Country information for UK (Scotland) - Teacher education for inclusive education

Primary teachers in Scotland must have either a degree in primary education or a postgraduate certificate in education.

Teachers in Scottish secondary schools must have a university degree in a relevant subject and a postgraduate certificate in education, or a degree in their chosen subject which includes a teaching qualification.

If teaching in a local authority school, teachers must register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

If a teacher is employed wholly or mainly to teach pupils with a hearing or visual impairment, they must have, or be working towards, an appropriate qualification (postgraduate diploma/certificate).

Scotland’s universities offer numerous postgraduate courses, in various branches of learning and behaviour support teaching.

Many schools have learning support teachers (qualified teachers who specialise in working with pupils with additional support needs). Specialisation in this area is gained through courses and training within career-long professional learning. These posts have a varied role: they may train and support class/subject teachers to make sure that the curriculum is accessible, co-teach in classes, or work directly with pupils. Learning support teachers may co-ordinate the support provided to pupils and encourage them to take greater responsibility for their support.

Since 2012, the General Teaching Council for Scotland Professional Standards for initial teacher education, teacher registration, and leadership and management have included a set of values aligned to social justice. The standards expect career-long professional learning in inclusive education for all teachers. Refreshed Professional Standards for teachers launched on 13 January 2021 and will be enacted on 2 August 2021.


Last updated 24/03/2021

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