The Government has announced plans to set up a new College of Teaching in England, with the aim of ‘protecting standards and raising the status of the profession’
It is expected that the college will be endorsed by ministers, but independent from them.
A consultation will begin shortly into how the college should be organised, with teachers likely to push for a strong role in promoting and supporting the professional development of teachers at all stages of their careers.
In announcing the new college, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said that she would like the teaching profession to have similar status as professions such as medicine and law.
She said the college, which is expected to open by 2016, will allow teachers, like other professions, to:
- Set their own high standards for their members
- Take a lead in improving the profession’s skills and abilities
- Champion higher standards for children.
New funds for CPD
Teachers will particularly welcome the announcement that there is a need for a revolution in the scale and quality of development opportunities available to teachers, backed up by a new fund. There will also be a welcome focus on evidence-based professional development, led by a network of more than 600 outstanding teaching schools.’
While headteachers’ organisations have generally welcomed the idea of the College of Teaching, a spokesperson for the ASCL headteachers’ union said the key challenge would be ‘to win the hearts and minds of the teaching profession’ and to convince teachers of its value and credibility.
What would you like the new College of Teaching to do?
The new College of Teaching clearly has the potential to be a powerful force for good for the teaching profession, and to speak out for the needs of children and young people in schools. With the consultation period for the college due to start shortly, now is an ideal time to reflect on what you would like to get from it – perhaps with a group of other colleagues in your school. You could consider the following prompt questions:
- What do you think of this? Expensive waste of money or great professional status boost for teaching?
- How can the College of Teaching best support teachers in England and represent their interests?
- What lessons can be learnt from the General Teaching Council for England, which had similar aims as the new college, but was shelved in 2010?
- How can you make the most of the opportunities that will be offered by the college in order to benefit your pupils?
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