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Teaching Scotland's Future - Report of a review of teacher education in Scotland


Chapter 5: Career-long learning for teachers and for leadership

This chapter examines the approach taken in Scotland to professional learning beyond the initial phase of teacher education. It traces the main developments in CPD over the last decade, identifies some key strengths and outlines ways in which it can build from the early phase of teacher education and its relevance and impact can be improved. The previous national review of initial teacher education (2005) did not include CPD.


The Teachers' Agreement of 2001 included a requirement for teachers to continue to develop and improve their skills throughout their careers. The agreement has a number of clauses relating to CPD.

  • Teachers shall have an ongoing commitment to maintain their professional expertise through an agreed programme of continuing professional development.
  • An additional contractual 35 hours of CPD per annum will be introduced as a maximum for all teachers, which shall consist of an appropriate balance of personal professional development, attendance at nationally accredited courses, small scale school based activities or other CPD activity. This balance will be based on an assessment of individual need taking account of school, local and national priorities and shall be carried out at an appropriate time and place.
  • Every teacher will have an annual CPD plan agreed with her/his immediate manager and every teacher will be required to maintain an individual CPD record.
  • It is the employer's responsibility to ensure a wide range of CPD development opportunities and the teacher's responsibility to undertake a programme of agreed CPD which should be capable of being discharged within contractual working time.
  • Local authorities will, as part of the continuing development of CPD, undertake to review their provision within the arrangements for the development of a national register of approved CPD providers: not all CPD will necessarily be accredited, but there should be maximum opportunity for accreditation.

Many of the duties of all teachers within 'Annex B' of the National Agreement are related to CPD. Teachers are required to:

  • undertake appropriate and agreed continuing professional development;
  • participate in issues related to school planning, raising achievement and individual review; and
  • contribute towards good order and the wider needs of the school.

In addition, headteachers are required to promote the continuing professional development of all staff and to ensure that all staff have an annual review of their development needs.

As well as the additional 35 hours per annum, CPD and collegiate development activities are part of the 35-hour working week agreement. The time allocation to different duties are agreed annually at school level and include: additional time for preparation and correction, parents' meetings, staff meetings, preparation of reports and records, forward planning, formal assessment, professional review and development, curriculum development, additional supervised pupil activity, and continuous professional development. An extra 3,500 classroom assistant posts were introduced to reduce the administrative workload of teachers and enable them to focus on providing the highest quality of learning and teaching.

In addition to improved terms and conditions, teachers received significant salary increases as part of a drive to give them 'enhanced professional status'. The overall aim of the agreement was to create the professional conditions of service appropriate to a world-class education service.

The role of chartered teacher was first introduced as part of the 2001 agreement. Only one of two routes recommended by Professor McCrone was adopted. Teachers at the top of the main grade salary scale, who had maintained a record of CPD, could apply for prior learning to be accredited or undertake advanced professional studies at Masters Degree level to reach the Standard for Chartered Teacher. The award recognises professional skills and was intended to give outstanding professionals the opportunity to receive additional salary and status without following the promoted route. In the first few years of the programme, there was much confusion about the role and some headteachers were not aware that staff in their school were undertaking the qualification. In an attempt to clarify the role, the GTCS introduced a revised Standard for Chartered Teacher in 2008, which includes the need for chartered teachers to lead learning beyond their own classroom.

The Scottish Qualification for Headship ( SQH) was introduced in 2000. The overall level of uptake has been significantly lower than the number of new headteachers required. A flexible work-based route was introduced in 2007 to encourage greater uptake and address issues of succession planning at headteacher level.

A national framework for CPD48 was launched in 2003. It defines CPD as:

' The range of experiences that contribute to teacher development is very wide and should be recognised as anything that has been undertaken to progress, assist or enhance a teacher's professionalism. When planning CPD activities, teachers and their managers should consider the particular needs of the individual, whilst taking account of school, local and national priorities'.

The CPD framework is based around three professional standards:

  • Standard for Full Registration
  • Standard for Chartered Teacher
  • Standard for Headship

In 2004, the Scottish Executive published guidance for professional review and development ( PRD) 49. Within this document, a list of activities which would constitute CPD was published. This wide-ranging list includes professional reading and research, lesson observation and analysis, subject-based activities and attendance at in-service events.

An Audit Scotland report 50 on the Teachers' Agreement in 2006 highlighted areas requiring further review and refinement, including the need to address an initial failure to create benchmarks against which progress might be measured. The aspects identified included: impact on educational attainment; improvements in classroom practice; the quality of educational leadership; workload and skill-mix; workforce morale; and recruitment and retention within the profession.

HMIE's evaluation of the implementation of the Teachers' Agreement was published in 2007 51. HMIE concluded that some aspects of the agreement had been implemented successfully. New career structures had broadened the opportunities for teachers in all sectors and at all levels to show collegiality, demonstrate leadership and take responsibility for improving the quality of learning. The report noted better approaches to CPD overall. However, the changes had yet to impact significantly on improving the learning of children and young people. The potential benefits of the new chartered teacher posts were not being fully realised. In 2009, a revised Standard for Chartered Teacher 52 was introduced in an attempt to clarify their role and contribution to leading learning beyond their own classrooms. Levels of awareness of the revised Standard and the extent of its use vary across Scotland.

More recently, in Improving Scottish Education ( HMIE, 2009), the need for all teachers to take responsibility and show full commitment to personal and professional development was stressed. Later that year, in Learning together: improving teaching, improving learning ( HMIE, 2009), the need to monitor the impact of CPD on improvements to young people's progress and achievement was noted as a main area for improvement. Evidence suggests that CPD is often evaluated in terms of the quality of provision, rather than the impact on improving outcomes for learners.

In November 2010, the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) announced a review of the Teachers' Agreement, to commence in January 2011. The key challenge for this review will be to develop and improve teacher quality, whilst ensuring better value for money and greater impact from previous improvements to teacher terms and conditions of employment. Large-scale investment in teachers and teaching has not always been matched with clear expectations about outcomes and improvement.

Existing strengths of continuing professional development

Much of the recent research suggests that CPD is most effective when it is 'site-based', fits with an existing school culture and ethos, addresses the needs of different groups of teachers, is peer-led, collaborative and sustained. Such forms of CPD offer a richer learning experience than usually offered in short courses (Kelly, 2006) 53. When considering the best international practice in professional learning communities, the McKinsey Corporation (2009) 54 identified that teachers work together in these communities to:

  • research, try and share best practice;
  • analyse and constantly aim for high, internationally benchmarked standards
  • analyse student data and plan tailored instruction;
  • map and articulate curriculum; and
  • observe and coach each other.

The literature review, responses to our call for evidence and teacher questionnaire, as well as discussions with teachers, officials and academics across Scotland have indicated a number of strengths within our current approach to continuing professional development.

The extensive range of CPD activities undertaken in Scotland

The broad range of forms of CPD outlined by the Scottish Executive in 2004 55 are increasingly evident across Scotland. This range of forms of CPD was highlighted as a positive feature by many teachers who engaged with the Review. Chart 5.1 illustrates the proportions of teachers in our survey who had participated in different activities.

Chart 5.1: range of CPD accessed in last academic session

Chart 5.1: range of CPD accessed in last academic session

A wide range of national and local organisations provide CPD for teachers. The LTS website contains a wealth of material, much of which is linked to Curriculum for Excellence. It also provides numerous central and regional events as well as organising the annual Scottish Learning Festival. It has developed Glow, a national school education intranet, to promote networking and exchanges of resources and information. HMIE, in addition to publishing reports on specific aspects of education, works with LTS in helping to identify areas of need and sources of good practice. The two organisations have also established an impressive digital resource, Journey to Excellence, which provides direct advice about school improvement and research as well as housing a bank of filmed clips of good practice in action. HMIE also uses its inspection of schools to build capacity as well as evaluating the quality of provision. A notable aspect of capacity building by HMIE has been the training and use of headteachers and teachers as associate assessors who join inspection teams for two or three inspections each year. These associate assessors often report that experience as ' the best CPD I have ever had'.

Teacher and headteacher associations, in addition to providing advice and networking for members, also provide highly-valued and well-attended courses. The Educational Institute for Scotland ( EIS), for example, has a network of learning representatives based in schools and has worked with universities in the development of courses. Other providers such as Tapestry also provide well-attended courses, events and more customised support for professional development and innovation, notably teacher learning communities.

Most CPD is provided by local authorities and includes central training as well as supporting school or community-based professional development. They are increasingly devolving more CPD to schools and encouraging them to work in networks, clusters or learning communities. The provision of centrally-delivered courses is decreasing.

The pattern of responses to our questionnaire (Chart 5.1), confirms this picture of considerable breadth of CPD provision and activity in Scotland. However, the figures for mentoring, shadowing, good practice visits and research leave much scope for improvement. Peer observation has grown significantly in recent years but is still under developed as an important element in professional learning.

A greater emphasis on professional networks

The extent of collegiate working has grown in recent years ( HMIE, 2009) 56, increasingly centring round improving outcomes for learners. In particular, as schools and centres implement Curriculum for Excellence, they often cooperate with other schools and partners, extending and deepening the quality of outcomes. There are increasing examples of professional learning communities which support and challenge one another around agreed areas for improvement. Effective collegiate working often includes support staff and other partners. There is also some evidence that effective collegiate working has led to increased opportunities for teachers to be involved in decision-making and to lead aspects of school improvement.

The contractual base for CPD

The value and importance of CPD in relation to teacher quality has been recognised formally in Scotland through contracts of employment. Many countries are envious of this paid, contractual requirement and entitlement. In its response to our call for evidence, one professional association said: '...it is good that teachers are contractually obliged to participate in a specified minimum number of hours of CPD activity each year'.

Seventy-five per cent of teachers responding to our questionnaire said they were unable to undertake all their CPD and collegiate activities within the allocated time. However, it was never the intention of the McCrone Review that teachers should confine time spent on professional duties in a very precise way. There is clearly a tension between the enhanced professional role of teachers and the somewhat industrial approach of allocating a fixed number of hours for professional duties.

The Teachers' Agreement launched 'a new framework which promotes professionalism and which places teachers at the heart of teaching'. A 'personalised' approach to professional development was envisaged through a negotiated CPD plan for every teacher addressing personal, institutional, local and national priorities and including postgraduate opportunities provided by universities.

There is evidence of increased commitment to CPD and more teachers taking on lead roles, for example in working groups to implement school improvement plans. Seventy-two per cent of teachers who responded to our questionnaire saw improving teaching practices as a priority for CPD, with 69% prioritising the sharing of good practice. The priority for CPD and collegiate time for 19% of teachers who responded was to satisfy their contractual requirement.

The chart below summarises priorities for CPD for those teachers who responded to our questionnaire.

Chart 5.2: Current priorities for CPD

Chart 5.2: Current priorities for CPD

Maximising relevance and impact of career-long learning

Although existing strengths of CPD in Scotland are significant, evidence shows that the link to learning in the early phase of teacher education remains tenuous at best, it often does not address either individual or wider priorities well enough, and too much of current provision has failed to impact significantly on children's learning. For an individual teacher, who you are, which school and which local authority you are in, and the quality of leadership and management in both can greatly affect the extent to which you develop and improve. For young people, this means that the extent of their teachers' skills, understanding of educational theory and practice, and the relevance and freshness of their subject content knowledge, can vary considerably. Scotland is not alone in needing to improve the quality, relevance and impact of CPD. Across the world, there is concern about the impact of CPD and teacher quality on outcomes for young people.

Core elements of CPD for all teachers

As with the early stage of a teacher's education ( Chapter 4), it is important to be explicit about the core knowledge, skills and competences that all teachers will continually refresh and improve as they move through their career and to be active in addressing them. Time and opportunities need to be built in for these core elements of teacher education as part of a culture and habit of professional learning. These should be set as part of planned progression in learning for each teacher which begins in initial teacher education and continues throughout induction and continuing professional development. As with core aspects for initial teacher education, these can be determined through a periodic national assessment of current needs. Currently they could include the following.

  • Child protection and safeguarding procedures
  • Responsibilities of all practitioners: literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing
  • Development of children and young people, including important aspects such as the development of reading and writing skills
  • Supporting learners, including the latest legislative and research-based advice on meeting the needs of all learners including those with additional support needs such as dyslexia or autism
  • Government policies and frameworks affecting education, and the action needed to implement these successfully in the classroom
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Inquiry-based improvement/reflective practice
  • Subject-content knowledge
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment theory and practice

Clarifying expectations and improving coherence

The Review heard a great deal of evidence about lack of focus in CPD and coherence and progression within it.

The GTCS Professional Standards provide the basis for coherent teacher education in Scotland. Clearer links between, and exemplification of, the Standards would help to signpost coherence and progression more explicitly. Many other countries are engaging in work of this nature. For example, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia have defined characteristics and competences of good teaching. These are useful for professional development and performance management, and provide a shared language for teachers to reflect and evaluate practice. The Standards themselves need to be refreshed and updated on a planned cycle.

The Professional Standards need to be revised to create a coherent overarching framework and enhanced with practical illustrations of the Standards. This overall framework should reflect a reconceptualised model of teacher professionalism.

As yet we do not have a culture where priority is given to attaining, maintaining and exceeding professional standards. As a result, many experienced teachers do not use the Standard for Full Registration ( SFR) to evaluate their performance and identify development needs. Awareness and use of the SFR varies considerably across the country, and there is a perception amongst some experienced teachers that it is not relevant for them and mainly applicable to probationers and early career teachers.

A new 'Standard for Active Registration' should be developed to clarify expectations of how fully registered teachers are expected to continue to develop their skills and competences. This standard should be challenging and aspirational, fully embracing enhanced professionalism for teachers in Scotland.

This standard should include the range of skills and competences which reflect the growing expertise and maturity of an experienced teacher. It should help teachers to improve as well as prove their skills and competences. It could include, for example, pedagogy, up-to-date subject knowledge and the use of inquiry-based improvement. It could also help to promote distributive leadership by signalling the wider contributions which experienced teachers make to the school as a whole. It should enable all teachers to develop the kind of professional role envisaged in the McCrone Report.

Improving the culture and focus of CPD

The Review noted that effective CPD often combines specialist input with an ongoing programme of school-based support. Early insights from the additional support for Curriculum for Excellence led by HMIE and partners suggest that tailoring CPD closely to the needs of individual schools and teachers and using coaching and practical activities using real examples rather than 'input' is effective in increasing the confidence of teachers to implement the new curriculum. This combination of tailored CPD which meets individual needs in-house, is peer-led and sustained through professional dialogue, with some specialist input to provide an external perspective where appropriate, seems an effective and efficient way to continue to support teachers, particularly when they are engaged in the implementation of major changes in education.

Alignment between individual professional learning needs and school development is not always strong. The OECD report 'Teachers Matter' studied approaches to teacher quality in 25 countries and concluded that 'there are major concerns about the limited connections between teacher education, teachers' professional development, and school needs'. We need to ensure an appropriate balance and synthesis between individual teacher CPD and school and system level improvement. The majority of teachers in a study by Hustler et al (2003) 57 reported that school development needs took precedence over their individual learning needs. Larger generic staff development events need to be blended with individual, tailored support to maximise the impact of CPD.

Engagement in collaborative activities such as moderation and involvement in, for example, task teams or co-ordinator roles can play a very important part in extending professional skills, knowledge and attributes. Within all form of CPD, activities which bring together colleagues from different sectors and/or services to address matters of shared interest or concern have the double benefit of strengthening partnerships and providing richer professional development because of the wider range of perspectives and experiences they bring.

The balance of CPD activities should continue to shift from set-piece events to more local, team-based approaches which centre around self evaluation and professional collaboration, and achieve an appropriate blend of tailored individual development and school improvement.

Improving impact

Significant moves in recent years to evaluate CPD courses and events have focused largely on evaluating the quality of the process or event rather than on its intended or actual impact on children's learning. Only 29% of teachers who responded to our survey said they frequently try to monitor the impact of CPD, and only 22% said their schools did this frequently. Forty-nine per cent of teachers said they measured impact infrequently or never; the figure for their schools was 52%.

There are a few examples where schools have begun to monitor the impact of CPD and track this over time. For example, in one local authority newly qualified teachers use a tracking diary for CPD which links in with their initial teacher education targets. Monitoring, evaluating and researching CPD and all other phases of teacher education are challenging, given the number of variables which effect young people's progress in learning. Better research is needed but the key lies in teachers themselves looking for evidence of impact in their own work.

Teachers and schools should plan and evaluate CPD more directly on its intended impact on young people's progress and achievements.

A research-informed approach to continuous learning

The Sutherland Report (1997) set the aspiration of teaching becoming a research-led profession, partly through locating initial teacher education within Scotland's universities. Sutherland's vision has, at best, been only partially achieved. Cochran-Smith (2009) 58 argues that if we are to achieve the aspiration of teachers being leaders of educational improvement, they need to develop expertise in using research, inquiry and reflection as part of their daily skill set. Outstanding teachers often use research and data to identify areas for improvement and take direct action to address any underperformance.

If we are to learn from some high-performing systems around the world and foster a research-informed profession, more has to be done to facilitate knowledge exchange between schools and universities. There is significant potential for greater collaboration in supporting inquiry-based improvement and a more fluid exchange of learning between the sectors. University-based teacher educators need to have the skills, experience and quality of research which supports and challenges schools, and is seen as relevant and purposeful for improving practice. The kind of partnerships which we have advocated for initial teacher education should be developed to become hubs of learning for teachers at all stages in their careers.

Chapter 4 outlined the potential benefits of joint appointments between local authorities and universities. As well as improving collaboration and partnership for new and early career teachers, such appointments could lead to research which is more focused on directly improving services at local level, as well as contributing to contemporary thinking on education at national and international level. The Sutherland Report envisaged university staff from different faculties as having a valuable role to play in refreshing and broadening ongoing teacher education.

Professional review and development ( PRD)

The framework for performance appraisal or annual reviews for teachers, most commonly known as 'professional review and development', CPD ( SEED, 2003) makes it clear that:

' All teachers should maintain a CPD Profile for the current year and, where appropriate, two previous years. The profile will comprise a CPD Plan, indicating the development objectives and the development activities agreed during the annual professional review and a CPD record, briefly detailing the professional development activities undertaken'.

Professional dialogue within PRD is most effective when it is both supportive and challenging and signals practical steps towards improved practice. It can help to stimulate and sustain the development of individual teachers as well as helping them to manage the demands of the dynamic contexts in which they work.

However, the quality and impact of PRD varies significantly across Scotland. Nearly half of teachers responding to our online survey did not agree that PRD was effective in identifying priorities for CPD. The results are shown in the chart below.

Chart 5.3: effectiveness of arrangements for professional review in identifying priorities for CPD

Chart 5.3: effectiveness of arrangements for professional review in identifying priorities for CPD

Credible and effective PRD should guide the selection and focus of CPD. However, the conditions for making PRD effective are not universally in place. Teachers do not always have an appropriate annual plan for CPD. Across local authorities and schools there is differing practice in the extent to which teachers and schools are required to account for their CPD, despite contractual requirements.

In Chapter 4 we outlined how teachers might progress from their induction into the next stage of their professional development with an online profile of their achievements and plans for development. Such an online profile could be extended for each teacher in Scotland to record the outcome of PRD and the focus for CPD, with expectations of action and the impact on teaching and learning. This would be in line with emerging practice in other professions in Scotland. Such a profile could be linked to the proposed Standard for Active Registration, and support professional reaccreditation.

As noted earlier, evidence from discussions with early career teachers suggests that many do not continue to use the professional standards beyond their probationary period and the expectation of using an online profile related to the relevant Standard would help to address this.

Overall, there is a lack of conviction about PRD processes across Scotland. A few have recognised the need to review and improve the processes for PRD and have begun to take this forward, working with the National CPD Team. Advice issued by the Scottish Executive, 'Guidance on the procedure for professional review and development for teachers in Scotland ' (2004), states that PRD should be based on self-evaluation, with teachers encouraged to use professional standards as the main point of reference. A learning cycle was introduced and teachers were asked to consider the impact on learners and their own development as professionals. The requirements for a CPD plan and a CPD record were further exemplified in this important document, but its influence has as yet been limited.

At the outset of any CPD activity, the intended impact on young people, and the aspects of the relevant professional standard the teacher will improve as a result of the activity, should be clear. Subsequent PRD discussions should review progress with previous intentions. This process should be captured in a continuing online profile of professional development.

The role of the individual teacher CPD in achieving national priorities

Literature on the management of change often describes an 'implementation gap' between policy and classroom practice. As we have said in Chapter 4, teachers need to understand the issues which face Scottish education and to be able to see how they are contributing to national endeavours.

New national initiatives should include a teacher education strategy, based on what we know about managing effective change in education.

All teachers as teacher educators

Earlier in the report we have emphasised the importance of the role of teacher mentors for student teachers and probationers and the need for careful selection, support and professional development for mentors. Whether or not a teacher has direct responsibility for mentoring of student teachers and probationers at any particular time, every teacher will be engaged in professional dialogue with peers. Mentoring and coaching skills enable much more effective dialogue and learning to take place within groups of teachers and with stakeholders and partners.

All teachers should see themselves as teacher educators and be trained in mentoring.

This skill set should be developed and refreshed through initial teacher education, induction and CPD.

Improving online provision

Evidence from our teacher questionnaire indicates that the least effective forms of CPD, albeit by a relatively small margin, are perceived to be online provision and teacher research. The chart below summarises the results of the levels of perceived effectiveness of different forms of CPD.

Chart 5.4 effectiveness of types of CPD activity in enhancing professional practice (where a score of '1' denotes very ineffective and a score of '5' denotes very effective)

Chart 5.4 effectiveness of types of CPD activity in enhancing professional practice (where a score of '1' denotes very ineffective and a score of '5' denotes very effective)

Efficient use of time, better access and the opportunity to maximise quality mean that online learning and engagement must be an increasingly important part of a blended approach to CPD for all teachers. As well as networks where teachers can exchange ideas and support each other, online CPD can carry materials which can be used for self-supported study. However, teachers report that frustration and technical issues are significant inhibitors of more online engagement. The frustration that teachers often report when accessing online CPD includes difficulty in finding what is needed, partly due to a multitude of local and national providers. Scotland's national intranet Glow is improving and we need to ensure the potential of this resource is fully realised, not least to enable teachers to meet through online communication.

Online CPD should be part of the blended, tailored approach to CPD for all teachers. Building on the positive start made by the National CPD Team to ' CPD find' a national 'one stop shop' should be developed for teachers to access online CPD opportunities.

Generic, subject-specific and sector-specific CPD

Much of the CPD on offer is generic in nature. However, 52% of secondary teachers who responded to our survey want more opportunities to develop and refresh subject knowledge and practice and 73% of teachers working in pre-school want increased sector-specific development opportunities. Use of online learning could help to increase the opportunities for teachers to deepen and refresh their subject or other specialist knowledge. Some teachers across Scotland are already engaging in this way through Glow groups and communities. The Teacher Development Agency ( TDA) in England has established subject resource networks. Although these are targeted at providers of initial teacher education, the concept could be extended for all teachers through CPD.

We need to use data, and the outcomes of other national and international studies, to develop tailored forms of CPD which address specific subject-content issues. For example, we know from the Scottish Survey of Achievement (2008) 59 that many primary teachers feel least confident teaching ratio and algebraic processes within mathematics. The Scottish Schools Equipment Research Centre ( SSERC) provides targeted CPD to improve subject knowledge of primary and secondary science teachers. Their experimental, practical CPD sessions enable teachers to refresh and deepen their own scientific knowledge and understanding, as well as develop materials, resources, and relevant teaching approaches.

Teachers should have access to relevant high quality CPD for their subject and other specialist responsibilities.

This is illustrated in the diagram opposite.

Diagram 5.1 connecting the range of CPD

Diagram 5.1 connecting the range of CPD

As the diagram above indicates, CPD about pedagogy and subject-specific CPD are often seen as two very separate forms of provision. In order to continue to explore theory through practice throughout a teacher's career, it is important to relate generic aspects of pedagogy to specific subject content. This is often done well through peer support and challenge, with teachers mentoring and coaching each other.

National strategies need to be developed to prioritise and address areas within the curriculum where evidence, such as from national and international benchmarking or inspection, shows that there is a particular need to improve learning, teaching and attainment.

Examples might be the teaching of modern languages in primary schools, science, aspects of mathematics and Gaelic.

Accrediting a greater range of CPD

Internationally, there is a move towards teaching becoming a 'Masters-level profession'. The European Union's 'Bologna process' has been a powerful stimulus in this direction. Some research studies indicate that a teacher's academic calibre impacts on pupil achievement (Goe, 2007) 60. Based on an analysis of outcomes from the Programme for International Student Assessment ( PISA) across 25 school systems, the McKinsey Report (2007) noted a positive association between high performing systems and the level of teachers' qualifications.

The evidence on teacher effects is complex and not sufficiently conclusive to suggest an immediate policy of requiring all teachers to be educated to Masters level. Nonetheless, 39% of teachers who responded to our survey said they would undertake more CPD if it was accredited and 'A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century' called for maximum opportunities for teacher

CPD to be accredited. Such a policy would also send a powerful signal about the standard which CPD should meet; too much current activity is of a relatively low level. As yet, insufficient progress has been made towards achieving this goal and there is a need to provide a clearer pathway for advanced study. The Review is therefore repeating and strengthening the McCrone call for a greater range of CPD to be formally accredited.

A greater range of CPD should be formally accredited. Masters level credits should be built into initial teacher education qualifications, induction year activities and CPD beyond the induction year, with each newly-qualified teacher having a 'Masters account' opened for them.

CPD for supply teachers

Supply teachers and teachers not currently working in education face particular difficulties in continuing to develop their knowledge, skills and competences in line with appropriate professional standards. In examples of good practice, local authorities ensure access for supply teachers to CPD opportunities that they provide. The National CPD Team has made a positive start to engaging with supply teachers through the online community CPD StepIn. This provision should be extended and supply teachers should be able to access the breadth of materials and support available through Glow. Local authorities and national bodies need to do more to raise awareness among supply teachers of the support available to them. Regular supply teachers should be subject to professional review and development and local authorities need to coordinate support and challenge for their regular supply teachers more effectively, to ensure quality learning experiences for young people.

Accomplished teachers

There has been growing international interest in ways of recognising and rewarding what might be described as accomplished teachers. Around the world, this takes different forms including: nomination from senior managers for recognition; undertaking further accredited study; peer nomination based on observation of teaching skills; and examinations to test subject-content and pedagogic knowledge. In Scotland, the role of chartered teacher was originally conceived in the McCrone Report and was subsequently introduced in the Teachers' Agreement. Chartered teachers are explicitly not part of the management structure of a school.

There are very mixed views across the profession about the value of the role and the nature of the award, including the additional salary payment which it provides. Local authorities report difficulties in the management of budget allocations due to the open-ended nature of the process; the number of teachers who may seek the award in any given year is unknown. Currently, only around 2% of the profession, or 1,107 teachers in Scotland have become chartered teachers. However, a further 2,912 have partially completed modules on chartered teacher courses, gaining additional salary payments. Seventy per cent of teachers who responded to our questionnaire are not considering entering the programme within the next five years.

The chart below summarises responses to our survey covering those teachers who are currently undertaking, considering undertaking or not considering undertaking chartered teacher and other advanced professional study in the next five years.

Chart 5.5: whether respondents have completed, are currently undertaking, or are considering undertaking CPD programmes leading to various awards

Chart 5.5: whether respondents have completed, are currently undertaking, or are considering undertaking CPD programmes leading to various awards

This evidence, although not representative, suggests that the uptake of the chartered teacher role is unlikely to increase significantly in the next five years.

Overall, there is not enough evidence that the chartered teacher programme has as yet achieved what it set out to do. The programme does not always attract and reward our highest-performing class teachers and the nature of the programme does not ensure that participants are better teachers as a result of gaining the award.

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers ( SNCT) Code of Practice for the role of Chartered Teacher attempts to clarify expectations, including the use of the Standard for Chartered Teachers within PRD. It also helpfully sets out various responsibilities for chartered teachers and those who manage and lead them at school level. However, there is likely to be an emerging issue as more teachers reach an equivalent Masters level outside the chartered teacher programme. The result could be increasingly divisive and unfair. If the programme continues, therefore, there is a need to rethink the nature of this role. More focus on the impact of 'chartered teaching' rather than the status of the 'chartered teacher', might help us to consider more precisely the purpose and contributions of the role.

A recent international symposium on accomplished teaching and resultant national seminar (September 2010) hosted by the GTCS in partnership with the Scottish Government and University of Glasgow debated the future of chartered teachers in Scotland. The issues of recognition, impact and evidence were discussed. The group recognised that the SNCTCode of Practice needs to be more fully embedded. Ultimately, our aspiration should be for all teachers to reach the highest possible professional standards. The proposed new 'Standard for Active Registration' would clarify expectations for all experienced teachers in Scotland, learning from the chartered teacher programme.

In November 2010, The Scottish Government and COSLA decided to freeze entry to the chartered teacher programme. In the current financial climate, continued investment in chartered teachers must be linked to an expectation that they will, personally and working with colleagues, have a significant and distinct beneficial impact on young people's learning. In any reconsideration of the role, the analysis from this Review would suggest that:

The award of Chartered Teacher status should be based on a range of evidence, including improved teaching skills 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.


The importance of leadership for successful learning and the need to develop leadership qualities and skills from the outset of a career have been strong themes throughout this report. Scottish education needs to develop leadership attributes in all staff as well as identifying and supporting systematically its future headteachers. The review has argued that the kind of extended professionalism advocated for all teachers will provide a much stronger pool of potential leaders. This section looks more directly at how that talent can be developed. International experience suggests that good education systems identify effective leaders for today; high-performing systems grow and develop tomorrow's leaders in a planned and progressive way.

CPD for Educational Leaders (Scottish Executive, 2003 61) defined levels of leadership in order to create pathways for leadership development in Scottish schools. This document has been used well by local authorities and other organisations in the development of leadership programmes. Almost all of Scotland's local authorities offer leadership programmes for teachers. The target audience for these programmes varies, including those seeking an introduction to leadership, aspiring principal teachers, deputes and headteachers. Very few local authorities offer leadership development programmes which provide a clear pathway to senior management posts in schools. A few local authorities are taking forward future leaders programmes through a coaching approach which includes pedagogy. CPD frameworks developed in these authorities are intended to provide a structured progression to enable staff to grow as leaders and managers and often feature group coaching and rigorous self-evaluation. Deployment to development posts and 'acting' roles within and beyond an individual school can provide challenging and rich professional development for leadership and should be proactively included within broader plans for professional development.

A clear, progressive educational leadership pathway should be developed, which embodies the responsibility of all leaders to build the professional capacity of staff and ensure a positive impact on young people's learning. Account should be taken of the relationship between theory and practical preparation, including deployment to developmental roles.

Ninety-six per cent of teachers responding to our questionnaire who have completed the Scottish Qualification for Headship (standard route) found it to be very effective or effective in preparing them for their first headteacher post. Less data is available on the flexible route to achieving the Standard. Currently, only 68 teachers in Scotland have successfully completed the flexible route. Numbers of teachers embarking on the Scottish Qualification for Headship have declined in recent years, with a few local authorities withdrawing from the standard route.

We should continue the standard and flexible routes to achieving the Standard for Headship, building these into a more coherent overall leadership pathway, using the helpful levels of leadership defined in ' CPD for Educational Leaders' as a starting point. Research suggests that leadership preparation programmes are better aligned to support school and curriculum reform where there is a clear focus on both the technical and adaptive dimensions of change (Fullan, 2009 62).

The impact of the routes to achieving the Standard for Headship should be evaluated to inform further development of flexible routes.

Very few local authorities offer programmes of CPD aimed at experienced headteachers. When studying high-performing education systems around the world, McKinsey (2010) 63 found that: 'Apart from classroom teaching, nothing influences improvements in school standards more than the quality of headteachers. Wherever they are in the world, good headteachers share many common attributes and approach the role in similar ways. They spend more time coaching and developing their teaching staff, and interacting with students and pupils. They help each other and establish networks and clusters, which they then use for learning and development, and providing support to weaker schools'.

In Scotland, experienced headteachers have only limited access to high quality CPD beyond that offered by their professional associations. Woods et al (2009) 64 note that headteachers in post for two years or less prioritised CPD that addressed the technical challenges of the job. Experienced headteachers value professional development focused on building leadership capacity at all levels. Based on interviews with experienced headteachers, Stroud (2006) identified a demand for personalised programmes of coaching and mentoring involving heads in shaping their own professional development.

A greater range of CPD opportunities should be provided for experienced headteachers, from the middle years of headship onwards. The new national leadership pathway should not stop at headship, but should include ways in which experienced headteachers can continue to develop and refresh their skills and competences.

Many of our most experienced, high performing headteachers have the potential to contribute to system leadership in Scotland. In the current climate of reducing national infrastructure and ensuring maximum resources are available for the front-line of education, we should develop a pool of national leaders of education.

A scheme for national leaders of education should be developed to enable experienced, high-performing headteachers to contribute to system-level leadership of education in Scotland.

National leaders of education would continue in their current posts but contribute significantly to beyond their own school. This could include contributing to national deliberations, working more closely with policy makers, civil servants and national agencies, and advising on draft government policies and implementation strategies, not least in relation to teacher education.

Overall, we need to continue to raise levels of support for educational leaders in Scotland. Provision at present is not well coordinated, with a range of disparate sources of leadership support across a range of national and local providers. Given the need to nurture the leadership skills and talents of all teachers, in a culture of distributive leadership, better coordination of resources, support and development would be more efficient and would promote higher quality.

A virtual college of school leadership should be developed to improve leadership capacity at all levels within Scottish education.

This facility would provide a dedicated focal point for leadership development in Scotland. When developing this approach, lessons can be learned from the success of current developments in CPD, including the virtual staff college which supports the Association of Directors of Education Scotland ( ADES).