The Claim Your College campaign was facilitated by a collective of enthusiasts for the idea that any future College must ‘lock in’ the teaching professional’s voice as paramount, and that it must be self-sustaining and independent.
Most people either volunteered their time or persuaded their employers to offer their work time pro bono, for which we were very grateful. While only some of the members of the organising group were current teachers, we shared a determination that this campaign was just a stepping stone to a teacher-led future, and that we will not allow anything or anyone (including us) to impose their will on the long-term future of what must be a profession-led College.
The campaign’s key members included representatives of The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), the College of Teachers, the Teacher Development Trust, and SSAT, who fully backed the College of Teaching and played a key role in raising awareness and gathering views and opinions from teachers across the country through its extensive networks and close relationship with schools.
There was also very helpful advice and guidance from many other teachers and representatives of organisations, including from the teaching unions, UCET, Teach First, the Expert Subject Advisory Groups, the Council for Subject Associations, the Royal Society, the Headteachers’ Roundtable, the Independent Schools Council, and many others.
We spent many months trialing out ideas for a balanced setup of a College with diverse representation from the profession, holding discussions with key stakeholders such as unions, subject associations, schools and policymakers to make sure that we avoid anything that would cause major opposition and difficulties. We held meetings with many charities and funders to explore how we can get some absolutely no-strings funding to get the idea off the ground, but not tie the hands of future members and teacher trustees.