“Teaching Scotland’s Future”

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th March 2011.

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Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

Ms McKelvie is right to highlight that the thrust of all that we do is indeed to get it right for every child, and getting it right for every child is not just the role and responsibility of Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Early Years. It is, of course, everyone’s responsibility. Given the variety of needs—whether they are learning needs or health needs—that children present in classrooms the length and breadth of the country, we are now expecting teachers to show a range of skills across a breadth and depth of health and social areas in terms of disability and learning difficulties.

It is right that the needs that Scotland’s children present in our classrooms are more adequately reflected in what is taught in initial teacher education, but I am aware that Donaldson was right to say that we cannot teach everything in initial teacher education. That is why the induction of teachers is crucial, as is continuous professional development, which has to be tailored to the day-to-day job and the children with whom a teacher is actually working.

On partnership working, we encourage teachers to work with other disciplines, which will, of course, have to be reflected in teacher training.