10 SES 11 D, ‘Professionalism’ and the Governance of Teacher Education across the British Isles
Since devolution in 1998, the Welsh Government has taken an increasingly independent approach to education policy and practice, distinguishable from the more radical policies adopted in England . The past three decades has seen an initial swing from central political influences, locally implemented, through a period of individual professional focus, then back again to politically-directed priorities. Recent change has seen re-designation of funding priorities driven by a performance imperative and reinforced by a redefined inspection framework. The reaction of the teaching profession to these changes has been compliant, possibly justified by the need to respond to the position of Wales as the lowest of the four UK nations in the PISA rankings. The Welsh Government rejected proposals from the professional body, the GTCW, to introduce a Chartered Teacher programme and a Professional Development Framework for Teachers and introduced its own Practice, Review and Development Framework in 2011. Similarly, the introduction of revised professional standards for teachers and school leaders was instigated by Welsh Government rather than by ‘the Profession’ itself. Reference to ‘the teaching profession’ in Wales, therefore, requires closer analysis and the use of comparative indicators from the other UK nations provides helpful enlightenment.
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