In a letter to the DfES in May Universities Council for Education of Teachers (UCET) expressed concern that teachers working in city academies do not need to be members of the General Teaching Council (GTC).

In her reply in July Jacqui Smith, the minister of state for schools and 14-19 Learners, says, ‘Academies are independent schools and are, therefore, not bound by the same statutory requirements as maintained schools, including following the Teachers Pay and Conditions Document and the requirement that teachers register with the GTC. Decisions about the pay and conditions of staff are, therefore, rightly within the purview of an academy’s governing body.’ She goes on to say that many of the teachers in city academies will have transferred from predecessor schools and are likely to carry over their individual GTC membership.

Among the CPD concerns of UCET is that teachers who are not members of the GTC will not have access to the Teacher Learning Academy of the GTC or to its Connect and Engage networks and not have the benefit of the links developed between the TLA and Leading from the Middle and postgraduate professional development.

Leadership of CPD in networked contexts

In the last issue of CPD Update we reported the forthcoming seminar on this subject planned to take place on the 15 July. The Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) had been commissioned by the Networked Learning Group of the National College for School Leadership and by the TTA (now the Training and Development Agency for schools) to look at the kinds of CPD that work well in networked contexts and the kind of policy initiatives that help to motivate and sustain such CPD.

The seminar itself covered a lot of ground and included a lot of stakeholders with experience of networked professional learning. There is insufficient space to describe all that took place but it was clear that there is no longer any doubt being expressed that networks and networking are beneficial to CPD and it is also becoming increasingly obvious that what has been learned about the value of networked professional development will be taken forward so that it encompasses collective responsibilities for children. In other words, extended schools and a remodelled workforce mean extended and remodelled CPD.

A detailed report will become available in the autumn but meanwhile you might find it useful to keep visiting the NCSL and TTA websites and also to look at: www.curee-paccts.com/index.jsp.

14-19 white paper implementation plan

We hear from the DfES that in November we can expect the details of how the changes outlined in the 14-19 white paper are to be carried out. CPD Update will endeavour to keep you informed as further news emerges.

We also heard that on 20 July the first meeting of the 14-19 Advisory Group took place.

The GTCE’s Engage network

The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) recently launched its new Engage network (beginning this month). This is for newly qualified teachers and those in the first five years of their professional life. Mentors and those with an interest in early professional development such as CPD leaders can also join it, making it possible to ensure that the Career Entry and Development Profile of NQTs is carried forward into the school situation.

The network aims to support such teachers with termly electronic newsletters, the opportunity to take part in project group meetings and in a scheme to pair with more experienced teachers. NQTs will be automatically enrolled.

CPD Update attended one of the introductory conferences held in Liverpool on the 29 June. It was clear that the many teachers attending found joining the network very useful and enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences with colleagues. Engage fills a gap left when the government withdrew its promised financial support for Early Professional Development and, for the leader/co-ordinator of CPD, it makes sense to regard it as complementary to membership of the GTCE’s Connect network.

In order to contact Engage go to: www.gtce.org.uk/networks/engagepage.

Are you ready for inspection?

‘The new inspections are on their way but are you prepared? Don’t panic.’ This is how a recent press release from Ofsted began. It is about the self-evaluation form (SEF). It goes on to say that Ofsted have produced a series of ‘helpful leaflets to explain how the new inspection framework impacts all the different inspection arrangements’.

Useful information can be obtained from www.ofsted.gov.uk/schools. The SEF and Guidance Notes can also be obtained from http://forms.ofsted.gov.uk/edc2005/.

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