Proposal to establish Royal College of Teaching develops head of steam

3 Jan

The College of Teachers has been garnering support from the great and the good to establish a Royal College of Teaching.   In mid-December 2014, the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, announced that government funding could be made available to get the project off the ground. According to the College’s web-post, the Royal College will be founded on a revamped Royal Charter updated to reflect the needs of a modern fit-for-purpose chartered professional association.

In 2012, all three main political parties supported the Education Selection Committee’s recommendation to establish a College of Teaching which would enhance the profession’s standing in society.   Were such a college established and have the royal tag to it, the body would be charged with setting high standards of practice, require the members to follow a professional code of practice, act ethically and, (this will please Tristam Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary) possibly require teachers to take a Hippocratic-style oath.   (At present, teachers are more inclined to vent their spleens with other oaths given the pressures placed on them.)

The College will give teachers a greater say in professional standards, curriculum and assessment as well as offer support to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.  It will also play a role in representing their members on issues to do with pay and conditions of service.

Angela McFarlane, chief executive of the College of Teachers, wrote in the Times Educational Supplement, that the College would be of the teachers, for the teachers and run by the teachers.  However, she envisaged that the membership would be extended to all those working in allied fields such as research, psychology, sociology and development.  The diversity would give the organisation strength.

Three surveys by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), the Sutton Trust and the TES indicated that 80% of teachers are in favour of and interested in creating such a body.

A public consultation was launched in December 2014 inviting people and organisations to express their support to establish such a college. The DfE has been positive in its response.  It offered start-up funds and said that the college could assume responsibility for professional standards, initial training and continuing professional development (CPD).

Meanwhile, the PTI, the Teaching Development Trust and the College of Teachers, are keen to secure funding through philanthropic donations.

Earlier in 2014, it was announced by the proposers that membership would be voluntary. Fees would range from £30 to £130 a year.

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