their 35 hours a year and just get it done rather than seeing it as part of a real pr of essional development pr ocess. I asked the quest ion about the accomplished teacher and had discussions around what do we do, how do you make sure that that is recognised The f eedback that I had was that within t he promoted posts t hat we had the career structure that existed and all of that capacit y in terms of progression and experience existed . If you f or example Principal Teacher point 1 cont inued t o teac h in the classroom and so on but actually begin t o get experience of wider f unctions acr oss the school linking in with other colleagues and doing CPD along the lines that Graham Donaldson envisaged where teachers become educators of teachers as well as looking at bespoke courses that they turn up to and tick a box having completed but don’t necessarily back to best classroom practice on all occasions, so I think the goal here is to look in the round at what will help and cont inue to develop the prof ession. W ere can we put – what can we put in place that is a national PRPD process that will enhance the qualit y of the teaching prof ession because our resear ching repeatedly thr ough this document is that the best outcomes are produced when you have the best qualit y teachers and when you can make that process of enhancement of qualit y a lif elong process throughout the car eer of the pr of essional teacher t hen you’ll result in the best outcomes f or children. That’s a thesis right thr oughout the report and linking ver y much into the work of Graham Donaldson. Isabelle Boyd: I think to answer your specif ic question in this report we are recommending the work currently under way by GTCS in producing prof essional standards then we want to t ake that further and through the revitalised PRPD process we are saying, this is in the document, that all teachers should have a personal development plan that’s based on that new prof essional standards but it has to be f ramed in t erms of actions within that prof essional standard – what actions are you going to undertake with the specif ic purpos e of improving teaching and lear ning? And that gets to the nub of the matter about qualit y teaching.
Responses from Educators Achieving Transformational Change in Education Systems – Tony Luby This is the title of an article that will shortly appear in The College of Teachers’ journal Education Today. It is written by David Hawker – a former Director General of Education for Wales – and an educationist at the forefront of the Every Child Matters agenda south of the border. Hawker makes much play of the recent McKinsey report that emphasises the importance of teacher quality; and he also considers international performance measures like PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS. The first striking point he makes is ‘from a longitudinal study in the United States, where pupils’ progress was measured against the quality of their classroom teacher: Teacher quality is the most important lever for improving student outcomes. Analysis of test data from Tennessee shows that teacher quality affects student performance more than any other variable.’ The second striking feature is ‘a study of the impact of school leadership activities on student outcomes in England’ which shows (to a statistically significant degree) that school leaders make most impact when they promote and participate in Teacher Learning and Development. According to Hawker (2011) this ‘illustrates the importance of concentrating on the quality of teaching in the classroom, and the importance of school leaders making it their highest priority.’ Of particular interest is McKinsey’s ‘mapping out a so-called ‘improvement journey’ which allows all systems to be plotted on a continuum from ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’. Each stage of the improvement journey is characterised by specific types of intervention, and six common interventions are identified which apply to all stages in the journey.’ ‘McKinsey’s research finds that a unique ‘intervention cluster’ exists for each improvement journey’ If we consider Scotland’s improvement journey to be that of moving from ‘Good’ to ‘Great’ then the intervention cluster theme is ‘shaping the professional’. If we think Scotland’s improvement journey is from ‘Great’ to ‘Excellent’ then the intervention cluster theme is ‘improving through peers and innovation’. In either case – the development of the classroom teacher is at the heart of such improvement. If we judge the Scottish education system to be on the ‘Good to Great’ improvement journey which emphasizes ‘shaping the professional’ then the most important theme intervention types are: ▪Raising calibre of entering teachers and HTs; ▪Raising calibre of existing teachers and HTs ▪School-based decision-making. It’s difficult to see how the McCormac report will promote any of these intervention types. Indeed, its initial effect is likely to be the opposite. 1. Potentially high calibre entrants to the teaching profession may be deterred by the lack of promotion opportunities – especially within the classroom. 2. The high calibre existing teachers are likely to be demoralised and deflated even just by the thought that the Chartered Teacher scheme can be scrapped.
3. School-based decision-making will be reduced to micro-management as well-intentioned and highly capable teachers seek to implement directives from above. Crucially, Hawker (2011) concludes with five telling points – four of which condemn the McCormac report: ‘First, successful system transformation depends on having good quality data from which an accurate analysis of the current performance of the system can be derived.’ ‘But where is McCormac’s good quality data?’ The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS) submitted credible evidence based on sound data; but McCormac prefers to draw conclusions from anecdotal evidence. Worse still, McCormac prefers to ignore evidence. How else can one explain recommendation 19 when more than three quarters of respondents advocate retention/amendment of the CT scheme? ‘Second, successful system transformation depends on having consistent, supportive and engaged leadership at every level, from the political leadership at the top to the leaders in individual schools.’ How often do you enjoy such engaged leadership? Anecdotally, I can speak of but, no, I don’t want to sink to the level of the McCormac report. As a former policeman I know the importance of evidence – it can change people’s lives – for the worse. And as an active teacher-researcher I appreciate the value of evidence – it can transform children’s lives – for the better. ‘Third, successful system transformation will always focus on improving quality at the front line.’ How does abandoning the CT Scheme achieve this? How cognisant are the members of the review group with ‘quality at the front line?’ An actor and a journalist can be members but not one practising teacher? The views of thespians and media commentators take precedence over those who live their lives in the classroom?! St Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and, arguably, the greatest theologian-philosopher writes that ‘Teaching is one of the highest manifestations of the life of the mind, for the reason that in teaching the vita contemplativa and the vita activa are … united in a natural and necessary union.’ To contemplate teaching from behind the desk of a headteacher; or the desk of a university principal; or a council office desk – this is not the ‘highest manifestation of the life of the mind’. You have to be active in the classroom, on your feet, making instant judgements – this is exercising the life of the mind. And this may prove to be our consolation. No matter the outcomes of the SNCT negotiations: we will still be in the classroom. We will still be teaching – still exercising one of the highest manifestations of the life of the mind. And finally, Hawker (2011) concludes that ‘successful system transformation depends on adapting universal principles to the specific context.’ One universal principle is that “The person with understanding does not know and judge as one who stands apart and unaffected; but rather, as one united by a specific bond with the other, he thinks with the other and undergoes the situation with him” (Bernstein, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism, 1983). I see no lawyer beside me in the classroom; the only acting is performed by me and the pupils. The members of the McCormac review have stood apart from chartered teachers and judged us – and found us wanting. But they display no understanding – they never knew – or they have forgotten what it is like to be an accomplished teacher. To be an accomplished teacher is to accept gladly, the variety, complexity and challenge of the classroom. And we do. Another universal principle is that improving a teacher improves student learning outcomes – and in a Scottish context this means retaining and improving the CT Scheme. And we must.
Heading for “Unchartered” Territory - Julie Wilson There is a lot of conf usion and not a litt le anxiet y about what lies ahead f or chartered teachers. Seeking some clar it y on the matter of becom ing ‘uncharter ed’ theref ore, a quick glance at some dictionar y def init ions provides little comf ort as to my cont inuing prof essional identit y. For exam ple, ‘charter ed’ in its attribut ive sense, means eit her to be qualif ied as a member of a prof essional body, to be established and commissioned as an aut onomous group, or to be hired or rented f or exclusive use. The conver se interpretation in each example makes f or unner ving reading. The Cabinet Secret ary f or Educat ion and Lif elong Learning spoke f orcef ully at the Scottish Learning Festival t his year about the need to raise attainment thr ough improving the qualit y of teaching and learning in the classroom. Enhancing the prof essionalism of teachers who ar e capable of sustaining a commitment towar ds changing pract ice, especially when it involves re-orienting established mindsets and re-regulating long f ostered habits, has been shown to be the single most inf luent ial f actor in raising attainment f or all childr en and young people. Mr Russell’s strategy identif ied school leaders as being the f ulcrum around which school impr ovement and change occurs, but again, worldwide research reveals that their inf luence can only ever be indirect and is theref ore dependant on ef f ective mediation by their teachers. His strategy also highlighted the need f or greater distribut ion of leadership wit hin schools, but if the paucit y of opportunity available to Char tered Teachers in their own settings is anyt hing to go by, we ar e ver y f ar f rom realising that goal. Indeed, the reverse is true, with many Chartered Teachers reluctant to identif y themselves as teacher leaders, leaving them f eeling disempowered and ashamed to contribute. The process of achieving the standard f or chartered teacher requires us to embody the journey that every teacher needs to make if they ar e to improve the qualit y of thinking, interact ion and dialogue in t he classroom. The standard obliges us to model and demonst rate in our establishments the prof essional act ions that lead direct ly to such impr ovements in qualit y. In doing so, we are expected to work with f ocus and intention: to enhance the prof essional lear ning and development of our colleagues; to exert prof essional inf luence and shepherd change; to broaden t he prof essional knowledge base of our organisation through research and enquir y and to develop product ive pedagogies which build capacit y in learning f or all. Accomplished teaching of this kind has r ecognised impact on learning outcomes f or children and young people, so it is no surprise that the model of CPD developed by the GTCS, adopted by the national CPD team and endorsed in the Donaldson report, promotes sustained engagement at post-graduate level in a series of challenging prof essional learning activit ies that build ‘teachers f or excellence’ with enhanced prof essional knowledge, conf idence and skill. Chartered teachers have been the f orerunners of this development: over six or more years ‘on the route’, we have been through several continuous and progressive cycles of prof essional development integrating collegiate activit y, shar ing practice and coaching approaches and impact ing on the qualit y of learning in a robust and sustainable way. Having successf ully achieved the st andar d (and having completed post-graduate qualif ications) we gain ‘chartered’ status, in f ormal recognition of our abilit y to demonstrate exactly the kind of enhanced prof essionalism that governm ent has stated is necessar y f or Curriculum f or Excellence to f lourish and grow. So in once sense at least, I can be conf ident that my prof essional identit y as a charter ed teacher was or iginally heart ily endorsed by government as a key dr iver in embedding Cf E. I didn’t invent t he scheme, but of it self , its invent ion was a clear indication of the expectat ions of a government about the kind of teacher s needed to ensure a healthy f uture f or CfE. All Chartered Teachers have invest ed heavily in bec oming members of a prof essional group whose purpose is to improve the qualit y of learning, teaching and
attainment in education. Even an inf ormal sur vey of existing CTs, and those en route, shows that they are the teachers most likely to be involved in developing and embedding innovat ive approaches to Cf E in t heir learning communit ies, in leading school improvement initiatives and in leading CPD f or colleag ues shaped ar ound t he needs, issues and challenges that occur in their local context. In many instances they are the teachers commissioned t o lead the prof essional learning of ITE students, pr obat ioners, NQTs and more exper ienced practit ioners through coaching and mentor ing, teacher learning communit ies, learning rounds and pr of essional net work groups. They do this in cost-ef f ective, sustainable ways, providing on-going support and advice which is well received and acted on by their peers. Their existence as an autonomous group is of ten bor n of necessit y, as within their schools and local authorit ies many of them have been excluded f rom the advanced training and development opportunities off ered to those in more f ormal leader ship roles. Despite this, many Chartered Teachers cont inue to update their skills and prof essional knowledge to a high level through Teachers as Researchers events, Teachers as W riters gatherings and Accomplished Teaching groups. Many of them are at the f oref ront of national init iat ives f or Cf E through involvement in Excellence Groups, Curriculum Advisor y Groups, Design Teams and Assessment/ Moderat ion Net works. If curriculum f or excellence demands teachers f or excellence, why would we be thinking about getting rid of those most pract iced in its deliver y and most inf luent ial in its development at the point at which we need them most? W hy penalise and demean the contribut ion of those who have invest ed m ost heavily in becoming the ver y midwives of change that our government says it so desperately requires? Another interpretat ion of ‘chartered’ involves an agreement f or hire or tender, of ten with st ipulat ions as to acceptable use and caref ul treatment. It is sad, but true, that ‘chartered’ in this concept ion is of ten for temporary purposes. In this respect, the descr iptor does not ref lect the original purpose and vision f or CT (and I would contend not with t he thinking of the majorit y of those who invented it either, including Mr McCr one and the GTCS). Mr McCormac holds the view t hat Chartered Teachers are not worthy of hire because we haven’t been able to measure their impact in the classroom. Sounds like the man who rented a top class boat f or the weekend, but on returning it lodges a complaint that it didn’t work at all so that he doesn’t have to pay f or it. Nice tr y COSLA, but we’ve all seen through that scam. Is there any established evidence that head teachers, deputes, principal teachers or even QIOs have had direct inf luence on the raised attainment of pupils ? If local aut horit ies ( who have made absolutely no attempt to disguise their contempt f or chartered teachers) get their way and the CT scheme is scrapped, why would any teacher in their employ believe that the process of enhancing their practice is a worthwhile act ivity? If our investment in our own pr of essional development (money, time and consistent engagement) is now deemed to be worthless, why would any teacher wish to invest even one more second of their t ime, their energy or t heir eff ort into CPD or into improving their practice? W hy would I ‘put myself up f or tender ’ in that way, only to be used, abused and dumped at the f irst opportunit y? Unchartering the chartered teacher is nonsensical, wastef ul and utterly dishonest and an issue that ever y single teacher needs to press f or resolution on because it aff ects the prof essional identit y and ef f ectiveness of each one of us. One of the prof essional act ions charter ed teachers were cr eated to demonstrat e is ‘articulating a personal, independent and crit ical st ance in relat ion to contrasting perspect ives on educational issues, policies and developments’. In accordance with the standard, it would seem that I have taken on the characterist ics of the ‘unr uly monster’ I was f ashioned to be and have begun to question my creators. Secur e in that identit y, I cannot now be unmade. There may be uncharted territor y ahead, but personally I don’t believe ther e can be any such thing as an unchartered chartered teacher.
Here’s a Knocking Indeed – Jeanette Forbes Delegates at the Education and Culture Committee on 27th September enjoyed a bit of a laugh. Here’s what provoked it. When suggested that the Report of the Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland ‘could have had more clarity’, its author, Professor Gerry McCormac pointed to Recommendation 19 - that the Chartered Teacher Scheme be discontinued. He demurred, ‘I do not see how that is ambiguous’. For his wit, he was rewarded with a bit of a snigger. Only, the laughter rings hollow. In 2003 a deal was struck with teachers that, should they invest many years of their own time and money in professional development, their efforts would be recognised and rewarded. Now, the government must decide whether it will honour its commitment to Chartered Teachers. If the Scheme is abolished, it will mean a betrayal of Scottish teachers who entered the scheme to enhance their professional skills whilst remaining in the classroom. The enhanced professionals necessary to deliver CfE will be lost. Without the Scheme, teachers will not invest time, effort and money to embark on Master’s level qualifications. Nor will they ever trust the government again. Professor McCormac’s report is based on questionable research and recommendations built upon a catalogue of contradictions. McCormac concedes the CT Scheme is ‘laudable in its aims’ and he has ‘evidence that demonstrated the commitment and professionalism of many Chartered Teachers’. Yet, this evidence has been dismissed in favour of his own anecdotal evidence and what he refers to as ‘the widely held view that the existing cohort of chartered teachers does not singularly represent the best teachers in Scotland.’ The reason for this, he tells us, is ‘the means of entry to the scheme did not provide a sufficiently robust means of screening applicants.’ We might surmise it is likely there are excellent classroom teachers who choose not to commit huge amounts of their own time and money to the CT Scheme. Only, which robust method did he employ to screen this invisible multitude of nonverified ‘best teachers’ he refers to? McCormac’s argument that there has not been ‘sufficient gate keeping’ is hardly apposite. You can knock on someone’s door; they need not let you in. It is not easy to attain the Standard for Chartered Teacher. Professor McCormac states there are ‘barriers to participation in the Chartered Teacher Scheme in the form of finance and…time available to complete the modules.’ True. Some CTs will find the Scheme prohibitive. However, this is the cry of equality that pulls everyone down. If McCormac has alternative suggestions for sources of funding, let us hear them. McCormac dismisses the CT route to Masters as ‘too academic’. He presses the case for a profession educated to Masters Level, yet suggests the abolition of one means by which this might be effected. For the past ten years, hundreds of CTs and those on route to CT have been researching, reflecting, and having their performance verified through testimony and academically referenced evidence. McCormac declares his evidence to be copious (3,400 responses) and that some of the responses were ‘very detailed’. Positive, negative; objective, subjective? We are not told. Astonishingly, the single piece of statistical research we are given reveals that 75% of those consulted believe the scheme should be kept! CTs are expected to produce research based on concrete evidence, not amass detail from conjecture and hearsay. We expected no less of The McCormac Review. Educational research has to be more than the collation of criticisms and castigations; compliments and accolades. Professor McCormac raises the concern that ‘some chartered teachers are paid more to undertake the same job’. Why would a CT’s job change? Once status has been gained, CTs must maintain their proven standards of excellence and deliver the Code of Practice for CTs. One CT describes McCormac’s proposal, that existing CTs be managed on what is basically the old Senior Teacher post, as ‘a back to the future irony’. Ten years have passed since the decision was made that these
posts were mere managerial dictates with no place in an autonomous, self-reflecting, self-regulating, teaching profession. CTs across the country have demonstrated their commitment to innovation and active research. Instead of toting up hours, sitting through the worst forms of directed CPD, CTs are required to constantly review their own professional development, be forward-thinking and propose new learning situations, which are then implemented for the benefit of pupils and schools. Totally in line with the GTC’s professional update. Critical evaluation of new learning situations is evaluated and, in many cases, disseminated to colleagues in-school and further afield. It goes straight to the heart of what is required for Professional Review and Development. Professor McCormac claims to have evidence of Chartered Teachers hiding their status “lest expectations would rise that they should contribute more.’’ Are we to believe CTs - who have committed themselves to many years of professional development - are locking themselves away in school cupboards in fear of what might be expected of them? In any case, this disregards both the Revised Standard and the SNCT Code of Practice. We need proper review and we need accountability. But we also need trust, fairness, and reasonable-mindedness. Chartered Teachers hoped for clarity and vision. What we got was a review based on hypocrisy and hubris, riddled throughout with contradiction and inconsistency. A burning and a shining light, this is not.
Chartered Teacher – where now? - contributed The recommendation in the McCormac Review could hardly be blunter. Recommendation 19: The Chartered Teacher Scheme should be discontinued. It is then followed by Recommendation 20: Skills gained in achieving chartered teacher status should be harnessed and negotiations through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) should ensure that credit is given for completed modules. Recommendation 21: A form of professional recognition should be developed by the GTCS and/or universities for teachers who demonstrate long term innovative classroom and collaborative practice or who have a successful history in mentoring or research. It’s not easy to see what is meant here in 20 and 21. It does seem to recognise that CTs have something to offer. McCormac’s evidence is open to challenge and interpretation. 5.17 As of May 2011, 1,216 teachers have attained chartered status and a further 2,800 are currently on the programme and have gained at least one module21. Entry to the accreditation route to chartered status was ended in 2008. In 2009 the Scottish Government reported Over 2,700 teachers have completed at least one module of the programme. 904 have completed the programme as a whole with 669 coming through the GTCS accreditation route (which is now closed to new applicants) and 235 through the programme route. 435 are from the primary sector and 459 from the secondary sector. 756 are female and 148 are male.
So we can estimate that over 80% of all CTs are women. We can estimate that 70% come through the GTCS accreditation route. That route recognises past practice and in that sense recognises the “best” teachers. The programme route helps to develop better teachers. The accreditation route has been closed, a clear signal that it is structured, challenging CPD that has impact that is now required. 5.18 While we received evidence that demonstrated the commitment and professionalism of many chartered teachers, the widely held view is that the existing cohort of chartered teachers does not singularly represent the best teachers in Scotland. This is an absurd statement. The overall aim was not to recognise the best teachers, rather to develop better teachers. How was this widely held view established? There was no question on that in the consultation questionnaire. Did respondents volunteer this information in the Comments section? If so how many so commented? Is it the same 25% who wanted the scheme discontinued? And by default can we assume that the 75% who want the scheme to continue hold the opposite view? 5.19 Until recently, self-selection without approval of a headteacher resulted in instances of headteachers not being aware that staff in their schools had applied for chartered teacher status. This has been revised recently and headteachers must now approve applications for staff to participate in the programme – albeit that this process is still rather light touch. Absence of specific duties attached to the role of chartered teacher means that in some instances, chartered teachers are paid more to undertake the same job they have always done with no improved outcomes for children and young people. It is not clear why this should be light touch. Headteachers can refuse approval. They have the absolute right to do so and no appeal against that is built in to the process. Does “light touch “ mean that in practice headteachers do not take this task seriously? Have any headteachers been called to account for that? There are specific duties; these are negotiated at school level through the PRD process. It is not clear why CTs would be doing the same job they have always done. Nor why there are no improved outcomes. Why would that be and where is the evidence? 5.20 We heard evidence that there are barriers to participation in the Chartered Teacher Scheme in the form of finance and the time available to complete the modules. Thus some dedicated classroom teachers are unable to embark on the programme of study that would result in achieving chartered teacher status because of other commitments. The scheme is effectively self-financing. Teachers pay for their first two modules upfront and after that are more or less ahead financially. All teachers have other commitments – family, care responsibilities, hobbies and sports. That is called work/life balance. It is more interesting that some dedicated classroom teachers have achieved CT status within their work/life balance and that the vast majority are women who are still widely seen in society to be more likely to have demanding commitments in their personal and family lives. 5.21 Local authorities have no means of controlling the cost of the Chartered Teacher Scheme because it is essentially self-selecting. Additional salary is, in some instances, paid to staff for little tangible benefit, and indeed we heard evidence that some chartered teachers would prefer that it were
not known within their schools that they had achieved the status, lest expectations would rise that they should contribute more. We also heard some evidence that the scheme is seen as mainly academic and did not sufficiently recognise good classroom practice. Local authorities can control the cost through entry to the scheme. But in fact the scheme is well within cost as take up has been lower than expected. Local authorities are actually required to encourage Chartered teacher study. agreement states in Appendix 2.16 of SNCT Handbook in Appendix 3
Currently the SNCT
The SNCT should: Publicise and promote the Chartered Teacher Programme Councils should: Publicise and promote the Chartered Teacher Programme. Establish collaborative networks of Chartered Teachers to allow exchange of experience, information and best practice. Review professional review and development guidelines to ensure appropriate advice is offered to those reviewing Chartered Teachers. Arrange training for those who conduct Chartered Teachers’ professional review and development. Develop understanding among all teachers of the role and potential of Chartered Teachers to impact positively on learning and teaching. Publish cases studies of good practice locally. LNCTs should: Incorporate the SNCT Code of Practice into local arrangements on CPD. McCormac’s recommendation is 5.27 Recommendation 45 of the Donaldson Report, which the Scottish Government remitted to us for consideration proposed that: “The award of Chartered Teacher status should be based on a range of evidence, including improved teaching skill and significant impact on improving the learning of the young people and colleagues with whom they work. The award should be reviewed as part of PRD and professional reaccreditation. Local authorities should have greater control over the number of teachers who apply for the award.” 5.28 If our recommendation regarding the Chartered Teacher Scheme is accepted and the grade of chartered teacher is discontinued, then recommendation 45 is no longer required. Review’s call for evidence clearly demonstrate that there are mixed feelings amongst the education community about
chartered teachers. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents felt the scheme should be retained, 37% felt it should be amended and 25% felt it should be discontinued. There are indeed mixed feelings. But 75% of respondents felt the scheme should be retained. By any standards that is a huge majority. 5.23 We are of the view that the Chartered Teacher Scheme, while laudable in its aims, has not delivered against its stated objectives. The available evidence does not show that the ‘best’ teachers have remained in the classroom rather than pursuing promoted posts – indeed promoted post holders have commented to us that theirs is a vital role and should not be equated with not wanting to teach or being inferior teachers. Furthermore, the overall contribution made to education in Scotland by chartered teachers does not represent a good investment, due mainly to the lack of any formal role post qualification. The aim was not to retain the “best” teachers in the classroom – rather provide a route which allows excellent teachers to stay in the classroom. Traditionally the education system has considered that promoted post holders do indeed show all the characteristics of the “best “ teachers. That view has never been challenged and it seems unlikely it would be. What business would promote people who were not good at their job? There is a formal role post qualification. It is negotiated at local level, the best place for it to be negotiated, to meet the needs of the school. 5.24 Taking all the evidence into account, we believe that the Chartered Teacher Scheme should now be discontinued. Our view is that despite positive steps such as the introduction of the revised Standard by the GTCS and notwithstanding the excellent practice we are sure some chartered teachers bring to schools, the concept of chartered teacher has not worked successfully since it was introduced by the Teachers’ Agreement. The model by which individuals are able to enter the system without sufficient gate keeping regarding their appropriateness has damaged the credibility of the Chartered Teacher Scheme. Similarly the lack of clarity as to the role of chartered teachers has made it difficult for both local authorities and the teachers themselves to make the most of their skills. The revised Standard and the consequent re-accreditation has not had time to be evaluated. Indeed it has not been formally evaluated. The providers were re-accredited in June 2010. They have since then moved candidates from the “old” programme to the new programme. There is not a single graduate of the new revised programmes anywhere in Scotland. Such a person will not appear until June 2013 at the earliest. It is absurd to consider that such a “positive step” could have an impact in this short time.
Back to the Future - Julie Adams and Barbara Stewart The McCormac Report, published in September 2011, recommends that the Chartered Teacher programme be abolished. This appears to be in line with the recommendations in the COSLA submission to the review, which argued that Chartered Teacher (CT) had not made a significant contribution. The SNCT had already bowed to COSLA’s demands that the programme be closed to new entrants. The argument that Chartered teachers were not having the foreseen impact on raising attainment is an unusual one given that there are just over 1,000 Scottish teachers currently employed who have full Chartered Status. This represents a very small percentage of the teaching population. The counter argument could therefore be made that if Chartered teachers are to make a noticeable improvement
to Scottish education then their numbers should be increased. There is, in fact, an emerging literature on the positive impact on learning Chartered teachers are producing. Gaining Chartered Teacher Status is no easy option as it requires deep self reflection and challenges the individual teacher to constantly improve practice – all in the public domain. However to anyone outside the teaching profession or local government administration, the title Chartered Teacher might not mean very much. Indeed inside the teaching profession many do not understand what CT is or why it was put in place eight years ago. Perhaps some background information might help. The McCrone Report introduced the Chartered Teacher programme, and at the time of its inception there were a number of valid reasons. CT was there to encourage good teachers to develop their skills by remaining in the classroom, a concept that had been tried earlier with the post of Senior Teacher (ST), and failed as ST became what it was never intended to be, a management post. For the first time, McCrone offered classroom practitioners the opportunity to read and engage with research and apply it directly to classroom practice. This however came at a time when incentives were badly needed in order to retain expertise in the face of changes to management structures. While Principal Teacher (PT) posts were introduced in primary schools for the first time, the number of promoted posts in secondary schools was being drastically cut. Out went the ranks of Senior Teachers and Assistant Principal Teachers (APT), both subject and Guidance. In came the post of Faculty Head (FH). Former APTs and STs were given a variety of options: assimilation to Point 3 on the CT scale; substantive PT posts (temporary) at PT1, to allow for career progression; the option to become Chartered either through GTCS accreditation or through the University Masters degree course. PT’s were given conservation of salary. Many accepted this and did not apply for the posts of Faculty Head, which in some cases would add considerably to their workload, without financial incentive. A PT of a large department usually had an APT to share the workload, now a FH might be running three departments alone. Those people who took up Chartered Teacher studies did so as a personal decision and bore the cost of paying for the degree modules. While there was no official management permission required, practitioners were expected to have maintained a reflective journal and be at the top of the teachers’ main pay scale. There is the dichotomy that while many were unpromoted, a number came from the ranks of the APT/ST cohort. Those practitioners who qualified through GTCS accreditation included those with an existing Masters level qualification, matching themselves to the CT standard. Others on this route used their considerable experience as classroom practitioners. Some practitioners who had existing post graduate qualifications brought a portfolio of skills and studies to the new qualification. It should be noted that these were teachers who came to the programme with considerable knowledge of inclusive practice and collaborative working. Given that these Chartered Teacher accreditation awards were based on claims upon current or prior teaching practice, this group would therefore not be expected to significantly further improve practice as they had proven that they were already working at this standard. The group of teachers who were required to show evidence of enhanced practice were the much smaller cohort who completed or were working through the programme at an accredited University. If we go to see a doctor we expect him or her to be au fait with current research. We don’t expect a doctor to prescribe medication which research shows to be ineffective. So it should be with all professions. The Chartered Teacher programme sought to redress the situation in education by offering for the first time a qualification in Advanced Professional Studies which had relevance to both research and practice, and respected teacher autonomy.
In order to even ‘set one foot’ on the CT ladder, one has to complete the first module dealing with becoming a reflective practitioner. Only after this has been completed satisfactorily can one move on with their studies. For those on the programme route, there follows a further eleven modules, all at Masters level. The first third of the programme deals with four core area: reflective practice, collaborative working practice, inclusive practice, and learning teaching and assessing. All modules require a high level of academic reading and detailed practical study. It is much more than simply writing an essay. One has to show evidence of how these aspects apply to one’s own practice. The appendices which accompany completion of each module count as evidence, and in many cases run to hundreds of pages. To allow for individualisation of the programme, teachers then study a further four modules which could be chosen from a variety of subjects pertaining to improving practice. All modules involve the use of research and its practical application within classrooms. The final four modules are a detailed work based study and dissertation. This tends to be an action research project and takes a year and a half of dedicated study. Taken as a whole, the programme route challenges teachers to improve their practice in ways they would never have previously considered. Many have described it as the ultimate Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It forms the only truly dedicated degree to advancing teacher education and professionalism. Its loss will arguably damage not only professional engagement with academia, but also the bridges being built between theoretical educationalists and those charged with putting it into practice. The programme route has only been in place since 2003, thus the first cohort to complete the full course only graduated in 2009. It could be viewed that there has not been enough time to fully evaluate this emerging group of professionals and the impact they are having on learning and teaching. Since 2003, Scotland has moved towards effective implementation of research findings into the curriculum. Much emphasis has been placed on, for example, Critical Thinking (Fisher), Formative Assessment (Black and Wiliam) and Emotional Intelligence (Goleman). Teachers working through Chartered Teacher have been central to the development of the new curriculum. Curriculum for Excellence depends on teachers engaging with research and having the skills to apply them to practice. While the Tapestry Programme in some regions rolls this out to school teacher learning communities (TLC), there were few such initiatives in 2003 when the first Chartered teachers began their studies. If there is a weakness, then it was picked up in the Donaldson review which recommended that the Chartered teacher’s skills be harnessed. The Chartered Teacher is expected, among other things, to contribute ‘to the school’s in-service and CPD activities’, work ‘as a leading member of a team, inside and outside the classroom, to share good practice’, and take ‘the initiative in enhancing the work of the school and lead[ing] its effective implementation’ (SEED, 2002:11). Yet, because the Chartered teacher has no formal remit, many schools and Local Authorities have failed to utilise their Chartered teachers to their full potential. Jenny Reeves identified Chartered teachers as being ‘agents of change’ at the 2007 Chartered Teacher conference, yet the confusion around what Chartered teachers can or cannot be asked to do has restricted many CTs from being able to actively engage in the change debate. Chartered teachers, by both training and inclination, are creative in their curriculum development; they naturally engage with theory and are likely to have read the new curriculum documents as they are posted. Their reading of such documents will involve a
level of engagement with the text beyond that of many of their non-Chartered colleagues. Chartered teachers read for significance and understanding and this puts them in a strong position to engage meaningfully with the complete curriculum overhaul currently taking place in Scottish schools. Surely this is a skill which should be harnessed and utilised to its full potential. While Chartered teachers may not undertake managerial tasks, appropriate non- management tasks such as involvement in Initial Teacher Education, mentoring or curriculum design and support are all areas where Chartered teachers’ skills should be used. Supporting colleagues and developing collegial communities of practice (teacher to teacher) would appear appropriate. Secondments into Education Scotland, to support the further development of the new curriculum as we move towards senior phase, are also appropriate. Leadership of TLC’s is an appropriate use of expertise. Why waste such a bank of knowledge and skills? Returning to the analogy with medicine; all doctors are required as part of their CPD to be au fait with current research; thus the Lancet is essential reading. The only teachers required to keep up with current research are Chartered teachers. By abolishing CT, we appear to depart from being a research-based profession. However, it could be argued that the regions did not all regard Chartered teachers in the same way. Many authorities do not have a mechanism to allow CTs to identify each other or network. Some allow a CT’s status to remain unknown within their school. Highland have CTs in short secondments to support the new curriculum. ACTS is the only platform through which Chartered teachers can formally communicate with each other. If Chartered teachers are to become proactive in the change agenda and support the development of the new curriculum, then there is a need for them to be a visible presence both within and beyond their own schools. Instead of labelling CTs as an outdated anachronism which does not fit within the preferred managerial hierarchy, Scottish Government and Local Authorities should develop a framework in which CTs are recognised and utilised. While Finland is held up as an example of good educational practice (as teaching there is a Masters level profession), the McCormac Report appears paradoxical. On the one hand the authors want all teachers to have Masters level degrees, but they are dismissing the very group who holds this status, with degrees specifically aimed at learning and teaching, as not having a significant impact on improvements in education. If the SNCT accepts all of the McCormac recommendations (and bear in mind that they did not accept the Donaldson Review in its entirety) and abolishes CT, what will take its place? The suggestion mooted by McCormac is a ‘back to the future’ irony. The solution is use of PT1 short-term management posts. What they have in mind is the substantive PT positions previously offered to former APT’s and Senior Teachers. Prior to McCrone, the Millenium Review had sought to compact the promoted structure of secondary schools and the Faculty Head posts are in line with such thinking. Given that teachers are faced with working into their late 60s, with few promotion opportunities, the loss of Chartered Teacher could prove the final straw that might lead talented practitioners to decide on a change of career away from education.
Impact of Chartered Teacher – Rosalind Veneroni Dear Sir I read with great disappointment Recom mendation 19 of the ‘McCormac Report ’ that “The Chartered Teacher Scheme should be discont inued”. I graduated with a Master ’s Degree in Advanced Prof essional Studies in November 2010 f ollowing research f or my f inal dissertation on “How the collaborat ive use of Glow f acilitates pupils’ lear ning about Global Citizenship” which opened a whole new world not only f or me but also f or the eager pupils throughout my whole school. This year I am celebrating my t wentieth year in the prof ession and have thrived over the last t wo decades through cont inuous prof essional development not only thr ough courses run by local author ities but also through distance lear ning at universit y, collegiate working, personal reading and self motivat ion in order to develop m y teaching abilit y. This has taken huge personal commitment particular ly when giving up holidays and weekends to enable f ulf ilment of these goals. The Chartered Teacher Scheme is open t o many and, once the init ial modules are paid f or, the rest can be paid f or by t he increase in salar y. W hat is needed is a commitment to self discipline, realisation that some additional spare t ime is devoted to research which does improve and support pupil learning . I truly believe m y teaching has improved as I am self motivat ed, work collegiately within m y school, my Cluster and m y Local Author it y continually enhancing and developing work I embarked on whilst on the Chartered Teacher route. The act ion research I began in 2009 continues to grow f rom strength to strength within my school and many colleagues wit hin my cluster and local authorit y have benef ited f rom my learning and prof essional development. I have run CPD courses f or teachers wit hin my Cluster Pr imar y and Secondar y schools and continue to support when needed. I have worked with my Local Aut horit y, Cluster and local communit y group to f urther Fair Trade working with pupils to achieve a greater understanding of these issues in the world ar ound them. My pupils have been involved in var ious Cluster initiatives working with the local communit y group sharing their learning and understanding of the various issues. I have responsibility f or Fair Trade (and Global Cit izenship) within m y school and we are current ly in our f ourth year being a Fair Trade school. I currently support schools in my Cluster in promot ing Fair Trade by helping them to achieve Fair Trade status. I belong to the Local Author it y Fair Trade group and have set up a Glow group f or the shar ing of resources and good pr actice and help run Fair Trade events aiming towards Scot land becoming a Fair Trade nation. I am on the working party f or Health and W ellbeing ensur ing my school is achieving its goals in the Improvement Plan. I have a key role in the Technologies working party liaising with other schools in the cluster including the secondar y school and sharing resources I have created whilst ICT coordinat or. The development of Curriculum f or Excellence planning sheets f rom Early to Second level have been shared with schools throughout my cluster and beyond. I have responsibilit y f or purchasing IT resources and am the main point of contact bet ween the school and local author it y.
Throughout my career I have always em braced personal development opportunit ies and since August 2009 I have led a Curr iculum f or Excellence review group to look at new methodology, assessment and recording of evidence to truly ref lect our current good pract ice. I have developed new Curr iculum f or Excellence planning materials and guidelines to be used by all pract itioners within the school and have shared t hese f ormats with other schools within the cluster. I use Glow as a means of sharing practice and inf ormation, as well as a communicat ion tool whilst using the NAR resource to relate to current practice within our school. I also have responsibilit y f or ensuring that Assessm ent is standar dised across all year groups at transit ion by organising appropriate f olders f or each year group. As this is one of the main f oci in t he School Improvement Plan I collaborat ed with teaching staff as well as the senior management team to set targets f or 2011/2012. My excellent classr oom practice has been recognised by HMIE in 2003 and 2005. My leadership role as ICT coordinator was recognised in an HMI E Sur vey of ICT in Scottish Schools in November 2008 where the recommendat ion was to cont inue the excellent work. The report of our recent school review in November 2010 highlighted my commitment to our school and the ongoing development of initiat ives and t he eff ective use of ICT and interdisciplinar y lear ning in my pr actice. My commitment to continued developm ent, to keep abr east of new init iat ives in educat ion coupled with high qualit y teaching and learning to raise attainment in my daily pr actice has been recognised by Head Teachers and they have given me the opportunit y to lead initiatives. I lead by example through self motivat ion and by being approachable. I am a ref lective pr actitioner keenly aware of how m y excellent practice has ref lected on staff , a number of whom look to me f or guidance knowing that I can support and motivate. I engage my pupils thr ough deliver ing exciting lessons, encouraging them to set goals and achieve success on agreed t argets through the use of f ormative assessment and personal learning plans. I f eel that my vision, breadth of experience, extensive prof essional knowledge and understanding coupled with excellent leading capabilit ies, interpersonal skills and commitment to raising attainment and recognising achievement in children equips me with the necessar y skills and attributes to continue to be a successf ul chartered teacher. I would be deeply saddened if teachers like m yself who have sacr if iced a considerable amount of time and energy to self development to become a Charter ed Teacher have the status withdrawn and the only f urther opportunit ies f or career advancement would be to that of Principal or Deput e Headteacher which unf ortunately removes many good pract itioners f urther away f rom the ‘grass roots’ of educat ion. I urge you to f ully r eject Recommendat ion 19 of the ‘McCor mac Report’ as t o allow the Chartered Teacher Scheme to be discont inued will be to the detriment of Scottish educat ion. Yours f aithf ully
Rosalind Veneroni B.Ed.(Prim.) Dip.R.E., M.Ed. (Advanced Professional Studies)
A selection of emails and comments sent to ACTS 1. It does not surprise me that many people, and management in particular, do not think CTs are making an impact. First, no one has ever asked us what impact we are making. Secondly, in my experience, our impact is often subtle – leadership from within. for example, there are a number of changes in the way we teach in my department which I know have come about due to my input at various stages. However, this has not been as a result of a formal leadership role. Instead, my influence has been through exemplification, input in discussions at meetings or in the staffroom, informal explanation of the rationale for imposed initiatives, a positive and ‘open attitude to change’ which can encourage positivity in others, etc. etc. Much of the time I’m not sure my colleagues themselves realise what the catalyst was for a particular change. For change to be sustainable, there needs to be ownership. The subtle grassroots leadership of a CT can lead to sustained change which is owned by our colleagues and yet the careful part we play in this may go almost unnoticed. The phrase ‘making use’ of CTs has always rung alarm bells with me, because I fear it could be interpreted as imposing extra ‘responsibilities’ on a CT to make sure we ‘earn our keep’. These could be tasks which do not make best use of what we can offer and which distract or even prevent us from undertaking more valuable work. However, I would be more than happy for my annual Professional Development and Review to be undertaken in relation to the CT standard and by a senior colleague who understands the standard. I would be happy to describe how I believe I meet the standard, providing a limited amount of evidence where necessary (but not death by paperwork). I would be happy to discuss with my reviewer how I propose to contribute as a CT in the coming year – a discussion between equals, giving due recognition to my professionalism and autonomy in judging where I should focus my efforts, but also giving consideration to school and national priorities. Apologies – this response is longer than I intended, but I feel passionately that the CT scheme is drastically undervalued by the ‘powers that be’. 2. With regard to Chartered Teachers the main thing which struck me about the review was that things like teachers being put forward to carry through initiatives at the bequest of the HT could so easily have come under the remit of CTs. If the CT role had been reviewed and appreciated by others the CTs would have been in an ideal position to lead things in school. It's a shame that the scheme didn't appear satisfactory to anyone - with some schools not recognising the significance of the award and some CTs feeling under utilised and frustrated. Rather than completely scrapping the scheme it would be better to tweak things a little. 3. McCormac was really just a cost cutting exercise – you don’t need data of any kind to simply prove to the bean counters that the posts that need to get cut are those that make classroom teachers more expensive or those that belong to groups that are small and an easy target and won’t be really missed – if you look at things from that pragmatic standpoint, cutting chartered teachers seems quite economically sensible – we are not dealing with people who care here – they just want to find ways to make education work economically because of a dramatic lowering of public funds – I have said this before, but I think that we have to find a way to fight this on a different footing than simply justifying our own worth and existence – they could honestly give a rip about that ! 4. I would like to strongly support the campaign to save the Chartered Teacher Scheme. The findings within the McCormac Review team, I believe, are not a reflection of the outstanding practice I have seen Chartered Teachers contribute to the profession. The existing good practice and recognition certainly does demand ongoing development especially within the principles than underpin a CFE. 5. Having seen some of the diverse range of expertise Chartered Teachers contribute to pedagogy I feel it would be great to share ideas and examples of good practice with others across Scotland and
beyond. The GTCS and Universities have a large collection of some of the most innovative approaches to teaching and learning within CT submissions which could be published and shared. 6. Like so many I have long believed in the commitment to enhanced professionalism and the impact this has on learning and teaching. My experience as a Chartered Teacher has been an enlightened journey which has shown the way to extended professionalism and practice. I was extremely disheartened when I read the McCormac report which attempts to discredits the great work being done by CT’s across the country. It also demonstrates the lack of understanding of the role of a Chartered Teacher and how best to utilise the skills we have to offer. I know there are excellent classroom teachers out there who through choice have not embarked on the CT scheme but I really believe the commitment required by those who chose the route to achieving the CT status was a challenging and rewarding one. I agree with Julie and Barbara’s article that the “programme route challenges teachers to improve their practice in ways they would never have previously considered and many have described it as the ultimate CPD”. I am very concerned that there will be no incentive to encourage new teachers to embark on Action research and reflection within their teaching career. I think a key role of a chartered teacher would be to instil in colleagues, particularly probationers, the desire to make action research an integral part of their own practice.
7. I object to McCormac saying that there were no benefits to pupils from those whom he had interviewed. Who exactly did he interview? I became a CT in July 2004 and since then have been working tirelessly for my school and local authority. I serve on the local authority Dyslexia Steering Group representing all Primary schools , helped to write new guidelines, run 6 training sessions each year for Dyslexia Advisers, speak to ASN Parents Forums on a variety of topics, take 4 or 5 CPD sessions in my own school, run French and Gaelic classes on top of my own remit, and recently gained my PhD in Education! As a direct result of that research a Screening tool in Gaelic-medium education early intervention is being published by GL-Assessment for the benefit of pupils. My CPD hours were over 500 last year! I run Fairtrade activities every year with the Eco Committee, successfully gaining School Fairtrade status each year; I run Burns competitions every year and organise assemblies. There are many other ways in which pupils I teach benefit from my work as a CT. Letters and cards from parents and pupils say it all. 8. As Chartered Teachers we feel the journey towards completion of the Chartered Teacher programme has been hugely beneficial to our practice. We have learnt so much in so many ways and have been able to apply this enhanced knowledge and skills, not only to our own practice but also to the practice of colleagues. Consequently we now have a much greater understanding of learning and consistently review, reflect and evaluate in a more structured way. This has impacted greatly on our teaching. We are in no doubt that due to completing the Chartered Teacher programme we have a greater understanding of the whole process of teaching and not just the face to face interactions with pupils and are now better teachers. The Chartered Teacher programme has made us much more confident in our abilities to respond to the needs of individual pupils. It has enabled us to instigate action research, discussion and evaluation of teaching and learning within our classrooms and school. This has been achieved in collaboration with other professionals and colleagues throughout the authority. As a result of this we are highly motivated and ensure that the pupils in our classrooms and school make excellent progress supported by the most up to date educational thinking. The benefits to our pupils are wide-ranging. To achieve the CT status we have endured a substantial and challenging workload and have demonstrated high levels of discipline, dedication, focus, hard work and determination. We have attended a vast range of CPD, much of it in our own time. The Chartered Teacher programme has
encouraged us to continue to embrace academic study and lead teaching communities throughout the authority. These CPD opportunities have had a significant impact on our ability to deliver the Curriculum for Excellence. We feel that Chartered Teachers are key professionals in leading, supporting and developing the multitude of new initiatives in Scottish Education. We know that our own school, cluster and authority value the important contributions we have made towards leading and embedding many initiatives. We would therefore feel very disillusioned if the programme was to be discontinued. What would that say about the aspirations of the Scottish teaching profession? After all the time and effort that we have put into continually improving our own professionalism this step would be like a slap in the face. Our skills would be devalued and the profession would be undermined. Scottish Education needs teachers who are dedicated enough to become Chartered Teachers and who undertake their enormous workload without wanting the recognition of a promoted post. Chartered Teachers continue to work at the chalkface and maintain a hands-on insight into learning that school managers often lose. The repercussions of this recommendation could be very detrimental to Scottish Education at a time when it needs dedicated, experienced and highly skilled individuals to take forward the Curriculum for Excellence. 9. I feel it is essential to sustain the opportunity of Chartered Teacher. As more Local Authorities move to replacing 3 or 4 Department Heads with a single Faculty Head, there is very limited progression for experienced teachers. The Chartered Teacher system is an excellent way to rejuvenate disenfranchised, high quality & experienced teachers in to taking up quality CPD and sustaining their enjoyment in teaching. All other careers have continuing progressions throughout, which do not necessarily involve promotions. From speaking to colleagues, I am not alone in thinking that the concept of remaining a classroom teacher at the top of the scale for the next 25 years (if I'm able to retire at 60) is certainly not an exciting prospect. Perhaps, the roles of Chartered Teachers in Schools could be enhanced, however this once not the original justification for the position. As numbers of staff decrease, the time for extra tasks has been taken away. For teachers who have made a start or completed the Chartered Teacher Programme, it should continue to be supported. The Providers have invested considerable resources to delivering high quality courses, the removal of the courses could have an associated affect on the Universities. For morale and progression of experienced teachers, Chartered Teacher is an essential opportunity. 10. The 'rebranding' idea is something of a ruse. If you think back to the Senior Teacher grade which was created in the early 1990's and then stopped via assimilation in 2003, you have a clear precedent. Senior Teacher was originally devised to allow good teachers to remain in the classroom, with a task or two to allow for development. What it turned into, in many regions was a management post- often linked to a member of the SMT to carry out a task that lay within their remit. When I signed up to do CT, I turned down a substantive PT post and came off the promotion ladder. If my CT money vanishes, then I have to return to this ladder- but now aged 53 rather than 45, my chance of a promoted post will be reduced.
My thinking, if we have to look at the worst case scenario is to lobby to have our money assimilated, and be prepared to return to this sort of post. At present I have a one day a week secondment to support CfE- a job I'm enjoying- will a rebranded post be so generous in terms of time to complete a task? When working through my Chartered teacher I became so interested in additional support needs I changed from being a Modern Languages teacher to Pupil Support. It gave me a real insight and I would not have had the confidence or knowledge to do it without taking the Chartered teacher route. I have since completed my Diploma in Educational support and enjoy very much my role. I am learning all the time and it's great. I don’t know how the statement that the CT course of study is ‘too academic’ can be justified. To complete the qualification now requires practical research in an educational establishment. In order to ensure such research is coherent and progressive, it may be necessary to ‘orchestrate’ it (I don’t like to suggest ‘regulate’) in a manner similar to the way medical and scientific research is managed; The Donaldson Report seemed to think we were needing to improve the quality of the teaching profession. Removing the CT option certainly would not achieve that; 11. I'm not in favour of the creation of CT posts - this would just be a return to the old Senior Teacher format. Several of us were already Senior Teachers (except that we were asked to do management duties and I attended management meetings at my school until my post was abolished under McCrone) but there's no guarantee that we would a) get any of these posts or b) be "re-appointed" to them (i.e. a resurrected Senior Teacher renamed Chartered Teacher). My Master's was also related to classroom practice as it involved not only research, but also an action plan derived from my findings. This had to be put into practice and the results monitored. Part of this plan involved a reading skills development programme and results by bilingual pupils improved dramatically as a result of this programme, which is still in operation. The Masters' degrees done by the other people doing CT at Strathclyde were also directly related to classroom practice and involved projects carried out in the classroom to improve pupil performance. This was stressed to us when we started the Master's. We were told the CT Master's was different because it had to involve action in the classroom - research alone was NOT sufficient. 12. It is very disappointing the outcome of McCormac and terribly short-sighted for the future of education. I am only too aware of the transformative impact CT study and ongoing work has had on individual teachers, pupils and school communities. I commend the work you are doing to have the voice of CTs and ACTS heard and I hope you/we as a profession are able to influence this decision
Annie McSeveney EdD Annie McSeveney was awarded a Doctorate in Education ( in aegrotat) by the Open Universit y on 27th May 2011.
Annie's husband Sach was invited to accept the award with Sandy, one of their daughters, at the ceremony in Milton Keynes. Annie's f ather, other members of the f amily and her two super visors were all able to be there too. Annie's thesis, "Telling Tales Together: A Study of Children' s Collaborat ive Oral Story Making and Per f ormance", has been bound and will be available f or f uture students to borro w through the Brit ish Librar y.
Research into Chartered Teachers using Glow Vicki Wallace is a chartered teacher at Lasswade High School in Midlothian and is presently an EdD student whose research evaluates Glow The Scottish Government launched GLOW the world’s first national intranet for schools in 2007 as the vehicle to deliver the new “Curriculum for Excellence”. In the first year of my research I investigated teacher perceptions about the purpose and value of GLOW. I contacted councils across Scotland and asked permission to distribute a survey link through their council email distribution lists. 173 teachers across Scotland responded. The majority of teachers reported that ICT has positively influenced their professional practice and the learning of their students regardless of their underlying beliefs. When translating this into practice, a teacher’s belief profile could influence the way in which they used computers for learning and teaching purposes. Teachers with a high constructivist score were likely to make more use of computers for all types of computer use, be it to develop skills, as an information tool, a learning tool or for communication and collaboration purposes. When looking at teachers’ use of ICT for personal and professional purposes the picture became less clear. Analysis suggested that a Teacher’s Belief Profile had no influence on the four different types of computer use: administration tool, for CPD, communication and for collaboration purposes. When looking at the whole school vision the majority of all teachers reported that they did not feel that their school has a clear sense of direction for how GLOW could be used to enhance student learning. My findings suggest that if GLOW is to become embedded within practice then teachers will need to develop a purpose for this technology. Following on from this work in the second and third year of my research I have been investigating how teachers are using GLOW to communicate and collaborate. I have been analyzing a variety of National GLOW groups with a view to identifying evidence of social pedagogy. In addition to this I have survey teacher groups to investigate their perceptions of how useful they find GLOW as a tool to facilitate knowledge construction between teachers.
Coming soon to your Glow : CTNet CT Net
This shar ing point f or chartered teachers is designed to f acilitate sharing and collaborat ion. It rem oves the previous barriers associated with an Aut horit y- based structure of access and instead allows all chartered teachers to join the communit y and share their pract ice and intent ions. It sets up links to t he national CPD net work, so allowing collabor ation and shar ing beyond the boundaries of your local net work or specif ic group. The site will go live ver y soon. If you are already a member of the chartered teacher glow group, you will shor tly receive an email wit h instruct ions f or joining CTNET.
Book review: Inspirational Ideas K A Stonier Tony Luby is a Chartered Teacher of Catholic RE in Aberdeen This second edition of Inspirational Ideas is a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf of anyone who has some responsibility for assembly in either primary or secondary schools. This is neither a glossy nor a colourful book and, indeed, at times it appears somewhat old-fashioned; but it bears the rich fruit of a long-standing Fellow of The College of Teachers who has served as a head teacher in three Church of England primary schools. Stonier’s book is not a comprehensive coverage of topics for a whole school year. Rather it is the type of book which you can profitably ‘dip into’ throughout the school year. The book is well structured with four main sections containing: Stories and Ideas About School; Stories About Life; Stories from the Holy Bible; and Stories and Ideas about the Church’s Year. Part 1 contains five assembly outlines of which two give suggestions for the potentially difficult assemblies at the beginning and the end of the school year. Part 2 has nine assemblies and the first, ‘God is With Us Always,’ gives a flavour of the author’s style. Drawn from the culture of Native American Indians we are given a story of a trial testing the courage of young wanna’ be warriors. Their experiences are linked closely with that of the school audience, drawing a parallel with bullying; and the story concludes with a concise Christian prayer. A clear link is also established with the classroom through ‘Ideas for Development and Debate.’ Part 3 has four assemblies based on the Old Testament and five assemblies derived from the New Testament. These stories tend to be brief but, helpfully, suggestions are made with regard to relevant Bible readings. Part 4 gives useful information about the Church’s Year and nine assemblies taking us from Advent to Pentecost with appropriate stops on the way! There is a Part 5 but it merely serves as an addendum indicating prayers for various occasions such as Harvest time. Inspirational Ideas could be usefully incorporated within most schools’ assembly rotas. It does not have the ‘pzzaz’ or ‘va-va-voom’ of, say, the Damaris Trust Assemblies Online (http://www.damaris.org/cm/home/aol); but it does provide clear and thoughtful assemblies, based on experience, that could be a godsend for any teacher given short notice of a forthcoming assembly. It is easy to picture hard-pressed colleagues being grateful to the author for distilling his years of practical inspiration into this slim volume of work (136pp).
Calling all writers
TO W RITE FOR US… say the editor ial boards of many jour nals. It is a little known f act that the publication committees / editorial boards of many journals of ten struggle to f ind suff icient copy f or each issue of their journals. Indeed, they pr ize mater ial wr itten by chartered teachers. W riting in the current issue of the journal Educat ion Today, Ross Deuchar (President of the Scott ish Educat ional Research Associat ion) contends that ‘Pr actitioner researchers… of ten have access to a rich source of data and have insights that are of intense interest [my em phasis] to others in the f ield. ’ So, there you have it: the work-based pr oject that is stashed away in your cupboard (physical or electronic) - f ish it out and dust it down. Follow Deuchar ’s advice in his article ‘Snacks, Sandwiches and Binges: the Journey Towards W riting f or Publicat ion’ and spend 15-20 minutes wr it ing freely – it can be surpr ising (in a pleasant way!) what you produce. Consider making a submission to the new ‘Researching Education bullet in that gives diff erent kinds of researchers the opportunit y to shar e their f indings, with opportunit ies f or wr iting short articles, opinion pieces…’ A surprising var iet y of f ormats are acceptable to the editor ial board – they want to hear f rom you. Other journals such as the revamped online Educat ion in the North are consider ing devot ing a part of the journal just f or chartered teachers. Be it a f ully-f ledged dissertation, a work-based module, or a small-scale r esearch project that you have been carr ying out – the academic communit y wants to read about it. Your f indings, your suggestions m ay point them in a new direct ion – or may conf irm what they already suspect. Eit her way – your work is valuable. And don’t f orget your f ellow teachers. As Sir Michael Barber points out in t he September 2011 issue of IB World, ‘It’s devastat ing when teachers shut t he classroom door and never learn f rom each other.’ Metaphor ically, if we don’t publish our work, then that’s what we’re doing to our colleagues. So, please, pick up that quill / f ountain pen / keyboard and get scribbling. W e want to read your scr ibbles! Honest!
What is the Social Pedagogy Development Network? In 2009, we f ounded the Social Pedag ogy Development Net work (SPDN) together with key partners f rom the Thomas Cor am Research Unit, the Nat ional Centre f or Excellence in Residential Child Care, and Jacaranda Recruitment as a way to connect diff erent developments around social pedagogy. Ver y quickly the SPDN has become a grassroot s movement f or people and organisations who are interested in social pedagogy and want to nurture it at a local and national level. The net wor k is underpinned by social pedagogic principles about engaging in open dialogue, of valuing people and t heir exper iences, of connecting with ot hers in a democrat ic way. Social pedagogy is thus brought to lif e in people's unique ways, and through the exchange and relat ionships wit h others we can ensure that it grows on ideas and tradit ions f rom within the UK inspir ed by ideas and tradit ions f rom other countries. For this reason, the SPDN off ers an 'oasis' that encourages a rich and colourf ul diversit y of social pedagogy 'f lowers' to blossom together. This means we provide the conditions f or all part icipants to engage with each other and the themes or issues that you f eel most passionat e about, thus laying the ownership f or the SPDN in their hands. The SPDN is based on the idea of parallel action, that change occurs where people can pursue what matters to them by f orming self -organised ‘clusters’. Each cluster can init iate multiple, creative, and parallel act ion streams that reinf orce each ot her, thus leading to change. Following Margaret Mead’s words, we theref ore aim to br ing together small groups of thoughtf ul, committed citizens. You can f ind out more about the SPDN in our article published in the Children W ebmag.
ACTS Committee The current committee comprises: David Noble (Chair) Dorothy Coe (Vice Chair) Mandy Allsopp (Secr etary) Christine MacGregor (Treasurer) Sarinder Bhopal, Juliette Daly, Karen Far rell, Duncan Mackay, Sheila W addell, Julie W ilson. The committee meet s monthly during term time, choosing dif ferent venues to widen geographical accessibilit y. Following her appointment to a new job, Mandy Allsopp would like to stand down as Secret ar y, and there are also vacancies f or ACTS members to join the committee. If you would like to join the committee, or would like more inf ormation about what is involved, please get in touch using the ACTS email: actscotland@ yahoo.com
Join ACTS Join by completing the form below and returning it to: ACTS, 6 Monar Court, Dalgety Bay, DUNFERMLINE, KY11 9XJ, AND either: Making a BACS payment to Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland, Sort Code 80-06-55. Account Number 06033226 Or: Sending a cheque to the address above
View the ACTS website at http://acts.edublogs.org/
Contact ACTS at actscotland@ yahoo.com
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