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STARTING FROM THE TEACHER FIRST THINGS FIRST David Cameron 8 th July 2014 Birmingham.

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1 STARTING FROM THE TEACHER FIRST THINGS FIRST David Cameron 8 th July 2014 Birmingham

2 2 Why it’s important The contribution of staff, especially teachers is the key determinant of success in school "In the end, it is the teacher in his or her classroom who has to interpret and bring about improvement.” Fullan and Hargreaves "You cannot have students as continuous learners and effective collaborators, without teachers having these same characteristics.” Sarason (1990)

3 3 There are at least four important ingredients for improving education. The first are the professional skills of those who work with children. Research has shown that factors like national or regional policies are less influential on pupils’ achievements than factors within each school Of the school factors, the skills of staff came top. The most important of these was effective classroom management

4 4 But what is the teacher’s role? Is it limited to tasks associated with teaching classes? Is it wider? What responsibilities lie with teachers?

5 5 Scotland as a case study Scotland has attempted to formalise this through looking at teachers’ terms and conditions through two reports on teachers terms and conditions and the Donaldson report on teacher training and professional development

6 6 The Gospel according to McCrone teaching assigned classes together with associated preparation and correction developing the school curriculum assessing, recording and reporting on the work of pupils preparing pupils for examinations and assisting with their administration providing advice and guidance to pupils on issues related to their education

7 7 promoting and safeguarding the health, welfare and safety of pupils working in partnership with parents, support staff and other professionals undertaking appropriate and agreed continuing professional development participating in issues related to school planning, raising achievement and individual review contributing towards good order and the wider needs of the school

8 8 All tasks conducted within set timescales with a 35 hour working week, limits on class contact time and guaranteed time for preparation and for professional development

9 9 Why did they need another report? Commitment to recognising teachers as professionals who should have flexibility rather than rigidly defined terms and conditions Keen to give teachers more professional autonomy to make decisions about how they spent their time Belief that progress would come better if driven by teachers responding to what was happening in classrooms

10 10 McCormac Curriculum for Excellence includes changes in governance and culture as well as more specific implications for content, methods and assessment. It covers the entire 3-18 age group, providing opportunities to build coherence and progression throughout a young person’s educational journey.

11 11 Therefore Teachers will work more closely together, learning from each other, developing common understanding of standards and appropriate assessment. Curriculum for Excellence also expects teachers, individually and collectively, to shape the curriculum and to think creatively about matching their teaching to the needs of the young people and desired learning outcomes.

12 12 The Donaldson Report also sees teachers as increasingly expert practitioners whose professional practice and relationships are rooted in strong values. The vision is of teachers who take responsibility for their personal professional development and who build their capacity to contribute to the collective understanding of the teaching and learning process. It sees professional learning as an integral part of educational change, acting as an essential part of well-planned and well-researched innovation

13 13 As both McCrone and Donaldson envisaged, we need a reinvigorated professionalism in teaching within which the driving force continues to be the best interests of young people. That professionalism needs to be buttressed by contractual requirements which provide consistency and fairness but also depends crucially on all teachers embracing professional obligations which go beyond that which can or should be embodied in a contract.

14 14 In our view it is also critical that a teacher is not perceived as being a lone figure with responsibility for their class or subject. On the contrary, the modern teaching professional must be a contributing team member delivering a wide- ranging curriculum tailored to the needs of every pupil.

15 15 Tackling social deprivation requires significant levels of care and attention, and it is teachers who are in a position to observe, identify and request assistance to help reduce impediments to learning. While the teachers’ primary role is to teach, teachers ………currently identify and respond to the wider needs of their pupils

16 16 In addition to being a skilled professional in the classroom, the modern teacher must have an awareness of a whole series of policies and initiatives…….. A teacher ……. not only needs the necessary skills and confidence to deliver a high quality education programme, but must also have the capacity to interact with the wider set of services responsible for the welfare of children.

17 17 Our education system should have the capacity and flexibility to deliver the outcomes identified within Curriculum for Excellence, irrespective of the background of the pupil. In facilitating this outcome our teachers should, in the words of the Donaldson Report, embrace the concept of “extended professionalism” and be able to go “well beyond recreating the best of current and past practice” to ensure the best possible outcomes for learners.

18 18 We are of the view that Annex B should be replaced by a set of standards which support the objectives of Curriculum for Excellence..…The standards should apply to all teachers working in Scotland. We are aware that the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) is now taking steps to revise the current set of professional Standards ……….

19 19 Donaldson the analysis of that evidence highlighted a number of key features of good teachers. They should: be reflective, with critical and creative thinking skills; be committed to teaching as a vocation; be committed to the development and learning of each child; work in a range of partnerships to support the learning and development of each young person;

20 20 have a passion for learning and deep understanding of and enthusiasm for their subject; have discernment to be able to put relevant theory into practice; share ideas and network with colleagues; be keen to participate in their own personal learning and development.

21 21 In short……. A demanding profession in terms of delivery. development and student support No enhancement Streamlined structures “buttressed by contractual requirements”, but only really 2 “butresses in terms of specified conditions Emphasis on professionalism and trust

22 22 What is your view? Autonomous professional working on a basis of professionalism and trust with few formal constraints? At risk of excessive workload and requiring the protection of specified conditions? Simply responsible for teaching classes

23 23 Is there a compromise? Definition of role negotiated locally, based on trust and professionalism, but with specification based on school culture and demands e.g greater definition of responsibility for delivering the curriculum

24 24 Developing the School Curriculum Teachers should accept responsibility for curriculum development associated with classes that they are assigned to teach. Any involvement in curriculum development for other areas should only be as part of collegiate activity or professional development. It must be undertaken by agreement and appropriate time must be allocated to allow the task to be overtaken within established terms and conditions.

25 25 Use of professional standards to define role e.g. The Standard for Full Registration in Scotland


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