Tag Archives: Professional Update

Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning – A new cohort of facilitators

On 29th October Yvonne McBlain led the second training meeting for our newest cohort of Falkirk Teaching for Deep Learning programme facilitators. There are 20 facilitators from 13 schools – 11 primary establishments and 2 secondary.

All of these teachers have chosen to make their development of the facilitator role part of their professional learning for the next two sessions.  Most of them are choosing to challenge themselves by taking on a distributed leadership role for their school colleagues. Some are helping build their whole school community and supporting their school improvement plan by using the programme as collaborative whole staff development.

After training session 1, the facilitators used the TfDL Glow group (click to visit) and their private facilitator group to complete follow up tasks. One of these was to say which TfDL session they would like to get to know/experience first. The majority decision was session 9 – Teaching for Deep Learning in an Active and Engaging Way. Click here to view the power point presentation for this session, and here to see hand out 1.

Yvonne was excited to hear how the facilitators are already using the programme with colleagues. They are enthusiastically applying their knowledge and experience  to support colleagues with their ongoing quest to improve classroom practice. Our vision is to move Falkirk schools from good to great!

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/

Update on our Teaching for Deep Learning Programme

Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk’s Curriculum Support team has now created a page for each of our Teaching for Deep Learning sessions here in Glow. Five of our secondary schools have used, or are beginning to use these sessions as content for their Teacher Learning Communities and working groups. Nineteen of our primary schools have already accessed at least one of the sessions – sometimes as a whole staff, and other times within smaller collegiate groups. We have 18 TfDL (Teaching for Deep Learning) facilitators who are being trained to deliver the sessions – some want to do this in their own schools only, whereas others are happy to make themselves available across the authority where needed. Four of our secondary schools are modelling a whole range of Donaldson Review recommendations regarding professional learning in their use of the programme. Most have recruited teachers interested in becoming facilitators within their schools, who then attend an information session (Click to view) on the programme from Yvonne. Each school is then deciding how they can enable staff to identify which sessions should be priorities for their professional learning this session. Once these decisions are made, teacher learning communities interested in the same sessions can be formed. The same model of distributed leadership (facilitators) and professional autonomy through self-evaluation is being taken forward by some of our primary schools “in house” too. Feedback from participants of  sessions so far confirms the value of the programme as one of the ways in which we can move Falkirk schools from Good to Great.

Offering a Gateway to CPD

CPD Manager PortalStuart Lennie, along with Lynne Lauder and Anne Hutchison of the Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team have been working to commission and implement a new way for staff to search, request, and record CPD opportunities.

The new CPD Manager Portal, provided by Gateway, replaces the existing paper based CPD course catalogue and booking system, and will allow Education Services staff to browse and request CPD from anywhere with an Internet connection- either in or out of work. In addition, the system will support the Employee Review and Development process and automate Professional Update for GTCS registered staff.

The Administration Team, made up of Ann Peoples, Fiona Dyson, Elaine Hunter, Kate Hotchkiss, and Jamielee Dickson, are currently processing the courses for next session in time for the launch in August!

At the start of the new session, all Education Services staff will receive an email containing their login for the new portal.

Getting Ready for Employee Review and Development!

  • All our schools are moving forward on implementing the new Employee Review and Development (Glow login required) process( ERD). Some have already begun while others are getting ready. Anne Hutchison (CPD Co-ordinator in the Curriculum Support team of Falkirk Council Education Services) co-leads the implementation strategy at service level along with Anne Pearson (Service Manager: Curriculum Support team) and today they were out and about in schools across Falkirk working with staff from Grangemouth High, Graeme High, Laurieston, Hallglen, Victoria and Westquarter primary schools. Preparation is key to getting this effective way of working off on the right foot. So what were we doing?
    1. Speaking to support staff to let them know that they are key players in supporting the delivery of high quality teaching and learning for all children and young people
    2.Raising awareness of what an ERD meeting looks, feels and sounds like. Big thanks to Hazel Cunningham (Primary Probationer Supporter:Curriculum Support team) and Fiona Anderson (HT:  Head of Muir PS) who bravely modelled the role of a self evaluator whilst Anne H and Anne P acted as Validators. The role of a validator is to support, extend and challenge the self-evaluator.
    Everyone has a role in this important improvement priority. During January and February of this year all Headteachers and Early Years Managers are using their work profile as a self evaluation tool in preparation for their ERD meeting. To support them in their preparation a series of 90 minute training sessions have been designed and delivered by the Curriculum Support team . By session 2014-15 the aim is that:
  •  all  Falkirk schools are implementing the revised scheme
  • the revised ERD scheme is integrated with schools’ ongoing self evaluation and quality improvement processes
  • we can see evidence of cultural change in relation to self evaluation
  •  GTCS registered staff are well prepared for Professional Update
  •  we can see evidence of the impact of ERD on our children and young people’s learning experiences