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Why teach in Scotland?
What's the Scottish approach to education?
How much will I get paid?
How can I develop my career in Scotland?
I'm a qualified teacher from outside Scotland, how do I register to work there?
Who should I contact?
Local authority contact details
A small country with a history of innovation - and plenty of room for talented teachers
With a population of five million people, the Scotland of the past and present has left a mark on the world that far exceeds its size.
While the Scottish Enlightenment rocked the world in the 18th century, the 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution and the golden age of Scots invention. From Scotland's universities and engineers came the steam engine, the steam ship, the telephone, the tarmac road and many other inventions.
By the 20th century, Scots were developing great institutions. Logie Baird pioneered television, while Lord Reith created the BBC.
Our unabated pioneering spirit is perhaps one of the reasons people are drawn to Scotland to live, work and study. We remain one of the world's most inviting and hospitable countries, and are actively attracting Fresh Talent to our shores in order to continue to grow and develop as a nation.
"We want to welcome bright, talented, hard-working people from around the world-people who can make a positive contribution to Scotland. If we are to compete-and succeed-in the global economy, then we'll need a constant flow of fresh skills to complement our own home-grown expertise.
It is for these reasons the Fresh Talent initiative was established. It is geared to work with our universities and businesses to attract talented, hard-working people-to live, learn and work in Scotland."
Rt Hon Jack McConnell MSP
Why teach in Scotland?
Scotland offers you a fantastic quality of life. It's also a friendly and welcoming place - so you'll feel at home in no time.
The big advantages?
A healthy environment, affordable housing and relatively short commuting times. But there's more to Scotland than that.
With more spare time (and money), you can really start to enjoy life. Whether you're into rock climbing in the Cairngorms, scuba diving in Scapa Flow or shopping in Glasgow's designer boutiques, Scotland has it all.
For such a small country, Scotland has a huge variety of landscapes-from cosmopolitan cities to beautiful unspoilt countryside.
Scotland also has a distinctive culture, with its own legal and educational systems. Since 1999, Scotland has had its own Parliament, which decides most issues affecting life here.
And although Scotland is very much a vital part of the UK, it definitely retains a unique identity.
Teaching in Scotland
You might be wondering why Scotland has so many places for teachers like you. The reason is simple.
By 2007, the Scottish Executive wants to increase the number of teachers to 53,000. Added to this, the Executive wants to reduce class sizes in Maths and English-to 20 pupils in secondary schools, and 25 pupils in year one of Primary Education.
It also has a target to increase the number of visiting specialist teachers in Music, Physical Education and Modern Foreign Languages.
What's more, there are extra teaching opportunities in Physics, Technological Education and Home Economics.
So the answer is simple: Scotland will need to employ extra teachers.
Travel in Scotland
Scotland has excellent air, rail, coach and bus networks. So it's easy to get around. It's also easy to get out of the city, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Cleveden Secondary School
"We moved to Scotland because of my husband's job - and only planned on staying for five years. Now I can't imagine moving back.
I've worked in several schools in Glasgow and I've always had a lot of support wherever I've worked. It's a great city to live and work-there's so much to do.
I really feel that teachers have a much better deal up in Scotland, and it's thanks mainly to the McCrone Report. The pay and working conditions are better - and the lifestyle benefits far outweigh any yearning to go back down south.
I would urge any teacher considering a move to Scotland to fully embrace it, as it's well worth the move. You'll never go back."
What's the Scottish approach to education?
Education is a big part of Scottish culture - in fact, it's been compulsory here for over 500 years.
By 1707, Scotland had 4 universities. Today, there are 21 universities and colleges providing education at degree level.
Add to that 46 further education colleges, 2,217 primary schools, 386 secondary schools and 190 special schools - and it's obvious we take education very seriously.
So it's no surprise the quality of Scottish teaching is renowned all over the world. Scottish qualifications are also widely recognised.
The result? Scotland's impressive record of inventions-such as the decimal point, criminal fingerprinting, the ultrasound scanner, television and the telephone.
What will I teach when I get to Scotland?
This depends on whether you teach Secondary Education or Primary Education.
1. Secondary Education
Young people in Scotland go to Secondary school for up to six years. The classes are labelled S1 to S6, and the pupils are usually aged from 12 to 18.
The Secondary school exam system is based on National Qualifications. These are designed to develop five core skills: communication, numeracy, problem solving, information technology and working with others.
The National Qualifications system is run by the Scottish Qualifications Authority ( SQA).
This is Scotland's national body responsible for qualifications other than degrees.
Pupils are taught subjects across the 5 to 14 Curriculum. The idea is to allow an easy move from primary school into the early years of Secondary Education.
When young people reach their third year of Secondary Education, they choose up to eight subjects for their Standard Grade exams. It takes two years (S3 and S4) to complete these studies.
Pupils can study a wide range of subjects at Standard Grade. However, every pupil must study English, Maths and a Science subject.
All Standard Grades are offered at three levels: Credit, General and Foundation-designed to offer every young person the chance to work to their own abilities.
After Standard Grades, pupils usually take examinations at Higher Grade. Pupils choose up to five Higher Grade subjects, the choice is entirely up to them.
2. Primary Education
In Scotland, pupils have to attend Primary Education from the ages of 5 to 12. The classes are labelled P1 to P7.
The Scottish Executive Education Department ( SEED) and Learning and Teaching Scotland ( LTS) produce guidance on Primary Education. This ensures the curriculum gives all pupils breadth, balance, continuity and progression.
How much will I get paid?
Figure 1: Classroom Teachers - Salary Scale
From April 2006
From April 2007
Scotland has a salary scale for classroom teachers (see Figure 1). Your employer will work out your salary based on your teaching experience. Most teachers move one point up the salary scale for every extra year they've been teaching.
Classroom Assistants help teachers with routine tasks. This allows teachers to do what they're best at: teaching.
Over the last few years, the Scottish Executive has increased funding, allowing local authorities to employ more Classroom Assistants. It's a big commitment to help support Scotland's teachers.
How can I develop my career in Scotland?
The Scottish Education system is designed to let good teachers rise to the top. There are structured programmes to develop your career-whether you want to stay in the classroom, move into leadership or become a Head Teacher. The system behind all this is called Continuing Professional Development ( CPD).
What is Continuing Professional Development?
Continuing Professional Development ( CPD) helps teachers make the most of their careers.
As a teacher in Scotland, you'll need to complete 35 hours of CPD each year. You'll agree an annual plan with your immediate managers and keep a diary of your CPD activities.
CPD can be any training or experience which will progress, assist or enhance your professionalism.
Some examples are:
- activity related to achieving National Standards - Standard for Full Registration, Standard for Chartered Teacher, Standard for Headship
- self-evaluation and personal reflection, professional reading and research
- subject-based activities including involvement with professional bodies and associations
- attendance at in-service courses and meetings
- membership of school committees and task groups
- developing school, local authority and national policies
- planning the curriculum, observing lessons, analysis, visits to and from colleagues in other schools and secondments
- mentoring/supporting colleagues and students on placement
- management and leadership development opportunities.
When planning your CPD activities, you'll work with your managers to work out where you need to develop, as well as considering the school, local and national priorities.
To find out more about the national priorities, visit www.nationalpriorities.org.uk
Can I become a Chartered Teacher?
In Scotland, you can choose to take part in the Chartered Teacher programme. It's ideal if you want to develop your teaching skills but stay in the classroom - rather than work towards a management role.
The Chartered Teacher programme is made up of 12 modules; each module involves around 150 hours of study. The modules include:
- developing core skills
- respond to individual pupils' needs
- curriculum and subject specialisms
The modules are provided through universities - but there are no exams, just continual assessment. You can stop the programme for a break whenever you like, and start again when you're ready.
When you complete the Chartered Teacher Programme, you'll be awarded a Masters Degree, and the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) will give you the professional award of Chartered Teacher.
Who can become a Chartered Teacher?
To join the Chartered Teacher programme you must be at the top of the teacher salary scale. You'll also need an up-to-date CPD portfolio.
Once you're on the programme, your salary will increase every time you complete two modules. Chartered Teachers can earn up to a maximum of £38,013 in April 2006, rising to £38,868 in April 2007.
How do I get into Leadership?
The Scottish Qualification for Headship Programme ( SQH) is perfect if you're interested in becoming a Head Teacher. It gives you the professional development you need before applying for these posts.
Your employer will meet the costs of the course.
You can start the programme if you have at least five years' teaching experience (you'll also need to be fully registered with the GTCS).
It should take you two to three years to complete the programme, and at the end you'll be presented with a Scottish Qualification for Headship award from your university.
To find out more, visit www.infoscotland.com/teaching and read the Scottish Executive's publication Continuing Professional Development for Educational Leaders.
"There was a lot of work involved in becoming a Chartered Teacher. But in the end it was well worth it, and I have already started recommending it to colleagues as something they should look at.
I am delighted to have got the award. Of course, the other positive thing about the programme is that it gives teachers a reward in salary while allowing them to remain in the classroom."
I am a qualified teacher from outside Scotland, how do I register to work there?
Good news - the system is a lot easier than you might think.
Firstly, the law says you must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) if you work in a local authority school in Scotland.
Depending on your teaching qualification, the GTCS will register you as eligible to teach Primary or Secondary Education. There are no separate registration categories for Nursery or Special schools.
The subject (or subjects) you're registered for will depend on your academic and professional qualifications, as well as your teaching experience. To find out more, visit www.infoscotland.com/teaching
If you have a degree and teaching qualification in the following subjects (see Figure 2), you should be able to teach your subject in a Scottish Secondary school:
Art & Design
Biology with Science
Chemistry with Science
Physics with Science
What should I do first?
Your first step is to get in touch with the Exceptional Admissions Department of the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS). Call them on +44 (0)131 314 6038 or email email@example.com
Once you've done that, you can find out about teaching vacancies, jobs and other employment matters by getting in touch with Scotland's local authorities. You'll find their contact details on page 15.
For the latest teaching vacancies, visit www.infoscotland.com/teaching .
Teaching vacancies are also advertised in Scottish newspapers, as well as on the web.
How do I register with the GTCS?
Simply download the application form and information leaflets from www.gtcs.org.uk - you can also call the GTCS on +44 (0)131 314 6000.
It's important you follow the application instructions very carefully.
When you apply, you'll be given a personal contact within the GTCS-someone who will manage your application.
You have to pay £40 to cover the initial assessment. If you're offered registration, you'll have to pay another £40.
How long does the process take?
The GTCS will look at your case purely on its own merits. From the date they receive your application form and assessment fee, it usually takes just 15 working days to make a decision.
However, if your case is complicated, it can take up to eight weeks to reach a decision.
How can I speed up my application?
You need to provide all the information you feel is relevant to your case. The application pack has a checklist to help you. In particular, you should include:
- copies of qualification certificates - such as a postgraduate certificate in education or degree certificate
- copies of official academic transcripts
- if your degree was unusual, you should send in descriptions of the modules
- completed Disclosure Scotland form
- police check from each country where you have been resident
You'll need to make sure all of this paperwork is in English. It's up to you to get official translations.
What is an academic transcript?
This is a year-by-year record of all the subjects you studied during your degree. These are available from your university or equivalent organisation. Without your academic transcript, the GTCS won't be able to accept your application.
Are there security checks?
Like all teachers working in Scotland, you'll need to go through a police disclosure check with Disclosure Scotland. The checks are there to protect the safety of pupils, parents and teachers too.
If you applied online, the GTCS will send you a Disclosure Scotland form once they receive your application.
Some of the information you'll have to provide includes:
- A five year history of your addresses
- Two forms of identification which include your date of birth
Once it's been cleared, your Disclosure Scotland check is valid for six months. To find out more, visit www.scro.police.uk
I am from overseas. Do I need overseas police checks?
Yes - if you've lived for eight weeks or more in a country outside the UK. In this case, the GTCS will ask you to supply evidence which shows you have no criminal record in the country concerned. To find out more, call the Criminal Records Bureau overseas enquiry line on +44 (0)870 0100450.
I can't obtain an overseas police check - what can I do?
You need to tell the Exceptional Admissions Department of the GTCS as soon as you can.
Do I need a degree to teach in Scotland?
Yes. For secondary teaching in Scotland, your degree must be relevant to the subject you wish to teach.
Do I need to have a teaching qualification?
In general, yes. And you'll need to provide documentary evidence of an official transcript of your Professional Qualifications.
This evidence should show the age range and subjects which apply to your professional education. If it doesn't, you'll need to get documents from your university or college.
What if I don't have a teaching qualification?
It will be much more difficult to get registration if you don't have a teaching qualification. However, if you have long and relevant teaching service (as well as detailed referee reports on this service), the GTCS may be able to consider this instead of a teaching qualification.
What does it mean if I'm offered full registration?
Full registration means you can apply for a teaching post in your subject in any local authority or independent school in Scotland.
What does it mean if I'm offered provisional registration?
Normally, provisional registration means you don't have enough teaching experience in the subject you want to teach in Scotland.
In most cases, if you're academically qualified, have a relevant teaching qualification and at least four terms full-time equivalent teaching experience in the area you are applying for, it may be possible to offer full registration. The GTCS will also need detailed referee reports on your teaching experience.
What does it mean if I'm offered conditional registration?
Normally, you'll only be offered a conditional registration if you don't meet the academic requirements.
A typical condition would be that you carry out additional study at degree level. You will normally be given three years to meet the condition, and during this time you can teach in Scottish schools. However, you will only be eligible for temporary employment, not a full-time teaching contract.
This type of offer of registration is usually only possible if you have at least two years' full-time teaching experience.
What happens if I'm refused registration?
The GTCS will always try to find a route to registration. However, if you are refused, they will tell you why. The GTCS will also offer advice and guidance on how you can gain registration.
Who can I go to for advice or guidance on job opportunities?
Contact your nearest local authority education department for advice - the details are on page 15.
For the latest teaching vacancies, visit www.infoscotland.com/teaching
Teaching vacancies are also advertised in Scottish newspapers, as well as on the web.
What about the European Work Directive?
If you're an EU national, the European Work Directive means you'll normally be offered some form of registration - as long as you are formally recognised as a teacher in your home country. However, the GTCS can't guarantee that you will achieve full registration - it depends on a number of factors, and the GTCS deals with each case individually.
As you'd expect, all teachers working within Scotland are expected to have a high standard of written and spoken English. English language competence and written and spoken communication will be an important factor for your employer to consider.
What if I come to Scotland from outside the European Union?
The GTCS welcomes applications from outside the EU. They'll do everything they can to allow you to register to teach-but at the same time keeping to the guidelines, and upholding the high standard of education in Scotland.
Where can I get more information and advice?
Call the GTCS Exceptional Admissions Department on +44 (0)131 314 6038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need a work permit to teach in Scotland?
If you are from outside the EU, you may need a work permit to teach in Scotland. To get a work permit, an employer must offer you a job in Scotland and apply for a work permit on your behalf.
The work permit names your employer and you cannot change employer without prior consent from the UK Home Office.
You can apply for indefinite leave to remain if you are employed with a work permit for four years in a row, and if there is work permit employment still available to you after four years.
Once you have indefinite leave to remain, you are free to work without any restrictions.
For more advice on work permits, and how to apply for them, visitwww.workingintheuk.gov.uk
Will I get help moving to Scotland?
Yes. The Relocation Advisory Service will give you everything you need in one place, including help on the practicalities of living, working and studying in Scotland.
Their team of experts deals with everything from advice on financial and legal matters to visa applications and work permits. There's also information on employment opportunities, accommodation, healthcare and leisure.
What's more, you can get help with money and banking, tax and benefits, healthcare, education, accommodation, transport and moving your possessions. If they don't have the answers you're looking for, The Relocation Advisory Service will put you in touch with other experts.
You can call the Relocation Advisory Service from the UK on 0845 602 0297, or from overseas on +44 (0)141 248 2808. You can also email email@example.com To find out more about life, work and learning in Scotland, visit www.scotlandistheplace.com
"The chief benefit of teaching in Scotland is the availability of jobs. I would not have been able to secure full-time, permanent employment back home in Ireland as easily as I was able to do in Scotland.
I think anyone would be well-advised to consider teaching in Scotland. The cost of living in Scotland is lower than in Ireland, and properties are cheaper. In Ireland I would be expected to teach 2 or 3 subjects rather than specialising in one. The application process is very straightforward; anyone with access to the Internet or a library can find out about the opportunities available, and with the McCrone agreement now in place, the pay and conditions are excellent."
Who should I contact?
Information on relocating to Scotland:
Relocation Advisory Service
Scottish Executive, 3rd Floor, Meridian Court,5 Cadogan Street, Glasgow G2 6AT
Phone: 0845 602 0297 (from inside the UK) +44 (0)141 248 2808 (from outside the UK)
Information on registering as a teacher in Scotland:
The General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) Exceptional Admissions Department
Clerwood House, 96 Clermiston Road, Edinburgh EH12 6UT
Phone: 0131 314 6000
Fax: 0131 314 6001
Information on the Scottish Curriculum:
Learning & Teaching Scotland
Gardyne Road, Dundee DD5 1NY
Phone: 08700 100 297
Scottish Executive Education Department
Teachers Division, Area 2A (North) Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Phone: 0131 244 7930
Fax: 0131 244 0957
Information on employment rights:
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5XZ
Phone: 0131 474 9200
Fax: 0131 474 9292
British Council Scotland
The Tun, 4 Jackson Entry, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ
Phone: 0131 524 5700
Fax: 0131 524 5701
6 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3BG
Phone: 0131 523 1110
Fax: 0131 523 1119
29 Forth Street, Edinburgh EH1 3LE
Phone: 0131 556 6598
Fax: 0131 557 5679
Head Teachers' Association of Scotland
University of Strathclyde, Jordanhill Campus, Southbrae Drive, Glasgow G13 1PP
Phone: 0141 950 3298
Professional Association of Teachers
1-3 St Colme Street, Edinburgh EH3 6AA
Phone: 0131 220 8241
Fax: 0131 220 8350
Scottish Secondary Teachers Association
15 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QG
Phone: 0131 556 5919
Fax: 0131 556 1419
Educational Institute of Scotland ( EIS) Local Authorities
46 Moray Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BH
Phone: 0131 225 6244
Local authorities are the main employers of teachers in Scotland. Once you're registered with the GTCS, you can apply directly to any local authority for a teaching position.
Aberdeen City www.aberdeen-education.org.uk
Argyll & Bute www.argyll-bute.gov.uk
Dumfries & Galloway www.dumgal.gov.uk
Dundee City www.dundeecity.gov.uk
East Ayrshire www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk
East Dunbartonshire www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk
East Lothian www.eastlothian.gov.uk
East Renfrewshire www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk
Edinburgh City www.edinburgh.gov.uk
Glasgow City www.glasgow.gov.uk
North Ayrshire www.northayrshire.gov.uk
North Lanarkshire www.northlan.gov.uk
Orkney Islands www.orkney.gov.uk
Perth & Kinross www.pkc.gov.uk
Scottish Borders www.scottishborders.gov.uk
Shetland Islands www.shetland.gov.uk
South Ayrshire www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
South Lanarkshire www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk
West Dunbartonshire www.west-dunbartonshire.gov.uk
West Lothian www.wlonline.org.uk
Western Isles www.cne-siar.gov.uk
Additional copies available from firstname.lastname@example.org or download from www.infoscotland.com/teaching