Welcome news from the DfE - a new College of Teaching
The College of Teachers has been very active in the call to create a new College of Teaching and, with the Prince's Teaching Institute, is a founder member of the Claim Your College coalition (see www.claimyourcollege.org.uk). The announcement from Nicky Morgan MP and David Laws MP on 9 December 2014 that they intend to support the setting up of an independent College of Teaching is welcome, provided the resulting organisation is truly autonomous and has a remit designed and realised by teachers. How that might be achieved will emerge over the coming weeks. Meanwhile the planning and consultation behind Claim Your College goes on as we call for more teachers to get involved and we work on a way to ensure an organisation with teachers at the helm. As the debate widens, questions have arisen about the relationship between a new College and the current one. The post below, from June 2014, explains. The new College will be a new organisation founded on a revamped royal charter, updated to reflect the needs of a modern fit-for-purpose chartered professional association. At that point the current College will cease and appropriate arrangements will be made to honour on-going commitments.
The College is very active in the debate surrounding a new Royal College of Teaching. This work is being led by our new CEO and Registrar, Professor Angela McFarlane, supported by Professor Derek Bell as Chair of the Professional Committee. The College produced a special issue of its journal Education Today in Spring 2013, comprising a series of articles from key thought leaders across the profession. They looked at the main issues surrounding a proposal for an independent professional body for educators. The issue also carried a declaration from the College of Teachers, agreed by our Membership, expressing broad support for such a body.
The College is a member of the Commission convened by the Prince’s Teaching Institute, which conducted a widespread consultation and published A new member-driven College of Teaching: a Blueprint in February 2014. The Blueprint may be accessed at: http://www.princes-ti.org.uk/CollegeofTeaching
In response to the Blueprint, we have had widespread debate among the College Membership, culminating in a discussion paper authored by our President, Professor Raphael Wilkins, and adopted by Council at its meeting on 7 June 2014. This paper takes the debate on a stage further and in particular examines the relationship to existing professional associations, international partnerships and the membership of beginning teachers and senior leaders.
One thing remains clear throughout this discourse: any independent chartered body must be of the profession, for the profession and run by its members. As our next contribution the College will be organising a series of workshops to look in more detail at the role a professional body can play in the re-conceptualisation of professionalism in teaching.
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