Award first for Strathclyde teacher education course

Strathclyde's PGDE team receive the Excellence in Professional Learning Award. Left to right: GTCS Chief Executive and Registrar, Ken Muir; Teaching Fellows June Pisaneschi and Kandi Higgins; Clare Adamson MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee; Teaching Fellows John Millar and Wilma Eaton; Course Director Catherine Whitley; Teaching Fellows Lesley Waddell and Evelyn Hart; Placement Officer Norrie McKay; Deputy Course Director Clare McAlister; Teaching Fellow John Winter; awards ceremony host Dougie Vipond. Photo GTCS.

A teacher education course at the University of Strathclyde has become the first to receive a new quality mark from the Scottish teaching profession’s regulatory body.

Strathclyde’s PGDE (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education) Course Team has received the Excellence in Professional Learning Award from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

GTCS has introduced the award to be made in recognition of schools and learning communities “that promote, support and lead professional learning which has significant and sustained impact on teachers, classroom practice and pupil learning.”

GTCS found that Strathclyde’s PGDE learning community had “an authentic culture of kindness…based on trust and honesty” and “a strong, supportive culture where collective professionalism and collaboration pervades all that they do.”

The quality mark was made after rigorous assessment by a GTCS panel, which included a visit to Strathclyde’s School of Education. It will be valid for a period of three years.

Catherine Whitley, Principal Teaching Fellow in the School of Education and PGDE Course Director, said: “It’s a very significant achievement to be the first provider of Initial Teacher Education to receive this GTCS award.

Strong ethos

“It shows that applicants to our PGDE course can be confident they will be entering a course with a strong ethos of career-long professional learning which is up-to-date, contemporary and informed by policy and research.”

The award citation from GTCS stated: “Staff embrace opportunities and take risks to ensure they are at the ‘sharp edge’ of new initiatives. They use this knowledge to enrich and shape the learning experiences of student teachers.

“This is extremely empowering, as they are collectively seen by others as lifelong learners, setting very positive examples to all those with whom they work.

“The GTCS heard a narrative which conveyed a picture of Strathclyde’s PGDE community as being a genuinely caring, supportive and inclusive learning community which is inspiring the next generation of world-class teachers.”

GTCS Chief Executive and Registrar, Ken Muir, said: “These awards recognise and celebrate the commitment to high-quality professional learning and leadership of learning shown by our teachers, learning communities and organisations. This type of learning has the potential to transform the lives of children and young people in our schools. I would like to congratulate each and every winner of this year’s Excellence in Professional Learning Awards. The effect their dedication has on schools, young people and the wider teaching profession is to be commended.”

Strathclyde also received a reaccreditation of Professional Recognition Award, presented for professional learning courses which support and promote high levels of professional learning for teachers. This award was made for the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Supporting Teacher Learning.

Find out more about Strathclyde's Teacher Education Courses.