In Portugal, teachers require a professional qualification. This is obtained after having attended and passed an initial teacher training course offered at higher education institutes and universities, structured in accordance with teacher-education profiles. Such courses lead to a master’s degree-level professional qualification according to terms laid down in the law governing teaching qualifications for teachers in pre-school, basic and upper secondary education.
With regard to key continuous professional development policies and measures (CPD), the Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação - ME) has clearly focussed its strategy on consolidating Portuguese teachers’ competences and skills in management and leadership. This has concentrated on teachers’ leadership positions, as well as improving the professional qualifications of those observing classes, which is part of the external assessment of teachers’ scientific and pedagogical performance.
These professional training programmes are specifically geared towards the needs of the Portuguese educational system and play a vital role. The Ministry of Education, in conjunction with other bodies, has implemented several programmes through the Directorate General of School Administration (Direção Geral da Administração escolar - DGAE) to boost qualifications in education. Many of these deal with leadership training for school heads and courses for external assessors, whose job it is to evaluate teachers’ scientific and pedagogical performance.