School teachers could take sabbaticals to do research in collaboration with universities under proposals from the General Teaching Council.
The GTC met school standards minister Estelle Morris last week to call for career-long entitlement to professional development for all teachers. It hopes the first moves will be made in the next school year.
Carol Adams, GTC chief executive, said: "If a teacher wants to do some research into adolescent development and is interested in their school's behavioural policy, they could develop an attachment to a higher education institution for half a term.
They would then have the opportunity to access staff and attend tutorials. In return, the academics could use the school as a pilot for direct work with youngsters."
Institutions could also provide professional development courses or projects that could count towards higher degrees.
Rosemary Clarke, a junior school head and council member, said: "These courses would also raise the profile of the higher education establishment in the school and a partnership could develop." Teachers could also do industry placements.
The GTC says the first groups of teachers to benefit from the scheme should be second and third-year teachers, building on the induction programmes in place for newly qualified teachers, and more experienced teachers who should get sabbaticals or short secondments.