A new perspective on professional space in education

The professional quality and expertise of teachers both creates and demands a certain professional space, which is free of the influence of government and also, to a certain extent, of the hierarchical (employment) relationship with the governing body and school management. This professional space does not come free of obligation or duty, but must at all times be geared to benefiting educational quality. Notwithstanding policy aimed at optimising this professional space, there are signs that it is being eroded by factors such as teachers’ sense of being under too much pressure of work and having too little say. The central question addressed in this report is therefore: How can an optimum professional space for teachers be created, utilised and justified?