New Professional Standards which set expectations and aspirations for teachers throughout their careers came into effect on Thursday 01 August 2013.

This suite of Standards, which have been developed by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), provides a framework for teachers to examine, inform, and continually develop their thinking and practice. The Standards are:  

  • The Standards for Registration (incorporating Provisional and Full Registration) 
  • The Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning 
  • The Standards for Leadership and Management (incorporating Middle Leadership and Headship)

The Professional Standards have been revised in light of changing contexts within schools and society. They dovetail with GTCS plans for a new scheme of Professional Update which will be required of all teachers from August 2014. 

The Standards were produced by writing groups drawn from across the profession, supported by a steering group consisting of representatives of all the key stakeholders in Scottish education including the trades unions, classroom teachers, Scottish Government, Education Scotland and others.

They seek to guide and challenge teachers in their professional learning and development and they provide constructive advice to support them throughout their careers. 

To raise awareness of the Standards and to help explain how they support teachers, GTCS has today also launched on-line materials, including innovative animations, to support self-evaluation. 

To view these and find more in-depth information about the Standards and their application click here. 

GTCS Chief Executive, Anthony Finn said: "The Professional Standards are integral to the working life of a teacher. The Standards for Registration support new teachers as they begin to apply in practice the skills they have learned in university. 

"Later, as they develop their classroom skills throughout their career and aim to provide the best learning opportunities they can for their pupils, the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning can provide constructive assistance. 

"Finally, the Standards for Leadership and Management offer guidance to those teachers who wish to take on leadership roles and/or move into promoted posts. Overall, the Standards deliver a sound framework for teachers to maintain, improve and extend their professional practice as their careers develop. 

"This suite of Standards feeds into Professional Update which will be fully in place by August 2014. Professional Update will give a constructive focus to the Professional Review and Development process, supporting teachers to improve their existing skills and learn new ones. 

"The Standards also link to the work of the National Partnership Group established to implement the recommendations of the Donaldson Review (Teaching Scotland’s Future, Scottish Government, 2011). 

"In short, these new Professional Standards will help to reconceptualise the teaching profession in Scotland."