Decision to scrap teacher training scheme criticised as ‘short-sighted’

Mike Russell: possibility of extra cash. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Mike Russell: possibility of extra cash. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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SCOTLAND’S largest teaching union has criticised a “short-sighted” decision to scrap a scheme which allows members of the profession to increase their pay by developing their skills.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said ending the chartered teacher scheme would act as a “disincentive” for teachers to continue to develop throughout their careers.

The decision was announced earlier today by education secretary Mike Russell as he set out his response to the McCormac review of teacher employment, which was published in September.

Mr Russell said the chartered teacher scheme would be replaced by a new masters qualification, while moves to introduce “external experts” into the classroom would be looked at by Education Scotland.

He said: “We should aspire to a vision of teaching as a masters level profession and we will do so by building on the chartered teacher scheme. I have therefore set the National Partnership Group the task of bringing forward proposals to deliver opportunities for teachers to work towards masters level qualifications. Chartered teachers and those in the process of becoming chartered teachers should be given credit for the work that they have already undertaken and will be among the first to access these opportunities for masters qualifications.”

But Ronnie Smith, the EIS’ general secretary, said: “The decision taken by the cabinet secretary to scrap Scotland’s world-leading chartered teacher scheme is incredibly short-sighted and flies in the face of attempts to enhance teacher professionalism in Scotland’s schools.

“Scotland’s chartered teacher scheme has drawn praise from around the world as an example of best practice in improving overall teaching quality, yet now it is being sacrificed in an ill-conceived, cost-driven cut.”