Empowering Schools: education reform progress update

Progress update on delivery of the Scottish Government's programme of education reform.

Chapter 5: Enhancing Education Workforce 

Next steps

In the Next Steps publication, we committed to:

Consult on establishing an Education Workforce Council for Scotland which will take on the responsibilities of the GTCS, the Community Learning and Development Standards Council and register other education professionals. The full scope of the functions to be undertaken by this body will be included in our consultation on our Education Bill in autumn 2017.

Joint agreement

The Joint Agreement noted that: 

There was consensus on the principle of widening registration in an Education Workforce Council (EWC) to others involved in learning and teaching, but that significant change in this area should be carefully considered. 


Responses to the consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill demonstrated that, whilst there was support for the principle of expanding the range of practitioners who could benefit from the support offered by a national registration scheme, there was limited support for the establishment of the proposed Education Workforce Council for Scotland therefore the decision was made not to establish this new body. Consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill

Having decided not to establish an Education Workforce Council we still believe there is benefit to ensuring that all those directly involved in teaching and learning have an entitlement to registration, where appropriate, and professional development to enhance the impact they have on pupils’ learning as set out below:

  • As of 1 April 2019 College lecturers are required to register with the GTCS. Registration will be phased over a number of years to reflect the wide range of qualifications, backgrounds and roles that lecturers in colleges bring to the sector. 
  • In addition, ‘affiliated status’ is available to Instrumental Music Instructors through the GTCS, should they wish to register voluntarily. Affiliated status offers members the benefits of registration with the GTCS.
  • The National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023 seeks to supports the continuous improvement and professional development of school librarians. 
  • The National Group on Home/School Link Workers will continue to build a package of support and guidance aimed at increasing Home/School Link support to schools across Scotland, including support to the workforce.

Going forward

We are working in partnership with stakeholders to facilitate a process of extending the benefits of registration to classroom support staff with the aim of developing a national empowering learning platform. We are also working with ADES and COSLA to facilitate the identification of any support requirement for Business Managers with the aim of continuing work with relevant stakeholders and Education Scotland to ensure they are able to access high quality professional learning commensurate to the important role they play in schools.

Through our collective endeavour to build an empowered education system there is an expectation that all support staff should be involved, listened to and invited to contribute their experience, expertise and ideas. These messages will be highlighted through the support staff section of the Empowered System Guidance with related links to appropriate learning opportunities.


Email: scott.miller@gov.scot

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