Creating Role Models for Lifelong Learning

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Creating Role Models for Lifelong Learning


Gary Brace, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for Wales, reflects on the first five years of the Assembly- funded continuing professional development programme

THE General Teaching Council for Wales has managed a funding programme for the individual continuing professional development (CPD) needs of teachers for almost five years.

We have seen the programme develop from a successful three-year pilot, highly praised in a series of independent evaluation reports, into a vital resource for teachers with a regular funding stream from the Assembly Government.

Since 2001, some 20,000 professional development projects have been undertaken, creating a wealth of professional knowledge covering advances in good practice and new techniques, both from within the UK and across the world.

The minister's announcement that funding would increase year on year, certainly for the next three years, from the current pounds 2m, to pounds 3m in 2007/08, has allowed the GTCW to be more creative in the management and allocation of funding.

Simple measures such as making the application process more straight forward and marketing the scheme to groups which have traditionally missed out on funding, such as supply teachers, has seen the quantity and quality of applications increase.

Responding to feedback from the profession, we are piloting a new funding scheme from April 1 called the Group Bursary, allowing teachers within the same school to work together collaboratively on a development project.

With so much professional knowledge being generated, the GTCW has allocated pounds 100,000 to a programme of activities, so that participants can share the results and benefits of CPD with as many other teachers as possible.

That work dovetails with the Assembly Government's development of a five-year teaching and learning pedagogy strategy, which last year saw the first national pedagogy conference take place in Wales.

Local education authorities are also organising seminars and conferences, such as the one taking place in Cardiff at the end of this month. …

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