Learned Societies’ Group response to GTCS’ consultation on Professional Standards and a new Professional Code

The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish STEM Education (LSG) responded to the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) consultation on revised Professional Standards and a new Professional Code.

Teacher education is a key area of concern for the LSG. Its aim is to see teachers equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to provide high-quality STEM experiences in the classroom. A teacher who is both enthusiastic about the STEM subjects and adept at teaching them can serve as a springboard for students’ continued interest in these subjects. Unfortunately, primary teachers in particular continue to report low confidence in their ability to teach the STEM subjects, which can have negative implications for student performance and attitudes towards the STEM subjects. It is therefore critically important that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes are fit for purpose in adequately preparing student teachers to enter the workforce and teach confidently across the STEM subjects. Qualified teachers must also be offered regular and meaningful opportunities to improve their skillsets and understanding throughout the duration of their teaching careers. Career-long professional learning (CLPL) is also a key determinant of teacher empowerment, facilitating a better understanding of how to allocate time and resources, structure learning, adapt to change and participate in decision making at the school level and beyond.