Welcome to GTC Scotland
Understanding the role of GTC Scotland at every stage of your career is crucial. In this issue of Teaching Scotland we focus on the work we do with students.
Each year, GTC Scotland processes approximately 3,500 students onto the Register of Teachers and then, for most of them, onto the Teacher Induction Scheme. There are four stages to the process:
- Student information passed to GTC Scotland
- Students apply for registration using an online facility
- Teacher Induction Scheme allocations are carried out
- Pass lists from the universities leading to registration
Processing the data
Numerous stakeholders are involved in the process, with GTC Scotland in the middle and co-ordinating. As you might imagine there is a small mountain of information and data moving throughout the process and a team of two people co-ordinate this at GTC Scotland - this is not always easy, especially as we get into July and the local authorities are trying to work out their staffing levels for schools. In addition to this they are trying to deal with approximately 3,500 students and seven universities and the various internal GTC Scotland stakeholders.
As with anyone who wishes to become registered, all students must go through an Enhanced Disclosure check and, where necessary, obtain overseas criminal records checks, all of which is co-ordinated by the GTC Scotland. John Adams, the Teacher Registration Manager, said that his small team works incredibly hard to make sure this works as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
"There are days when it feels like everything is going off the rails, but by working closely with our partners we normally get it back on track quickly," he said.
Keeping students informed
The team at GTC Scotland is very conscious of the one person involved in all of this who must be considered at all times - the student - and every effort is made to keep students informed of events and to deal with individual cases quickly and efficiently. John said: "Keeping the students informed is one of my key objectives, although this does need to be balanced with the need to get information out to local authorities quickly."
Individual case issues are always dealt with sensitively, although it must be remembered that the outcomes are not always what a student wishes to hear.
John continued: "The key to the whole process is fast, efficient and accurate communication between all of the stakeholders, especially the delivery of important data - it only takes a delay of one day for the process to come under pressure."
The allocation process
Despite misconceptions, the allocation process for the Teacher Induction Scheme is random and takes no account of personal circumstances other than disabilities. However, high percentage of students are allocated to their first preference choice.
Once a student is allocated, it would be unusual for that allocation to be changed because that would mean the allocated authority losing a teacher. The allocated student is supported by that authority, especially with regards to the allocation of schools within the authority's catchment area. GTC Scotland has no involvement in the allocation of schools and can't influence it in any way.
Controlling the information flow
There is a vast amount of information flowing throughout the whole process, ranging from general statistics to allocation details. The information flows between all stakeholders and GTC Scotland controls the flow of the information. John Adams said: "We are like the centre of a wheel with all information coming into the centre for processing and onward movement - it's a big job which takes hard work and a great eye for detail and once we get to June and July the team have to put a huge effort in to keep things moving".
The current cohort of students are just about to enter the classroom on their probationary service and we wish them the very best for that and for their future careers - and just in case you might think that we can take a break now, we have already started work on the 2010/11 scheme.
The statistics for the 2009/10 scheme are:
- 1st preference 73.7%
- 2nd preference 8.5%
- 3rd preference 5.9%
- 4th preference 2.74%
- 5th preference 1.18%
- 88.1% were allocated 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice
- 1st preference 55.3%
- 2nd preference 13.1%
- 3rd preference 8.67%
- 4th preference 4.18%
- 5th preference 1.93%
- 77.2% were allocated 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice
Step-by-step guide to registration
A step-by-step guide to how the registration process works for students:
- Universities pass provisional lists to GTCS
- GTCS upload information to database
- Students apply for registration
- Teacher Induction Scheme allocations take place
- GTCS passes allocation information to local authorities
- Universities inform GTCS of students who have passed their courses
- GTCS put successful students onto the Register