“We know them best” – Report captures what children want from their teachers
16 Mar 2020
Children and young people across Scotland have contributed their views on what makes a good teacher and how they can best be supported through their teaching career.
Their views have been heard in a national consultation about the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) draft refreshed Professional Standards for Teaching and the new Professional Code.
Children in Scotland heard from children and young people in different settings across Scotland. Face to face sessions were held, with an accompanying resource pack focusing on the consultation process and children’s right to be heard, the role and demands of teaching and the suite of five draft documents, mirroring GTCS consultation questions where appropriate.
Children in Scotland Policy Manager, Elaine Kerridge, who led on the project, said:
“Children and young people are experts in their own experience and are best placed to comment on teachers' daily practice and how it impacts on them and their learning.
“A standout comment we gathered during the consultation process sums it up: ‘We’re pleased to be involved ‘cos we know teachers best’.”
The children and young people who participated were able to share their opinions and experiences of how teachers do and should put the Standards into practice daily, recognising what makes a good teacher and a good leader in their experience. They also stated they learned a lot about the demands of teaching through this process.
Through activities looking at the content of the suite of draft documents the children and young people shared their opinions on the design of the documents and shared suggestions for change.
The children and young people also gave suggestions about the content of the documents, such as ideas for key words/concepts to add in, based on what they believe to be important in a good teacher.
Their conclusions and recommendations included:
- Braille and audible online versions
- Simplified language in the documents
- Include direct quotes from children and young people in the documents to support everyone’s understanding
- The introductory document should incorporate ‘being relatable’, ‘being resourceful’ and ‘being honest’.
- For the Standards for Registration document the children and young people suggested including more detail on building relationships such as “saying hello is important” and body language because “facial expressions are important”. They also thought “a sense of fun” is essential and said the guidance should be “smart but fun, not all in black”.
Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar, GTC Scotland:
“We greatly value Children in Scotland's contribution to our consultation on a refreshed set of Professional Standards and revised Professional Code for teachers.
“The consultation was relevant to all stakeholders in Scottish education and as such it was vital that we sought the views of the children and young people in Scotland. The Professional Standards are used by teachers to support their professional growth and, therefore, directly impact learners.
“We have carefully considered all the feedback received on the consultation and
the Summary of Consultation Responses and Recommendations for Next Steps is available on the GTCS website now.”
Links to this report and our consultation report follow below.
Notes for editors
To download our report, Professional Standards and Professional Code: Consultation with Children and Young People, click here
To download the GTCS’s Summary of Consultation Responses and Recommendations for Next Steps, click here
The key findings in the final report delivered to the GTCS are divided into eight sections:
- Perceptions of teachers and teaching
- General comments regarding documents
- Introduction document
- Professional Code
- Standards for Registrations
- Standards for Career-long Learning
- Standards for Leadership and Management
- Role of children and young people.
Children in Scotland
Giving all children in Scotland an equal chance to flourish is at the heart of everything we do.
By bringing together a network of people working with and for children, alongside children and young people themselves, we offer a broad, balanced and independent voice. We create solutions, provide support and develop positive change across all areas affecting children in Scotland.
We do this by listening, gathering evidence, and applying and sharing our learning, while always working to uphold children’s rights. Our range of knowledge and expertise means we can provide trusted support on issues as diverse as the people we work with and the varied lives of children and families in Scotland.
In 2017-18 Children in Scotland worked with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) on the Review of the Professional Standards for teachers, specifically the section on Values.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland
The Council was the world's first independent self-regulating body for teaching and maintains a register of qualified teachers.
The Council carries out a wide range of statutory functions and initiatives to promote, support and develop the professional learning of teachers.
Professional Standards and Professional Code: Consultation with Children and Young People
Download our report, 'Professional Standards and Professional Code: Consultation with Children and Young People'.Download now