This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Minister's message for new teachers
New teaching graduates are about to enter a profession with many challenges but also many rewards, a special conference was told today.
Education Minister Cathy Jamieson delivered the closing speech at the end of a ten-day conference for students graduating from the Faculty of Education at the University of Edinburgh.
"The teaching profession you are about to enter is very different to the profession that attracted you when you began your studies four years ago.
"The Executive - through the Standards in Scotland's Schools Act 2000 - put children and young people at the heart of teaching. And we realised that to do that successfully, we needed to accord teachers a status that recognised the importance of their role.
"You will be among the first to benefit from the improvements brought about by A Teaching Profession for the 21 st Century. The Agreement recognises that for too long our teachers have worked in conditions where we have expected much and provided too little incentive.
"We have relied on the professionalism of our teaching workforce without providing the rewards and support that professionalism deserves. Together with rights, professionalism brings responsibilities. But I know that teachers are responding well to the changes being brought through the Agreement.
"And I am pleased to underline the commitment of the Executive, local authorities and teaching unions to its full implementation by 2006.
"One of the most significant parts of the Agreement, and which you will benefit from right away, is the new Teacher Induction Scheme - a guarantee of a one year training contract with a reduced classroom commitment to ensure time is set aside for professional development.
"Earlier this month we announced that every eligible primary student has been found a place from this autumn. Good progress is also being made in working towards a similar successful implementation in the secondary sector. I am pleased to be able to say that we are almost finished this exercise and expect to issue letters in the very near future."
Ms Jamieson concluded:
"A good education system relies on everyone playing their part. You have chosen to become part of this system, a part which is central to the success of the system. I congratulate and thank you all for your hard work over the past four years and may I wish each and every one of you a satisfying and rewarding future in teaching."