Scotland instituted an “independent, self-regulating professional body for teaching after the decision to bring it into line with organisations such as the General Medical Council.” The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) will have greater flexibility and power when dealing with teachers who have “have fallen short of the standards of conduct or professional competence,” according to the UK edition of the Huffington Post. The Chief Executive of the GTCS, quoted in Scotsman.com, said, “We now have full responsibility for current and future professional standards; we determine the qualifications for entry to teaching; we accredit courses of teacher education; we determine the ‘fitness to teach’ of teachers and applicants for registration; and we have a duty to bring forward a system of Professional Update for registered teachers.” Also, see the video below from the Press Association:
A recent statistical study shows that the status of the teacher profession is increasing in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The study is part of the daring and ambitious teacher recruitment campaign GNIST (SPARK).
The GNIST campaign for the teaching profession was initiated in 2008. It is based on a concern that policies were not sufficiently directed towards ensuring enough well-qualified teachers in Norwegian schools. GNIST is a partnership agreement between a number of stakeholders, including: teacher education institutions, school owners (municipal and county governments), unions and the national authorities. Partnership objectives were to increase the quality and status of the teaching profession, teacher education, and school leadership.
One aim of the partnership has been to develop reliable indicators of status and quality and to measure progress. The latest indicator report shows that there has been a strong positive shift in media coverage of the teacher profession and teacher education between 2008 and 2011. There has also been an increased attractiveness in the teacher profession in target groups during the same period, and a 45 percent increase in recruitment to teacher education between 2008 and 2011.
Described as the most far-reaching reforms in New South Wales (NSW) in a century, the education department is shifting significant responsibility from the head office to the principal’s desk. Principals have greater autonomy to control staffing, finances, and maintenance at a local level. Currently, principals manage only 10 percent of funds, but the plan would give them authority over 70 percent of their budget, delivered through two revenue streams – for staff and for equipment and maintenance. Nonetheless, the NSW Teachers Federation expressed concerns about related budget cuts. “We fear for class sizes, we fear for staff numbers and the loss of specialist positions. This is a government hell-bent on making savings and making principals deliver them under the guise of autonomy.”