Introduction from the Chair
Scotland has always been ambitious for its children and young people and for the quality of their education. Teachers are at the heart of the education system and fundamental in supporting all Scotland's children and young people to achieve their full potential. Ensuring we recruit and retain the best possible teachers is critical - teachers who are motivated and inspired to achieve the highest possible standards of learning and teaching within a complex and evolving education system. Teachers in Scotland need career pathways that offer opportunity and progression, affording them choice; Scotland needs career pathways for the profession that will enhance our ability to recruit and retain the best teachers for our children and young people.
In response to a request from the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) an Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers was established.
The aspiration to develop new career pathways for teachers originated in the commitments jointly made between the Scottish Government and teacher unions at the International Summit for the Teaching Profession 2017 (March 2017), and were part of the Education Governance-Next Steps paper (Scottish Government, June 2017).
The International Council of Education Advisers and the Scottish Education Council supported the call for the development of new career pathways for teachers, which would lead to the creation of a wider range of opportunities, increased collaboration and the establishment of new pathways which would support teachers in a high performing system. This was also recognised in the 2017-18 SNCT Pay Agreement.
The Panel was tasked to identify flexible pathways and opportunities for teachers, and later was asked to include Pathways for Headteachers in its deliberations in light of the recommendations of the Headteachers Recruitment Working Group. Subsequently, the Panel undertook a wide range of work including stakeholder engagement events, teacher and stakeholder surveys and an internationally focused literature review. The current policy context in Scotland and already established work streams which were connected to career development were also considered as part of the evidence gathered.
The Panel's task is central to supporting and enhancing the teaching profession. Teacher professionalism, teacher knowledge and teacher progression are woven into a teacher's identity and standing within society, therefore the Panel was committed to recommending pathways which would garner the support and confidence of the profession, stakeholders and the wider community. Members of the Panel committed to work together in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration in which all Panel members had a voice and the process of constructing any new pathways was transparent.
Over the past months the Panel has been committed in energy and purpose to this work. It has endeavoured to ensure that all voices within Scotland's Education community have had an opportunity to be heard and to contribute to this important task. Conversations were had at both a local and national level, exploring and engaging with concepts, challenges and ideas. I would like to thank everyone working in Scottish Education who contributed to this conversation. I would also like to thank every individual member of the Panel for their dedication, time, patience and insight, ensuring this report was completed in a spirit of cooperation and full participation.
Deputy Head of School of Education
University of Glasgow