Background

1.1 The following resolution was approved by the 2015 Annual General Meeting:

"This AGM instructs Council to investigate and report, with a view to providing national advice to members, on the implementation of Professional Update across Scotland and to monitor any attempted inappropriate use by employers in relation to Professional Update processes (Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning and Standards for Leadership and Management)."

1.2 Information was sought from LA Secretaries. 15 responses were received. 

Issues

2.1 While some LA Secretaries reported that Councils had been slow to address the framework required at local level to support Professional Update (PU) there were no reported concerns. This confirms the positive outcome from GTCS on the PU completion rates, which in February 2016, indicated that almost 97% of teachers undergoing PU had been signed off. 

2.2 There was one comment from a Local Association that some of the processes as set out on the GTCS website were not particularly clear. 

2.3 In general, the PU process has rolled out successfully. In particular, at this stage, there has been no evidence that the PU process has been used to question teacher performance.

2.4 The terms of the resolution also refers to the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning and the Standards for Leadership and Management. There is no evidence of these standards being misapplied during the PU process. On the contrary it appears that these standards are used by members to frame CPD needs and to use the Professional Review process to support professional development.

However, a significant issue has been reported regarding the standards. This relates to using the Standards for Leadership and Management to measure the performance of a Principal Teacher. These Standards are to assist an individual to evaluate their professional development, to participate in effective PRD, and meaningful CPD. The PRD process should not be used for performance management. 

Such development runs the risk of Standards becoming management tools rather than support frameworks for Continuing Professional Development. 

Conclusion

3.1 The PU process is in the early stages. However, it is clear from responses received that there are no significant concerns reported by Local Association Secretaries. 

3.2 Local Association Secretaries are asked to report any ongoing concerns to the Employment Relations Department to monitor the situation.