“Teaching Scotland’s Future”

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

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Photo of Margaret Smith Margaret Smith Liberal Democrat

I thank the minister for her statement and I thank Graham Donaldson and his team for what is a comprehensive piece of work that will help the next Scottish Government to improve Scotland’s teaching workforce. We welcome many of the recommendations around selection and on-going professional development and the focus on leadership and literacy and numeracy. We also welcome the announcement of a national partnership group to work on the recommendations and report back to the Parliament in September. The Scottish Liberal Democrats stand ready to play our part in that process.

We recognise that teachers are the primary resource in education and that they need our support. Will the minister give us some further indication of the Government’s plans to improve continuous professional development for teachers? CPD in formal and informal settings will be crucial not only in supporting teachers and improving their careers but also in sharing best practice across Scotland. Does the minister agree that it is crucial that the Government set out clear standards for CPD that are tailored to the needs of the individual teacher and clear standards for monitoring the effectiveness of CPD, which is absolutely fundamental in the on-going development of our teachers?