Moves by Moray Council to make it easier for teachers from England to transfer to the Scottish education system have been praised as an example of good practice in a new report published jointly by the Forces In Mind Trust.
The report – Our Community, Our Covenant – examines the ways in which the Arms Forces Covenant has been implemented across Britain.
Moray Council was among a number of local signatories to the covenant in February 2012.
The signing represented a commitment from community organisations and groups to work together with the armed forces and further strengthen relations between the military and civilian populations within Moray.
The report, which has been co-produced by the Local Government Association in England, highlights the efforts by Moray Council in making it easier for teachers who have qualified under the English system to teach in Scotland and in liaising with parents to clarify the differences between the English and Scottish education systems.
It states: “Moray Council perceived that different legislation between the home nations has created disadvantage for the families of those coming to Moray from across the border.
“In partnership with the General Teaching Council of Scotland, the council introduced a pilot scheme to allow conditional registration for English teachers. This allowed them to work as teachers immediately whilst they gained the qualifications required of the Scottish system.
“This successful pilot scheme now applies to all teachers crossing the border, but an awareness of the issue stemmed from the council’s attention to the armed forces community present in Moray.”
The report states that the council is also currently working on a programme to help inform parents of the differences in educational systems.
“The council is seeking to convey that in practice a child moving from Year 1 in England to P2 in Scotland will be moving horizontally to a class of their age peers.
“This was important to the council in Moray that not only did children receive the correct level of classroom education but also that they were more likely to integrate socially with children of their own age.”
Moray Council’s armed forced champion, Councillor Chris Tuke, said: “I would like to thank the General Teaching Council of Scotland for its co-operation and pragmatic attitude in establishing the Conditional Provisional Registration Scheme following our identification of the problems faced, particularly, by service spouses accompanying military personnel crossing the English/Scottish border.
“I would also like to emphasise that the spirit of the Military Covenant is to mitigate disadvantage due to service in the armed forces and not to give preference or advantage.”
He added: “I would also like to express my gratitude to all the other agencies and charities, outwith the council, that help Moray play its part in support of service personnel, current and past, along with their families."
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.