Tag Archives: GTCS

Professional Update

Claudia Flynn, Management Information Systems Assistant, for Falkirk Council Education Services would like to share a news article on the Professional Update Process for the attention of all GTC registered staff. Claudia has been involved in the development of CPD Manager to support the Employee Review and Development Process. She has been supporting a pilot group of users who have been testing the new system before it becomes available to all Education Services staff after Easter. This group of users included school based staff and a number of centre based staff.

The following article was recently published on the GTC Scotland website and gives an overview of everything you need to know about the Professional Update process with links for further information.

Professional Update will be introduced for all teachers in August 2014. It aims to support, maintain and enhance teachers’ continued professionalism

The key purposes of a system of Professional Update are:

•To maintain and improve the quality of our teachers as outlined in the relevant Professional Standards and to enhance the impact that they have on pupils’ learning.
•To support, maintain and enhance teachers’ continued professionalism and the reputation of the teaching profession in Scotland.

What do I need to know?

Professional Update is a continual process, which includes the following elements:

•An annual update of contact details to GTC Scotland
•Engagement in professional learning
•Self-evaluation against the appropriate GTC Scotland Professional Standard(s)
•Discussion of this engagement and the impact of this, as part of the PRD process
•Maintain a professional learning record and portfolio of evidence five-yearly confirmation of this engagement to GTC Scotland

We asked a number of leaders what Professional Update means to the profession. Here are some of their thoughts:

Download

Update your details every year

The easiest way to do this is via your MyGTCS account. You can create or access your account at: www.gtcs.org.uk/GTCS-login.aspx

Engage in Professional learning

Professional learning is what teachers do to ensure their professional knowledge and practice is informed, up-to-date and stimulating. It is important that professional learning provides rich opportunities for teachers to develop and enhance their professional knowledge and practice, in order to progress the quality of learning and teaching and school improvement. Find out more about Professional Learning at: www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-learning

We know that some supply teachers can have difficulty accessing aspects of professional learning and the Professional Review and Development (PRD) process. We are monitoring this as part of the pilot programmes, and will publish further guidance for supply teachers prior to the national roll out of Professional Update in August 2014. Equally, some registered teachers who are working outwith the education system may not have access to appropriate professional learning. We are working on guidance for such teachers, to help ensure that they will be able to participate in the Professional Update process. This will be published on: www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update

Self-evaluate using professional standards

The GTC Scotland Professional Standards offer support for teachers as they develop their professional knowledge and skills through on-going self-evaluation and professional learning. The Standards for Registration provide a gate-keeping function for entry into teaching in Scotland and Full Registration continues to be the baseline Professional Standard for competence. For teachers who have achieved the Standards for Registration, we have developed the aspirational Standard for Career-long Professional Learning and the Standards for Leadership and Management to support their ongoing development. As the revised Standards have been designed to meet the needs of teachers at all career stages working in Scotland’s schools, all aspects of the Standards may not be relevant to teachers working outwith the school system – we are developing further guidance notes and support materials to cover these circumstances. Find out more about the GTCS Professional Standards at: www.gtcs.org.uk/standards

Discuss the impact of professional learning in the PRD process

Professional Update is based on effective, consistent PRD and high-quality professional learning focused on outcomes for a teacher’s own development as well as aiming to improve outcomes for children and young people. We know that, where PRD operates successfully, it provides a valuable opportunity for teachers to reflect on their practice and to consider how they can improve their professional skills and knowledge. GTC Scotland has a validating role in this process, helping to ensure that local authority PRD systems are robust and that teachers are enabled to demonstrate the skills they already have as well as to learn new ones. Guidelines are available on the Education Scotland website: www.educationscotland.gov.uk

Maintain a record

Maintaining a record of Professional Learning, along with a portfolio of evidence, is an integral part of the Professional Update process. We are currently exploring a range of possibilities for recording professional learning, including an online profile linked to MyGTCS. We are working to ensure this process is neither bureaucratic nor time consuming.

The system of recording that you will use for the purposes of Professional Update will vary depending on where you are currently employed. Teachers employed in local authorities will receive further information from their employers about the systems in place in their authority. We are also looking at how these may be used by supply teachers working across a number of local authorities and by teachers currently employed in roles outwith the education system.

Five-yearly confirmation of this engagement

Engagement in Professional Update is an ongoing process, with professional learning and PRD at its heart. Every five years, teachers will be required to confirm their engagement in this process with GTC Scotland. Like the professional learning record, this will be completed in a number of ways depending on the system applicable to you – MyGTCS or another online system (e.g. Gateway, SOPRA). We recognise that there will be circumstances which may make completion of the process within the designated timescale difficult, such as career breaks or extended leave, and we are developing clear guidelines for deferral processes.

In April of this year you will receive a letter and information leaflet from GTC Scotland outlining what is required of you in order to successfully complete your Professional Update. This will also provide details on how to contact GTC Scotland if you have further queries.

For more information please visit www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-update/

GTCS Validates Falkirk Employee Review and Development

General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) validates Falkirk Council Education Services Employee Review and Development (ERD) Framework

As part of the ongoing development of our ERD strategy, a team led by Norrie McKay from the GTCS visited Falkirk today to carry out a validation exercise. Along with Margaret Mackay (West Dunbartonshire) and Tara Lillis (NASUWT), Norrie met Anne Pearson, Service Manager of the Curriculum Support Team and Anne Hutchison, Support Officer Professional Development with the Curriculum Support Team as well as four groups of GTCS registered staff.

The groups included:

  • Permanent class teachers
  • Temporary and supply teachers
  • Promoted teachers
  • Specialist teachers ( Art, Music, PE, Outreach, Preschool Home Visiting, Specific Learning Differences teams)- Centre based staff ( QIOs, Pupil Support Manager, Curriculum Support Officer, Probationer Supporters, Support Teacher – Effective Learning and Teaching)

The purpose of the visit was to endorse the validity of the ERD process for GTCS registered staff in relation to Professional Update.

Anne Pearson and Anne Hutchison presented on the history of PRD in Falkirk. They discussed the big messages about the development of the revised ERD process (Glow log in required)and shared three key papers that explain the rationale and processes related to ERD. An engaging professional dialogue took place which was informative for all!

To validate the assertions made by the accountable officers, the GTCS team then met with 4 groups of staff who are involved in the new process and have informed opinions about their work profile & self evaluation prompt materials (Glow login required) . Once the triangulation process had been carried out, Anne Pearson and Anne Hutchison rejoined the validation team to hear the outcome of their scrutiny. Norrie McKay shared the team’s evaluation verbally and the service will receive a written report by the end of the session. This will be shared with all schools.

Overall, the feedback was highly positive and we anticipate that no conditions will be attached to the forthcoming validation report. Key strengths were identified:

– a quality process with quality documentation to back it up

– a clear vision for ERD in Falkirk with exemplary short, medium and long term planning

– coherence with other processes ( e.g. Recruitment, School Improvement Planning, Distributed Leadership)

– clear focus on the impact on teaching and learning

– high levels of trust in the process

– a continually improving process that responds to evaluations/feedback ( e.g. HT & validator survey monkeys)

– High quality partnerships with staff

– Staff think the central team has its finger on the pulse in relation to professional learning

The following recommendations were put forward for consideration:

– ensure involvement of temporary and supply staff

– continue to develop advice on evidence portfolios for Professional Update

– continue to reflect on the revised standards ensuring alignment

– continue to develop the quality assurance processes

This is a cause for celebration and another example of the great work that is going on in Falkirk schools. Thanks to all who gave up time today. Thanks also to all who have given up time over the last 2 years designing, delivering, participating, testing and SUPPORTING!

Click here to go to the Glow Group for Falkirk Council Education Services Employee Review and Development

Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning Programme

Falkirk’s Teaching for Deep Learning programme is now available to support school-based professional learning. This programme consists of 19 sessions focused on aspects of effective teaching which are essential to the promotion of deep learning in our pupils. The sessions are active, intellectually stimulating and designed to be experienced by collaborative groups of practitioners such as Teacher Learning Communities.

 “Teaching Scotland’s Future” said that the “foundation of successful education lie in the quality of teachers and their leadership. High quality people achieve high quality outcomes for children.” Without a doubt what it means to be a teacher is being re-conceptualised.  Enabling our teachers to operate as enquiring practitioners and encouraging their self efficacy is at the heart of this programme.

 Trialling in a range of establishments this session has demonstrated how flexible the content of the programme is, and that there are varied ways in which it can be used.  View these variations in the document at the end of this post and consider if any are useful to you as you self-evaluate and create your school improvement plans. 

 The programme was created by Susan Dyer, Head teacher at Bankier Primary School, Gillian Campbell, PE teacher from Braes High School and Sharon Wallace and Yvonne McBlain from our Curriculum Support Team. Colleagues across our service have helped the team revise and improve the programme and we have a team of 16 facilitators currently training to deliver it.

 I am confident that the programme aligns with the recommendations of the Donaldson Review, the new suite of GTCS standards & Professional Update and our own Employee Review and Development process. I recommend it to you.

 To discuss how this programme might support your School Improvement Planning in more detail, contact yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk . Click here  to view a summary of programme sessions.