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Teachers to face on-going checks

26 February 10 11:11 GMT

Scotland's teachers will face greater checks in the future, the organisation for the profession has confirmed.

News of the General teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) plans for re-accreditation came after a primary school teacher was struck off.

Christine Alexander, who taught in Aberdeen, admitted to charges of serious professional misconduct.

Teaching unions have expressed concerns about the plans to monitor their members.

The Educational Institute of Scotland said it was sceptical on the case for re-accreditation.

Its general secretary Ronnie Smith said: "We would be particularly concerned that any future system of re-accreditation should not be overly bureaucratic."

Ms Alexander came before a hearing of the GTCS accused of failing to plan lessons properly.

It was found that she failed to monitor how the children were progressing.

During the hearing it also emerged that pupils at the school where Ms Alexander taught often had the wrong level of reading book, and in some cases had no book at all.

Meanwhile, the council has given a conditional discharge to a teacher who was convicted of being at the wheel of his car while five times over the drink-drive limit.

Ewan McGeer, of Wallace High in Stirling, admitted a drink problem in the wake of periods of depression and problems in his private life.

He has been asked to confirm over five years his continuing abstinence from alcohol.

The rulings over the two teachers came as Education Secretary Michael Russell confirmed that the GTCS would become independent of the Scottish government.

The council said future proposals on re-accreditation would be rigorous but different to the plan in England to bring in a licence to teach - requiring staff to pass a performance review every five years.

Tony Finn chief executive of GTCS said: "It is important to say that teachers in Scotland are highly trained and, consequently, the overwhelming majority of teachers already work to high standards.

"Any work that might be done in the future to introduce re-accreditation should serve to confirm the already high standard of teaching in schools in Scotland and to support teachers in updating their professional skills in an environment in which change is now constant."

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