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CLASSROOMS OF THE FUTURE

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The chairman of the Teacher Training Agency (TTA), Geoffrey Parker, has called for a new partnership to improve sta...
The chairman of the Teacher Training Agency (TTA), Geoffrey Parker, has called for a new partnership to improve standards of pupils' achievements.

Speaking at the National Schools Event organised by the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, he called for a new partnership between the Agency, teachers, and providers of teacher training as a first step in raising levels of pupil achievement.

He said: 'Our collective responsibility is to focus on high levels of teacher expertise and to see each child benefit from teaching standards that are second to none. As parents, teachers and educationists, we must work together at the continual improvements every nation must make in the classroom.'

Geoffrey Parker's theme for the conference was 'Teaching and Learning in the Classroom of the Future'. He stressed that the pace of change in new technology within the classroom setting needed to be matched by the pace of change in teacher training.

He used his speech to outline the TTA's far-reaching programme, including plans for continuing professional development set to benefit teachers at all levels of the profession. Over 2000 new headteachers have already benefited from the Agency's leadership and management programme (HEADLAMP), while a new National Professional Qualification for Headship is also being developed for aspiring heads.

'High quality school leadership is central to raising standards. Our work on continuing professional development will also establish clearer career routes within the profession. Research tells us that this, in turn, will also have the welcome by-product of encouraging more high calibre people to enter the profession,' Mr Parker added.

The TTA's work in continuing professional development will, over time, lead to the development of the first ever framework of national professional qualifications for teachers - 'Not a straightjacket but a means of providing far greater clarity and transparency than exists at present', said Mr Parker.

Mr Parker's call to conference delegates was to be bold and visionary in developing the classroom and teaching profession of the future, 'Teaching in the future will have one vital thing in common with teaching today - its central focus will be improvements in what our children and young people learn.'

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