Hayden Llewellyn describes the development of the Chartered Teacher Programme in Wales.
In late 2003, the Welsh Assembly Government invited the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) to take the lead in developing a Professional Development Framework for teachers in Wales (see box below). In its July 2005 advice to the assembly, the General Teaching Council for Wales revealed there were no national professional development arrangements for the vast majority of teachers who were not in their early years of teaching or who did not aspire to headship or senior leadership posts in their careers. The council recommended to the assembly that this should be rectified by introducing a national programme of structured professional development – the Chartered Teacher Programme.
The council further recommended that those teachers who successfully complete the Chartered Teacher Programme should receive professional recognition for their achievements, in order that their standing be recognised both within and outside the teaching profession. This would bring parity with the existing professional milestones of QTS, Induction and Headship, which all offer national programmes of professional development leading to professional recognition. The council advised that the recognition should take the form of the award of Chartered Teacher Status.
The minister for education, lifelong learning and skills in Wales accepted the council’s recommendation and invited it to provide further advice on the detail of such a programme. This further detail was duly provided in July 2006:
The national programme of Chartered Teacher will be underpinned by professional standards. By undertaking and successfully completing the national programme for Chartered Teacher, a teacher will in effect demonstrate that he/she meets the relevant standards.
The council considers that there will be two routes to becoming a Chartered Teacher:
- a programme (taught) route
- an accreditation route.
The programme route
The programme route will have the following definitive characteristics:
- be relevant to classroom teachers, middle leaders and those who perform both roles. The programme will have a common set of core modules, with further modules targeted specifically at classroom practice or middle leadership. This will provide sufficient flexibility for teachers to tailor the programme to their own professional development needs and career aspirations
- be relevant to teachers’ daily work and practice, with a strong emphasis on analysis, reflection and improving practice
- offer a combination of delivery mechanisms, including: taught programmes; self-study; face-to-face training; workshop sessions; classroom observation; a residential experience; distance and web-based learning.
- have opportunities for teachers to gain credit for prior learning, through Accredited Prior Learning (APL) or Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), by drawing on their existing teaching practice and professional development
- enable teachers to undertake a small number of modules if they so choose. This will have the advantage of enabling teachers to undertake nationally recognised and accredited CPD without the need to complete the entire programme. The credit gained could be ‘banked’ for the future or used to seek some form of academic accreditation. In our advice to the assembly, we have recommended a sliding scale of recognition, depending on how many modules of the programme are completed:
- 60 credits at level 7 – postgraduate certificate
- 120 credits at level 7 – postgraduate diploma
- 180 credits at level 7 – Master’s
- the council will not specify providers. Instead, having developed the professional standards, it will be for providers to design programmes and seek their accreditation by the council. A key stipulation will be that programmes are designed and delivered in partnership.
The accreditation route
The council advised the assembly that there should be an opportunity for very experienced teachers to submit evidence (through APL or APEL), which demonstrates that they have already achieved the professional standards for Chartered Teacher. Comparisons may be made against existing arrangements in Scotland where very experienced teachers prepare and submit a portfolio of evidence and a reflective report, which seeks to demonstrate that they meet the standards for Chartered Teacher.
Funding for teachers
The council has recommended to the assembly that all teachers who seek to gain Chartered Teacher Status are fully funded by the assembly.
Piloting of the Chartered Teacher Programme in Wales commenced in September 2007 and it is anticipated that the first programmes will commence in September 2009. The council has invited all teachers with at least five years’ experience to participate.
Hayden Llewellyn, deputy chief executive GTCW.