Section 45 – Functions of the Council
97.Section 45 inserts new provisions into the sections of the 1965 Act which deal with the setting up of the GTC and their general functions. It sets out the aims of the Council in statute for the first time, although the Council have had aims of this nature for some time. The aims as expressed in new section 2A(a) and (b) recognise both the GTC’s role in relation to standards within the teaching profession and their wider interest in the quality of teaching and learning. The purpose of the insertion of the words “career development” into section 2(3) of the 1965 Act is to make clear that the GTC are able to consider and provide advice on issues relating to teachers’ continuing professional development and staff development and review. New section 4A of the 1965 Act allows Scottish Ministers to confer additional functions on the GTC, by order. An example might be executive functions in the area of teachers’ continuing professional development, supplementary to the advisory role already added to section 2(3).
98.The 1965 Act currently empowers the GTC to provide advice only to the Scottish Ministers and to teacher education institutions. In practice the Council also provide advice informally to other bodies, particularly education authorities. New section 5A puts that wider advisory role on a statutory basis. New section 5B requires the GTC to supply the new General Teaching Councils for England and Wales (and for Northern Ireland when it is set up) with the information that is necessary or desirable for those Councils to have in carrying out their functions.