ALMOST 250 teachers at Scotland’s elite fee-paying schools are to be forced to retrain – because they are not officially qualified to teach.
Teachers at Scotland’s private schools – where annual fees range from an average of £12,500 to more than £30,000 – do not have to be registered with watchdog the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
Around 700 private school teachers will now have to register with the GTCS, and pay an annual fee of £50.
But the Scottish Government has revealed that 240 of the private school teachers are not sufficiently well qualified to meet the standards of GTCS registration.
Despite teaching the sons and daughters of some of Scotland’s wealthiest people, the teachers will themselves have to go back to “school”.
The teachers have three years to come up to scratch, a process which could involve time away from the real classroom to join teaching students in classes at university.
The move has prompted a row between education bosses and private bodies – who claim that the new requirement to register amounts to “jumping through hoops” for teachers who are classroom veterans.
Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) is an absolute requirement for teachers at Scotland’s state schools.
Around 90% of independent school teachers are already registered with the GTCS.
The Scottish Council for Independent Schools (SCIS) opposes the move to make it compulsory, saying teachers in private schools are already expected to be highly skilled.
John Edward, director of the SCIS said: “It’s definitely not a case that they are not up to scratch – every school has the bottom line that they want to have the best teachers to provide the best education.”
Rod Grant – headmaster of £10,000-a-year Clifton Hall School, Edinburgh, said: “A teaching qualification, I’ve always argued, does not reflect quality – it reflects that you’ve been through a process and deemed suitable.”
He added: “I think the one in three that aren’t meeting requirements are to do with the kind of teaching qualification they have.”
The GTCS declined to comment.