Anti-social media: Trainee teachers issued with new advice


A CODE of Conduct for people training to become teachers has been launched by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The Student Teacher Code is the first of its kind for students and is intended to give support and guidance to those currently training to enter the teaching profession and register with the GTC Scotland.

This new guidance is being published at the same time as a revised version of an important set of guidelines on teacher professionalism.

The new Code of Professionalism and Conduct (CoPAC) replaces the version which GTC Scotland launched in 2008.

The revised CoPAC reflects the changes brought about by the independence of the GTC Scotland which came into force today, Monday, April 2.

Key changes include the addition of a separate section on Equality and Diversity, greater emphasis on the important role teachers play in delivering better outcomes for children and young people and advice to teachers to adopt a careful, common sense approach to the use of Social Media.

This complements GTC Scotland’s existing professional guidance leaflet on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media

Both codes are available for download at


GTC Scotland Chief Executive, Anthony Finn said: “The Student Teacher Code gives guidance on a number of important areas and issues which will be relevant to student teachers during their teacher education programmes. We wish to encourage them to consider themselves as professionals from the beginning of their course.

“For example, it is important that student teachers understand how to maintain professional relationships while on school placements. The code makes clear the standard of professionalism and conduct expected by GTC Scotland and also provides guidance on using social media.

“This code is very supportive of students entering the profession and will be of assistance to them in gaining registration with GTC Scotland.  We hope the Student Teacher Code will be a useful point of reference and make this formative but challenging experience even more rewarding for them.

“CoPAC builds on the version issued in 2008. Again, it aims to support and guide teachers rather than tell them what to do and it offers guidance which can help them in some challenging situations they may have to face.

“We are not in the business of ‘nannying’ teachers. The vast majority are excellent professionals who manage their careers impeccably. However, it is important that teachers understand the professional expectations of them in today’s complex society.”