Publication - Independent report

Independent panel on career pathways for teachers: final report

Published: 30 May 2019
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781787818378

Description of work undertaken by the group and its recommendations for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

50 page PDF

1.8 MB

50 page PDF

1.8 MB

Contents
Independent panel on career pathways for teachers: final report
Section 1: Summary of Recommendations

50 page PDF

1.8 MB

Section 1: Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 1: The Principles for Career Pathways should be adopted by the profession and all stakeholders.

Recommendation 2: A career pathway should be established for specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery through the creation of a new post of Lead Teacher.

Recommendation 3: New and developing career pathways for Headteachers within and beyond Headship should be recognised including new opportunities in system leadership.

Recommendation 4: Opportunities should be created that enable career progression both incrementally and laterally for all teachers.

Recommendation 5: A national model for sabbaticals should be developed for all teachers, including Headteachers, that is both attractive and sustainable.

Recommendation 6: High quality, systematic, coherent and accessible support for career development should be available for all teachers.

Recommendation 7: Further steps should be taken to promote teaching as a Masters profession whilst recognising the importance of work-based professional learning and experience.

Recommendation 8: Existing and developing national processes should ensure that opportunities for and access to career progression are coherent, fair and equitable.

Recommendation 9: A mechanism should be established to ensure workforce planning is effective and coherent at all levels in the system.

Recommendation 10: All recommendations from the Career Panel Pathways report to be implemented by August 2021.

Recommendation 1 - Principles

The Career Pathways Panel recommends that the establishment of all roles and opportunities within an empowered school system should be guided by a set of key principles.

The Panel has proposed a set of recommendations to support flexible and progressive career pathways, underpinned by explicit principles. These principles are rooted in a desire that all teachers, including those with protected characteristics (see glossary), have fair and equitable access to all available career pathways at all stages of their career. The intention is to design a career structure that improves the recruitment and retention of teachers and which supports teachers throughout their professional careers. This must take place within an education system which has adequate capacity, is done in a sustainable manner and based on effective succession planning from individual teacher to the wider system.

In detailing these principles, the Panel hopes to ensure a balance between national consistency, as determined by SNCT agreement, and local devolved process as agreed within Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers (LNCTs). The principles pertain to all teachers, including Headteachers, and are of importance for the individual and the school system. In addition, the principles are intended to guide the creation of and maximise equality of access to career opportunities, and to address the existing barriers to career development and progression currently experienced by teachers, including those with protected characteristics.

Recommendation 1: The Principles for Career Pathways should be adopted by the profession and all stakeholders.

The Panel has agreed three overarching groups of principles which provide a framework for the development of career pathways within the empowered schools system and which apply to all posts and roles within the system. These groups are:

  • Principles of Opportunity
  • Principles of Support
  • Principles of Recognition

Principles of Opportunity

All teachers at all levels should be afforded opportunities to lead throughout their careers in a variety of contexts at school, cluster, local authority, regional and national level. The range of opportunities should incorporate curricular and pedagogical specialisms, leadership related to particular policy initiatives, and leadership and management of people and systems.

Equity and equality should underpin all leadership opportunities.

Recruitment and selection should always be undertaken in a fair and transparent way.

Principles of Support

Opportunities to lead within the education system are of dual purpose: for the system to support the teacher's career development and for the role of the teacher to support the system to the benefit of children and young people.

Teachers and Headteachers should have the opportunity to discuss and plan their careers as part of the Professional Review and Development (PRD) process, and with a mentor or coach.

Leadership roles should reflect the professional values and commitment as set out in the GTCS Professional Standards fostering a culture of contribution and collaboration.

All teachers should be supported in pursuit of agreed professional learning for their career development with time and opportunity.

Principles of Recognition

Leadership beyond the role of the classroom teacher should be recognised and valued through the allocation of time and/or remuneration.

All leadership roles, including those which are fixed term, should have clearly defined remits and responsibilities, including parameters of time, resource and line management.

Recommendation 2 - Lead Teacher

Existing structures need to be redefined and expanded to support a changing educational landscape, allowing for greater opportunity and flexibility for teachers. Analysis of the evidence from engagement with stakeholders, gathered through surveys and regional events (see section 2 and 3), overwhelmingly indicated a need to devise a pathway within the teacher career structure which embraces leadership relative to specialisms in curriculum, pedagogy and policy delivery. This pathway would function alongside and complement the existing leadership roles, structures and posts.

Recommendation 2: A career pathway should be established for specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery through the creation of a new post of Lead Teacher.

There should be formal recognition of specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery, through the establishment of a new post entitled Lead Teacher which could be applied to any of these areas. For example, a Lead Teacher in Numeracy would embody curricular specialism; a Lead Teacher in Additional Support Needs pedagogical specialism); and a Lead Teacher in Raising Attainment would provide expertise in policy delivery.

Lead Teacher posts should be established as permanent or fixed term, as determined within the emerging empowered schools system.

Lead Teachers should have clear and agreed responsibilities as part of a progression pathway that runs in parallel with the existing leadership pathway as per SNCT staffing structures. There could be Lead Teachers at subject/department/stage level, school level, multi-school level, local authority level, Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC) level or national level. The salary arrangements for the Lead Teacher could mirror and extend to the existing pay spines for promoted posts, as set out in the next section on resources.

In addition, the Panel is of the view that there should be an expansion of time bound leadership roles within and beyond existing structures.

There should be interim stages available for all teachers to develop their experience and to enable progression for those who wish it within their chosen pathway. This would provide important opportunities to develop and demonstrate leadership skills and so be better prepared to take on future and leadership roles.

These roles can be creatively structured and determined locally according to agreed LNCT processes, and as outlined in the principles of the Headteachers' Charter, to meet the particular needs of a school community but must be defined according to the agreed principles of career progression.

Resource Implications

Lead Teachers are intended to be complementary to, rather than replacing, existing leadership roles, some of which may encompass similar elements to the new role. The focus of these roles will be on curriculum, pedagogy or policy development. The new posts should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, as part of a staffing structure which best reflects the curriculum and leadership requirements.

There needs to be a transition to this new structure including new duties and salaries determined by the SNCT.

The progression routes for Lead Teachers should parallel the existing leadership pay scales. Therefore, new salary spines will require to be developed for the new career structures. For example:

  • Salary spine for Lead Teacher with whole school responsibility.
  • Salary spine for Lead Teacher with cluster or local authority responsibility.
  • Salary spine for Lead Teacher with regional or national responsibility.

In the context of the approach being taken to school empowerment, flexible funding models should be available in or between schools to provide Headteachers with the ability to create new Lead Teacher posts. Consideration will need to be given as to how to ensure this is consistently applied across the system while recognising the principles of empowered schools.

Consideration of applicants for selection should be on the basis of what a prospective new postholder brings by way of qualifications, expertise or experience, and what they can offer by way of enhancing the quality of the service in the specific area of responsibility in question.

There should also be collaborative networks for Lead Teachers in order to support their professionalism and ensure that they are familiar with good practice, pedagogy, and national standards and expectations.

The Panel is of the view that the SNCT should take forward the recommendations with regards to structures, pay scales and a review of job sizing. It is recognised that this is a complex undertaking, though it should not hinder the timeous development of the Lead Teacher Pathway.

Recommendation 3 - Headship and Beyond

As part of its remit the Panel considered roles within and beyond headship. The Headteacher Recruitment Working Group published its report in November 2018, making a number of recommendations to support Headteacher recruitment and retention. The group however recognised that the Independent Panel would consider pathways into, within and beyond headship as part of the broader discussion about career pathways in teaching.

Recommendation 3: New and developing career pathways for Headteachers within and beyond Headship should be recognised including new opportunities in system leadership.

The Panel is of the view that the number of roles beyond headship should be increased. Opportunities should be expanded for Headteachers to participate in systems leadership in local authorities or in the context of RICs. This should build on the expectation that, in advance of being appointed to their first permanent post Headteachers will require to hold the Standard for Headship from August 2020, supported with professional learning in systems leadership such as that currently provided by SCEL, within the Professional Learning and Leadership Directorate in Education Scotland.

Opportunities should be created for placements or, where possible, exchanges with other key stakeholders such as Education Scotland, Scottish Government, GTCS, universities and professional associations. This would strengthen the connections between and enable greater shared learning among the key partners within Scottish Education, and contribute to the empowered schools system while allowing experienced educationalists to build their career in new ways.

New opportunities both within and beyond headship should be underpinned by a transparent recruitment and appointment system. The Panel is of the view that Headteachers considering a move into a role in Government or with an organisation such as a university, should be supported with high quality professional learning in systems leadership such as that currently provided within the Professional Learning and Leadership Directorate in Education Scotland.

In addition the Panel is aware that in recent years the role of Headteacher has changed with, for example, the number of joint headships steadily increasing. Accordingly the Panel is of the view that there should be national consistency in the naming of multi headship roles as part of a more clearly defined roles for Headteachers. The Panel understands this is a developing landscape but feel it is now necessary for these roles to be formally recognised and defined as follows:

  • Shared Head, a job share post where the responsibility of Headteacher is shared between two people.
  • Joint Head, a Headteacher who is the sole Headteacher in post, responsible for two or more schools.

These roles may exist as part of an understood pathway within headship and as such require specific support and mentoring from Local Authorities. All new headship roles should be appropriately job sized.

Resource Implications

Strategic planning should be undertaken by all partners to ensure that opportunites beyond headship are developed to enable appropriate career progression

High quality leadership professional learning in systyems leadership should continue to be developed and expanded by Education Scotland and RICs.

Multiheadship roles should be consistently applied and job sized.

Recommendation 4 - Career Progression

The Panel is ambitious to increase the range of opportunities for teaching staff, encourage a culture of collaboration across the education system and increase opportunities for exchange and learning between different establishments and sectors. Evidence gathered during engagement events, and through teacher and stakeholder surveys, revealed very positive views of secondments, working across sectors and sharing practice though collaborative working beyond the classroom. In order to create flexible career pathways which provide these opportunities and enable movement by teacher professionals across local authorities and to within stakeholder bodies, barriers need to be identified and removed. Annex D provides four case studies that illustrate the recommendations within the report.

Recommendation 4: Opportunities should be created that enable career progression both incrementally and laterally for all teachers.

Opportunities should be available to progress within a career pathway incrementally through promotion, or laterally between different specialisms. For example, a Lead Teacher in Numeracy could be considered for a Lead Teacher in Additional Support Needs post through an appropriate recruitment process. A school Lead Teacher in Raising Attainment could be considered, through an appropriate recruitment process, for a Depute Head Teacher post based on their prior experience even though they have not held a post as a Principal Teacher or Faculty Head. This movement could be enabled by appropriate job sizing or benchmarking. Attributing equal status to roles within new or existing structures will be desirable in developing a collaborative culture.

In addition, the Panel is of the view that there should be a straightforward, coherent and fair mechanism to facilitate movement within and between different parts of the education system. This will include recognising current barriers, such as variances in terms and conditions, and overcoming them by establishing a coherent mechanism (secondments/placements/agency). This will enable greater consistency of approach to movement within and across schools, local authorities, regional improvement collaboratives and other educational organisations such as higher education and national agencies.

Resource Implications

A national process should be developed to enable collaborative work between the various employers within the education system. The aim would be to set up a comprehensive mechanism, based on agreements between organisations to facilitate greater exchange and movement.

Recommendation 5 - National Model for Sabbaticals

There was a significant demand for sabbaticals apparent in the evidence gathered from stakeholders. Sabbaticals provide an ideal opportunity to undertake research, gain additional qualifications, and to engage in internal or international exchange, and in industry partnerships/placement. Teachers and Headteachers clearly demonstrated an appetite for sabbaticals as a means of refreshing and re-energising their careers. The perceived benefits articulated within stakeholder responses were supported by the international evidence gathered through the Literature Review.

Sabbaticals are not a new proposal. It was originally raised for consideration in the McCrone report, A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century, (2000). A challenging fiscal climate has delayed its introduction. However the interest and demand from teachers is clear from the evidence gathered by the Panel and sabbaticals for teachers are from international evidence, seen as an important element of an attractive career pathway.

Recommendation 5: A national model for sabbaticals should be developed for all teachers, including Headteachers, that is both attractive and sustainable.

Sabbaticals should be valued by the system and seen as an attractive element of career pathways for the teaching profession. In the interests of sustainability, their availability should be based on co-funding models that exist in other educational systems, for example, in Australia and Canada. There should be clear national criteria, agreed by the SNCT, encompassing local flexibility on what sabbaticals can be used for, that benefit the individual, the school and the wider educational system.

Resource Implications

A model for sabbaticals based on co-funding from the employer and the employee requires to be developed and phased into the education system. Access to sabbaticals should be provided locally, according to a set of national criteria approved by the SNCT and based on mutually agreed outcomes by the LNCT.

Recommendation 6 - Accessible Support

Every teacher is entitled to support from the education system for their career progression. This should be based on ongoing and effective Professional Review and Development (PRD), access to high quality professional learning opportunities and the active encouragement of teachers to develop their careers.

Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) funds should support teacher agency and professional voice in career choices, and support the wider education system to provide appropriate professional learning for career progression. There should be a particular focus on providing equity of opportunity across the country and on ensuring sustainability over time.

Recommendation 6: High quality, systematic, coherent and accessible support for career development should be available for all teachers.

The Panel recognises there are currently a number of initiatives in development from ADES, Education Scotland and the GTCS which will support and strengthen this recommendation.

The Panel is of the view that teachers should expect the opportunity to discuss and plan their career choices within the PRD process, and that all teachers, including those in promoted posts, should have access to high quality coaching and mentoring to support their career progression. This should include Headteachers at all stages of their careers, as recommended in the Headteacher Recruitment report.

The Panel is of the view that succession planning should be integral to considerations related to career progression and therefore should feature as an element of an individual's PRD and constitute a focus for school and system development.

The Panel is of the view that there should be a specific programme of professional learning for Headteachers at all stages of Headship. Building on current provision, a coherent programme of professional learning should be developed which focuses on systems within education, taking stock of the current empowering schools proposals and preparing Headteachers who wish it for progression to roles beyond headship as previously described in the report.

The Panel recognises there are a range of existing funds for CLPL that support career development. These funds are distributed across a number of sources and can seem remote and disparate to teachers seeking support for their career progression. The Panel is of the view that a strategic and focused mapping of CLPL funds available to support career development, should be undertaken as a step towards ensuring that existing and future funds, including resources directed to universities, are used fairly and consistently.

Resource Implications

Education Scotland's suite of programmes and The SCEL Framework for Educational Leadership requires to be expanded to include new career pathways for teachers.

Coaching and mentoring programmes are available in many local authorities; however nationwide expansion to making these available for all teachers at key points in their career development is a significant ask. All partners in the education system, such as Education Scotland and local authorities, perhaps collaborating through RICs, should consider how coaching and mentoring programmes might be developed and extended to be inclusive of all teachers.

A strategic mapping of CLPL funds at national and regional level should be undertaken by a joint working group to illustrate the range of funding currently in the system for professional development specifically supporting career development. This overview will inform provision and distribution of future funding.

Recommendation 7 - Masters Learning

In aspiring to the creation of a Masters teaching profession, Scotland continues support for the historical progression of teachers as highly qualified and intellectually competent professionals. This is a long-term ambition which in order to realise will require a culture shift in relation to professional learning and engagement. Such a shift would help to enhance teachers' status in society and to attract candidates with the requisite competencies, commitment and attributes to join the teaching profession.

The purpose of masters learning for teachers is to create a profession which has a depth of knowledge, understanding and experience rooted in the context of the classroom and school systems. Masters learning supports and develops critical thinking around key practices and issues pertinent to the delivery of high quality learning, teaching and leadership. The Panel takes cognisance of and concurs with the view expressed by some teachers and stakeholders that a masters qualification is not the sole marker of a highly competent teacher. There is much value in practical experience and ongoing professional learning. Academic qualifications would not in themselves guarantee an effective education system or a teacher's career progression within it. Appointments to leadership roles within new and existing pathways should always be predicated on credibility, competency, experience and professional learning as well as qualifications.

The masters landscape within Scotland is complex with a variety of provision across universities. University Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes offer the opportunity to gain a full masters qualification or masters credits or an honours degree dependent on the programme. A variety of models for post qualification masters credits sees funding being sourced from schools, local authorities, government and individuals themselves. There is a mixed economy of funding and provision across Scotland.

Recommendation 7: Further steps should be taken to promote teaching as a Masters profession whilst recognising the importance of work-based professional learning and experience.

The Panel is of the view that all universities, as their ITE programmes are reaccredited or new programmes and routes into teaching are developed, should offer the opportunity for students to engage with masters learning, though not necessarily to study full masters qualifications. This would allow teachers to begin building a pathway to masters qualification at the start of their careers. Further study throughout a teacher's career should build on their Higher Education experience and align to their chosen career pathway. Such opportunity for progression with academic study would require the continuation and strengthening of existing partnerships between universities, local authorities and GTCS.

The Panel is of the view that existing masters programmes at universities should be reviewed and tailored to interface with the new career pathway of Lead Teacher. These qualifications should continue to be funded through Scottish Government grants for masters qualifications.

There requires to be greater clarity in the language and definitions used in relation to professional learning and masters level learning, therefore the Panel is of the view that the Masters Framework Working Group should clearly articulate and differentiate the available professional learning routes and those which lead to masters qualifications.

Resource Implications

Universities will be required to show masters engagement and alignment with the Lead Teacher role within ITE programmes as new and existing programmes are accredited with the GTCS. Universities should review existing masters programmes in line with the Panel's recommendations.

The Masters Framework Working Group should ensure that taking forward the Panel's recommendations is part of their remit.

Consideration should be given by schools and local authorities to the provision of time for teachers undertaking supported masters learning. The Panel is of the view that as it becomes mandatory for new Headteachers to have gained the 'Into Headship' qualification, it is important that time is made available for aspiring Headteachers to complete this masters learning.

Recommendation 8 - Nationally Consistent Processes

The report emphasises the importance of flexibility and opportunities for teachers in their career development. However, this needs to be balanced with national processes that ensure equity of opportunity for all teachers in the system. Evidence gathered from across Scotland and from teachers with protected characteristics highlighted inconsistences and variability. Nationally consistent processes would support a fairer system for all.

Recommendation 8: Existing and developing national processes should ensure that opportunities for and access to career progression are coherent, fair and equitable.

The Panel recognises that the national portal for recruitment, myjobscotland is widely used to recruit education posts. The Panel is of the view that this should also be used consistently for new career opportunities including fixed term roles and exchanges or placements. This would provide all teachers with an awareness of career opportunities and with an established fair and transparent method of application and recruitment.

The Panel is of the view that the current work on the national online resource of the SCEL Framework for Educational Leadership' should be extended to encompass wider professional learning opportunities developed in partnership with and supported by all stakeholders. Along with the work by GTCS on MyPL, this would provide all teachers with an awareness of the extensive professional learning that is available to support career progression.

The Panel is of the view that the revised suite of professional standards produced by the GTCS should be reflected in the new career pathways.

The Panel is of the view that the creation of new posts and roles should be done in a fair and systematic manner. This could require a review of job sizing to ensure it remains fit for purpose. The Panel recognises that this would be a significant undertaking; however it recommends that the new career pathways are progressed quickly pending any revision as signalled in the resource implications under Recommendation 2.

Resource Implications

Extension of the work done by Education Scotland in developing a national framework of professional learning supported by GTCS MyPL is required.

Recommendation 9 - Workforce Planning

Teacher career pathways need to be developed through intelligent, evidence-led decision-making, informed by local needs and by local and national workforce planning. Taking cognisance of the evolving policy landscape and the developing Headteachers' Charter which empowers Headteachers to design local staffing structures, there is a requirement for an articulation between local demand for staffing and national workforce planning.

Recommendation 9: A mechanism should be established to ensure workforce planning is effective and coherent at all levels in the system.

A mechanism should be established to ensure that the most appropriate workforce planning information is available and shared across the system, from school level to national level. The emerging schools empowerment agenda and the newly established Headteachers' Charter focus on local decision making that makes a real difference to outcomes for children and young people.

It is imperative therefore that workforce planning is effective and coherent at all levels in the system. Scottish Government teacher workforce planning, in partnership with the universities, needs to be closely connected to the needs of schools, local authorities and RICs.

Resource Implications

The Teacher Workforce Planning Advisory Group should consider how to make information available at all levels of the system, ensuring Scotland has an appropriate supply of teachers to meet the needs of Scottish schools.

Recommendation 10 - Implementation

The ambition of the Panel is to establish new and meaningful career pathways for teachers, to encourage innovation within and consistency across the system, and in so doing support the recruitment and retention of high quality teachers. It is important that this work is done in a timely fashion.

Recommendation 10: All recommendations from the Career Panel Pathways report to be implemented by August 2021.

The recommendations should not be limited by the timeframe set. The Panel is of the view that there should be formal communication from the SNCT, through normal channels, of an implementation plan to support the recommendations before August 2020. The implementation plan should be reviewed for progress by SNCT on a regular basis.

Resource Implications

Groups and sub-groups within SNCT should be established to ensure the timely progression of the Report's recommendations.


Contact

Email: Angela.Felvus@gov.scot