To the delight of the teaching profession it was provided recognition in 1989 when an historic decision was taken to introduce three levels of Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) status. By the end of 1995, however, the initial euphoria had been replaced by a growing consensus that the introduction of the AST had ended in disappointment. Why did the original AST concept seem so promising? How much real progress was made during the implementation stage? What problems did the AST encounter in practice? Has the AST now lost all credibility, or are there steps that can be taken to salvage the situation to make it work properly? This article attempts to answer these questions.
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