Professional learning for teachers: minutes May 2018

A sub group of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education.

Attendees and apologies

  • Gillian Hamilton, Education Scotland (chair)
  • Ellen Doherty, GTCS
  • Clare Furze, Scottish Government
  • Robert Hair, AHDS
  • Susan Quinn, EIS
  • Zoe Robertson, SCoDE
  • Seamus Searson, SSTA
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Michael Wood, ADES
  • Scott Brand, Scottish Government (secretary)

Apologies were received from David Roy (Scottish Government).

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Gillian Hamilton said that this was the final meeting of the group and that the intention was now to agree a paper to submit to the Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE).

Minutes of meeting on 26 April

The draft minutes were approved without amendment.

Matters Arising

No matters arising were raised.

Professional Learning Scoping Study

Gillian Hamilton introduced the Scoping Study Report that had been discussed at the previous meeting on 26 April. She said that Yvonne McCracken would add some statistical data to the report around numbers of local authorities and teachers interviewed. However, this would not analyse teachers by grade as focus groups had been mixed.

It was felt that the report could be shortened by being more selective around the quotes used. This would encourage more colleagues to consider the report. It was also raised that the GTCS should be mentioned in the 'considerations' section to give cohesion and bring in Professional Update.

Gillian Hamilton agreed to revise the report accordingly and ensure that it had an Executive Summary added at the beginning.

Action: Gillian Hamilton

National Model of Professional Learning

Gillian Hamilton introduced the Model and said it had been revised following the previous meeting on 26 April. In particular “teachers” had been changed to “education professionals” and more prominence had been given to the role of system leaders to encourage cohesion and a strong culture.

The group discussed the model and offered the following comments:

  • delete 'other' from dialogue box
  • penultimate bullet point at top of page to read “Be relevant and meaningful for the individual and their context”
  • 'teacher' to be change to 'education professional' in the diagram
  • second sentence underneath diagram to be split into two. Stop after “supporting professional learning” and start with “It provides a shared language...”
  • 'individuals' box at bottom of page: first bullet to be amended by deleting first mention of 'professional'
  • 'School & System Leaders' box at bottom of page: fourth bullet to be amended by deleting 'Tool to'
  • 'CLPL Providers' box at bottom of page: first bullet to be amended by deleting 'Tool to'
  • remove lines from diagram to show better interconnectivity
  • 'Professional Learning' repeated across Model. Use only in introductory paragraph to cut down word count

Gillian Hamilton undertook to revise the Model in line with the Group’s comments.

Action: Gillian Hamilton

Bringing coherence to the teacher professional learning landscape in Scotland

Gillian Hamilton introduced this paper. She said that this would form the basis of the report to the SBTE and would include recommendations on bringing coherence to professional learning.

The Group offered the following comments on the paper:

Section 1:

  • combine first 2 boxes and ensure partnership approach of body responsible in leading is clear
  • third box should read “Education Workforce Council (subject to outcome of consultation)
  • final paragraph of section 1 highlights both national and regional levels. This should be given more prominence

Section 2 (a). Professional Learning Guidance / information:

  • an on-line pathway is needed for teachers and at present the National Improvement Hub (NIB) is not seen as a resource for teachers. Education Scotland web estate being reviewed and should consider a new name for the NIB
  • portability of academic credits between institutions has to be available to teachers
  • guidance needs to support Regional Improvement Collaboratives and allow them to translate this at a local level
  • MyPL paper being prepared for SBTE should align with this paper

Section 2 (b). Accreditation of professional learning opportunities:

  • currently have Professional Recognition, PL Awards, endorsement and accreditation. Teacher benefit needs to be considered and highlighted as this moves forward
  • needs simplified for both teachers and providers
  • not all PL opportunities need or lend themselves to accreditation
  • if accreditation is based on the Standards then for GTCS to lead on but more general PL will be for Education Scotland. However, potential conflict if both delivering and accrediting is by the same organisation

Section 2 (c). Online access to professional learning:

  • teachers keen to engage with research. However, EBSCO not always offering full access or known to majority of profession. Also National Research Strategy needs to link to the University/Local Authority Teacher Education Partnerships

Section 2 (d). Delivery of Professional Learning:

  • need to develop a route map outlining the national offer
  • Education Scotland needs to develop links with subject associations. Subject specific support is a large area that needs to be better understood

The Group agreed the following recommendations for the final report:

  • streamline duplication
  • review Scottish Framework for Masters in Education
  • professional Learning needs to connect to development of Career Pathways
  • establish an engagement group to take this report forward
  • new model of PL needs to serve local needs and not be viewed as centralist
  • link databases from various organisations
  • reduce barriers to teachers engaging with research

The Group agreed that the final report should include the Scoping Study (and executive summary), National Model and recommendations.

Action: Gillian Hamilton

Next steps

The revised report would be circulated to group members but the timetable for comment would be tight due to the need to submit to the SBTE Secretariat.

Action: Scott Brand

SBTE Secretariat
May 2018

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