Important education issues discussed at UWIC event 

THE developing picture of teacher professionalism in Wales will be addressed by the Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Wales at an important education event this week.

Gary Brace is the guest speaker at the annual Cardiff School of Education’s Dinner at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), this Thursday 17 April.

After being at the helm of the GTCW since its inception in 2000 and enjoying a long career in education, Mr Brace will speak about the on-going massive culture change in the teaching profession with fellow experts at the Dinner.

Pointing out four post-qualification standards as some of the external drivers of continued professional learning, Mr Brace will discuss the support and new processes in place for newly-qualified teachers, head teachers and those in between.

“Our Chartered Teacher is a Wales solution,” he said. “There is no parallel in England and it differs in two fundamental respects from the Scottish Chartered Teacher scheme.

“But it’s not just the professional expectations and structure of support that is changing. Parallel with this, there are real changes in the practice of teachers and the way teachers think.”

This covers how teachers are now more amenable to opening their classroom doors, which contributes to professional self-confidence and enables the sharing of practice, which is encouraged.

Also touching upon what more needs to be done now that these major changes are underway, Mr Brace said: “The culture shift is in progress now but it is not yet uniform across schools and across the profession. We just need a little more joined-up policy at central and local level and a little less defensiveness about roles and powers at local level before the dam is burst and the river becomes an unstoppable torrent.”

Notes to Editors:

Gary Brace has been Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) since its inception in 2000. Previously, Gary was Assistant Chief Executive with the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales (ACCAC) and prior to that, history officer with the Authority. He spent 15 years at the ‘chalkface’ teaching history and government & politics in a secondary school and a sixth form college in Cardiff. He has been author and co-author of a range of guidance booklets for teachers and has undertaken education advisory work in the Russian Federation and Georgia on behalf of the Council of Europe. More recently, he is a member of the Wales Committee of UNESCO where he chairs its Education Committee. He has twice climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

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