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:
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/