Strategic Board for Teacher Education minutes: September 2019

Minutes of the fifteenth meeting of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education, held on 11 September 2019.

Attendees and apologies

  • Clare Hicks                           Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Scott Brand                          Scottish Government (Secretary)
  • Michael Wood                      ADES
  • Sharon McLellan                 AHDS
  • Khadija Mohammed           University of the West of Scotland
  • Eddie Follan                         COSLA
  • Gillian Hamilton                  Education Scotland
  • Susan Quinn                        Educational Institute for Scotland
  • Charlaine Simpson             GTCS
  • Tara Lillis                               NASUWT
  • Duncan Lawrie                     Newly Qualified Teacher
  • Barrie Sheppard                   NPFS
  • Anne Paterson                     Regional Improvement Collaboratives
  • Jim Thewliss                         School Leaders Scotland
  • Barbara Coupar                   Scottish Catholic Education Service
  • Ian Rivers                              Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Mary Knight                          Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Margaret Lannon                 Scottish Council for Independent Schools
  • David Roy                              Scottish Government
  • Kevin Hanlon                        Scottish Government
  • Seamus Searson                 Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association
  • Alison Allan                          Education Scotland (for SBTE/15/04)
  • Gordon Bone                        Education Scotland (for SBTE/15/04)
  • Andy   Travis                         Education Scotland (for SBTE/15/04)
  • Evelyn Bowes                       Scottish Government (for SBTE/15/05)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

1. Clare Hicks welcomed Khadija Mohammed, who is joining the Board to bring particular expertise in race equality matters. It was also noted that Charlaine Simpson was attending in place of Ken Muir, Tara Lillis for Jane Peckham and Mary Knight as an additional SCDE representative for this meeting only.     

2. Apologies were received from Dougie Atkinson, Kirsty Elder, Ken Muir, Jane Peckham and Gillian Campbell-Thow.  

Minute of previous meeting 

3. The minutes of the meeting of 22 May 2019 were agreed as an accurate record and that they should be made available on the Scottish Government website. It was noted that when minutes are agreed by the Board the related agenda and papers would then be published. This will ensure that papers and minutes can both be read in context.  

Action point - Secretariat to publish minute of 22 May meeting and associated papers on the Scottish Government website.

Career Pathways

4. David Roy updated the Board on the report of the Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers. This work falls within the remit of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), which has established three working groups to consider the areas of lead teacher, leadership and beyond, and sabbaticals. The membership and timescales for reporting of these working groups will be decided by the SNCT at their meeting on 26  September.

Evaluation of Alternative Routes (SBTE/15/03)

5. Clare Hicks confirmed that eleven alternative routes were announced by the Deputy First Minister in November 2016 and an additional seven have since been added to this package.  These routes represent a significant investment on the part of SG, universities and students and Clare emphasised the importance of developing a shared understanding of their impact as well as emerging lessons that can be learned and used to inform their ongoing development and delivery.  

6. Kevin Hanlon introduced the paper by talking the Board through the approach that had been taken to secure an understanding of their impact and emphasised the detail presented reflected the stage that has been reached in the evaluation process. It did not offer a conclusion about the success or otherwise of each programme but did highlight the key emerging considerations and actions that are to be taken forward in discussion with universities, GTCS, Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) colleagues to determine what we have learned from their introduction and what it is we should be looking to change as a result. 

7. In terms of impact to date, the analysis confirms that over the past two academic years:

  • approximately 780 students had started on these programmes
  • an overall retention rate of 84% is being achieved, which compares favourably with the national average of 80% for traditional undergraduate/post graduate programmes. 
  • there has been no lowering of entry requirements for students or in the quality of programme content
  • they are helping to address STEM shortages in rural areas and encouraging career changers into the profession;
  • the financial support on offer to participants available through some of these programmes is proving to be a significant factor in encouraging individuals to apply.   

8. The Board also discussed the:

  • importance of mentoring across all programmes. It was agreed it would be helpful if ES provided an update on progress against delivery on the commitment within the Headteacher Recruitment report that they should explore a national coaching and mentoring offer for teachers in relation to leadership development. It was also noted that the SNCT Lead Teacher Working Group should also be invited to consider this issue. 
  • demographic information that had been gathered on each programme. It was agreed this should form part of the work on data collection that is being led by the BME Working Group.
  • issue of GTCS professional registration categories for students on some of the alternative routes. Whilst there were differing views on the need for this approach, it was agreed the appropriate forum for considering this issue was the GTCS.

9. In concluding the discussion the Board acknowledged this was an interim evaluation and agreed that increasing awareness of the alternative route provision and importantly the skills they are helping students to develop was a task that all Board member organisations could help to support. The Scottish Government agreed to draft a narrative providing this detail for others to draw from and to also consider how the teacher recruitment campaign could best reflect this provision.  

Action point – ES to produce a paper on their coaching and mentoring offer to the profession for the next meeting.

Action point – Secretariat to invite SNCT Lead Teacher Working Group to consider the issue of coaching and mentoring. 

Action point – The BME Working Group to ensure that the alternative routes are included in work they are taking forward to gather data on the diversity of ITE students. 

Action point – Scottish Government to produce a narrative that can be used by all to promote alternative routes and to also consider how the teacher recruitment campaign can reflect this provision. 

Enhanced Leadership Support Package for Teachers (SBTE/15/04) 

10. The ES Professional Learning Team gave a presentation (slides attached) to the Board on the Excellence in Headship (EiH) programme. The EiH is an annual offer made to Headteachers with at least 2 years’ experience in post. 

11. The programme starts with a 2 day residential event for participants who then choose from a range of professional learning opportunities structured around the six themes of the programme. EiH has no end point for participants and is ever evolving. 

12. The programme has been revised in light of recent policy developments such as the Headteachers’ Charter, Devolved School Management and the recommendations from the Headteachers Recruitment Working Group. The programme encourages deeper learning by headteachers around collaboration at system level and empowerment at school level.  The programme also offers a values-based leadership academy delivered by Columba 1400.   

13. To date 27% of all headteachers have completed their induction. Impact has been positive with headteachers reporting increased levels of confidence, knowledge and skills. They also said that they were likely to implement learning in practice and that the learning opportunities met their expectations and were of high quality.   

14. The Board were asked for their views on any additional areas the programme should cover. Key points included:

  • more focus on wider system learning e.g. partnership working with other stakeholders such as social work;
  • encouraging headteachers to be more accessible to the community they serve;
  • more awareness and knowledge of how to promote BME issues and opportunities.
  • more support for headteachers working across two or more schools.

15.  The team agreed to share participation data including participation breakdown across local authorities with the Board. It was considered that the range of experiences of headteachers across the cohorts adds to the richness of participant experience and the programme overall.

Action point – ES to share EiH participant demographic data with the Board

Masters guidance  

16. Gillian Hamilton updated the Board on progress with developing Masters ES had met with representatives of SCDE on 2 September.  The meeting had been positive and it was agreed by both parties that new guidance was needed. This will be jointly developed and published by ES and SCDE and will include information for teachers, employers and universities. 

Action point – Education Scotland to keep the Board updated with progress on developing the Masters guidance.

Research Strategy Publication: Knowledge Utilisation Mapping Study (SBTE/15/05)

17. Evelyn Bowes introduced this paper by confirming that the study supports an aim of the Research Strategy for Scottish Education, which is to empower practitioners to produce and use evidence and data. The study was undertaken by the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow and drew on different perspectives, such as those of the RIC leads and Attainment Advisors.  

18. The study found that time and workload pressures were preventing teachers engaging with research. It also identified the need for research skills to progress the attainment agenda and that the influence of key players such as attainment advisors and educational psychologists was vital to increased engagement. A working group is to be established to build on the findings from the study. 

19. The Board highlighted the need to ensure the working group takes account of where research is actually happening, given that the Teacher Leadership programme includes enquiry projects and that some local authorities ask teachers to carry out enquiry projects during their probationary year. It was felt that teachers were willing to engage with research but whether this happened was very much down to the ethos of the school. Access to research, especially that which is relevant to the Scottish system was an issue, as was connecting teachers with academic experts and sharing results from robust and quality projects. 

20. Membership of the Working Group has yet to be finalised and Susan Quinn asked if the EIS could be involved. 

Action point – Secretariat to pass on to Evelyn Bowes any requests for representation on the Working Group from Board member organisations. 

Work Plan & Action Tracker

Work Plan

21. Clare Hicks confirmed the action tracker and work plan were up-to-date. No issues were raised by members.   

Update on Sub-group on Early Phase Career of Newly Qualified Teachers

22. Kevin Hanlon confirmed that the Sub-group will hold their 2nd meeting later that day and would be considering two substantive items. The first is an analysis of data from the Teacher Induction Scheme and the second is a draft questionnaire that is to be launched at the Scottish Learning Festival on 25 September. This will used to gather views of teachers at the 2-5 year stage of their post probation career on the extent to which they feel their probation and post probation experience and professional learning to date has supported them to discharge their duties as an effective teacher; and to consider areas of further professional development needed at this early phase of their teaching career. The Sub-group will report findings to the Board at the next meeting on 28 November. 


23. None raised. Clare Hicks noted that this was the last meeting of the Board which she would chair and thanked the Board for their support and commitment across the breadth of teacher education.

Agenda for Next Meeting

24.  Items under consideration for the next meeting include:-

  • Student Placement System
  • ITE intake figures
  • Revised GTCS Standards
  • Diversity Working Group – update
  • Education Scotland Professional Learning Offer to Teachers
  • Coaching and Mentoring Offer to Teachers
  • Update on Early Phase Career Sub-group

 25. Members were asked to submit any items for consideration to the Secretariat.

Date of future meetings

 26. Date of future meetings are:-

  • Thursday 28 November at 10.00 am venue to be confirmed.  
  • Wednesday 5 February at 2.00 pm, Optima Building, Glasgow  
  • Wednesday 29 April at 2.00 pm venue to be confirmed.  

Action point – Members to suggest venues for future meetings.

SBTE Secretariat

October 2019



Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE)
c/o Scottish Government
Learning Directorate
Victoria Quay

Tel: 0131 244 4000 or 0300 244 4000 (for local rate throughout UK and for mobile)

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