8 October, 2012
The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) is leading the teaching profession in brokering the idea of a new College of Teaching that would uphold professional standards for teachers.
Following the recent report from the Select Committee on Education* which supported the case for a new, member-driven College of Teaching, the PTI has held an exploratory workshop, chaired by Sir Richard Lambert, Chancellor of Warwick University, to consider the feasibility of such a College and what its remit might be.
Attended by representatives of the teaching unions, higher education, the existing College of Teachers, subject associations and school employers, and head teachers of secondary and primary schools, the meeting responded enthusiastically to the concept of a new College of Teaching and agreed that the PTI should take forward the Select Committee’s recommendation on behalf of the profession.
The report of the workshop, which took place on 5 September 2012, is available here.
There was broad agreement on the need for a body that would advocate professional standards, raise the status of the teaching profession, and provide teachers with a greater degree of self-determination. Six areas of need were identified:
- Ensure high professional standards
- Provide stability through changes in political cycles
- Promote evidence-based initiatives
- Bridge the gap between classroom practice and research
- Establish an authoritative voice to defend professional standards
- Raise the status of the teaching profession
There was consensus on three areas of potential remit for a College of Teaching: promoting teachers’ professional development; providing evidence to inform education policy; and bringing practice and research together.
Chris Pope, co-director of the PTI, said: ‘There is clearly an appetite within the profession for a College of Teaching that would be independent from but work with government, and that would involve itself not in pay and conditions but in upholding professional standards. The PTI has been providing professional development courses – all of which are run by teachers for teachers - for ten years. We are delighted that there was unanimity for the PTI to act as an independent broker to take the process forward.’
The report of the workshop has been sent to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education; David Laws, the Schools Minister; Stephen Twigg, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education; Graham Stuart, the chairman of the Education Select committee; and to the wider education community.
*Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best (May 2012)