Teacher professional learning and professional update in Scotland

Paul Adams, Kirsten Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research here presented discusses teacher professional learning (PL) policy in Scotland and in particular the recently introduced Professional Update (PU). From 2001, there have been significant policy reforms in relation to PL in Scotland including a new Standard for Career Long Professional Learning (SCLPL) and PU. The research identified how PU has been located by a small number of primary teachers. A qualitative research design was employed and seven teachers were interviewed for their views on PL and PU. None of the teachers explicitly described engaging with SCLPL and associated procedures. PU was considered to be bureaucratic with little to do with learning. For the participants, PL appeared to be located in, and dependent upon, school and local authority contexts. However, accountability for learning seems to rest with individual teachers through the mechanisms of PU. Recommendations for further study are provided.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation 3-13
Early online date8 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2020


  • professional learing
  • teachers
  • professional update
  • Scottish teachers

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