Licence to Teach: Licence to Train?

The proposal in the 21st Century Schools White Paper that all teachers should have their licence to teach renewed every 5 years is controversial. Setting aside the issues around how it might be done and by whom, the other key issue is the linked entitlement; that every teacher should have easy access to the support and training that is required for skills to be sustained. The other professions (e.g.medical, legal) presumeably (hopefully!) have established and resourced systems for a continuous ‘topping up’ of professional skills and standards. What of teachers? It is safe to say that each school and each context will be different (key problem: consistency and equality of entitlement). It is also safe to say that the opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers  vary hugely depending on the ethos of the school, pressures, budgets etc. The answer to all of this seems to centre on developing clusters for CPD. This appears to be a sound idea, particularly as CPD from outside the school is becoming more difficult to access and more expensive. However, cluster development is often akin to marriage; often troubled my a mismatch of expectations and under constant pressure from scarce resources.

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