An appetite for change: Eight in ten surveyed seek the benefits of a new College of Teaching

A major new survey carried out by the Claim Your College coalition reveals that 80% of respondents surveyed viewed the ambitions of the College of Teaching, a new independent chartered professional body for the teaching profession, as valuable.

The new survey[1] of over 13,000 respondents (75% of which being classroom teachers and subject leaders), carried out by The Education Company, highlights:

  • Over six in 10 (63.1%) indicated that they would consider paying an annual membership fee to be part of the College of Teaching.
  • 68% indicated that the College of Teaching should be community led by teachers and should include others working in the education field.
  • So far 45% of respondents have heard of a College of Teaching – a positive indicator for an organisation that does not yet exist.
  • The top five ranked “extremely valuable” or “valuable” membership benefits were:
    • Professional knowledge sharing – 91.2%
    • A common code of practice – 87.5%
    • Professional development – 85.9%
    • Recognition by schools – 84.1%
    • Professional standards – 82.0%.
  • Almost a third said that they would be willing to contribute to a crowd funding campaign to help found the College of Teaching.
  • Half indicated they would be willing to match fund start-up ‘no strings’ grants from government or philanthropists.

The College of Teaching proposal, put forward by the Claim Your College coalition in February 2015, is based on extensive consultation with the teaching profession and backed by more than 400 educational organisations and prominent individuals.

The survey follows the launch of the recruitment for the appointment of 13 founding trustees at – a process that has been enabled thanks to a generous grant from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation and other philanthropic donations.

Angela McFarlane, Chief Executive of the College of Teachers and a representative for the Claim Your College coalition, says: A key challenge facing those working to establish a new College of Teaching has been attracting a critical mass of teachers who want to rally around the call to think differently about professionalism in teaching.

“This new survey suggests the message is getting out there and more than 80% seek the benefits a new College would offer. 50% – more than had heard of the College before the survey – indicated they would be willing to match fund start-up ‘no strings’ grants from philanthropists or government. This is great news as we prepare to recruit the founding trustees.”

Anne-Marie Duguid, Head of Teaching and Learning for SSAT and part of the Claim Your College coalition, added; “There is so much ground work to build on for the founding trustees in September. The appetite is building and teachers are now starting to believe this is to become a reality. When we as a profession look back in five years’ time, we will realise what a privilege it has been to be part of the formation of something so important for the sector.”

Iain Hulland, a member of the Leading Edge Steering Group working to facilitate developments in Lancashire and the North West of England, says: “Every single professional with whom I have spoken – and there have been very many – strongly supports the concept of the College of Teaching, the moral purpose underpinning it, the proposed scope of its work and the quality of thinking that has gone into it.

“There is still much to do to ensure everyone is made fully aware and given their right to play their part. This is all about the profession owning, in every sense, its College and with the enthusiasm I am seeing this can only be a matter of time. Thank you to everyone who has worked to get us this far.”

The 2015 survey results highlight an increase in awareness and appetite from three previous surveys conducted by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), the Sutton Trust and the Times Education Supplement (TES) respectively. Each involving 1200-1500 individuals, these surveys highlighted approximately 40% of teachers were in favour; 40% wanted to know more and 20% were not in favour.

To find out more about Claim Your College, visit or follow on Twitter @CollOfTeaching #CollegeOfTeaching #ClaimYourCollege.

For further information on the recruitment of founding trustees, closing at noon on the 16th June 2015, visit or read the press release on the Claim Your College website at

The full methodology of the survey can be seen in the College of Teaching survey results report available from




For Further Information

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Claim Your College representatives, please contact Laura Smith, Consilium Communications on / 07467 945848.

Notes to Editors

About the survey

  • In total 13,004 teachers responded to two waves of survey questions.
  • The survey was conducted online using the Survey Monkey platform, with wave one taking place in March 2015 and wave two in April 2015.
  • 75% of respondents were classroom teachers and subject leaders.

About the College of Teaching and Claim Your College campaign

  • The proposed College of Teaching aims to give teachers equality of status with other professions by advancing high standards, recognising excellence and promoting evidence-based practice and policy. It will not have a regulatory role, will be independent of government and membership will be entirely voluntary.
  • The Claim Your College coalition has been initiated by the existing College of Teachers, The Prince’s Teaching Institute, the Teacher Development Trust and the SSAT in collaboration with practising teachers and school leaders.
  • It builds on a Blueprint for a new College of Teaching, which was published by The Prince’s Teaching Institute in February 2014.
  • The Blueprint resulted from a workshop held by The Prince’s Teaching Institute in September 2012 and two 2012 publications: Towards a Royal College of Teaching (RCS) and Great Teachers: attracting and retaining the best (Education Select Committee, May 2012).
  • There are numerous benefits of joining a College of Teaching, from being accredited against valid, portable, respected, sector-led standards; providing a career pathway that informs access to high-quality professional development and learning and enables its members to build a validated portfolio documenting professional impact.
  • For an estimated membership fee of £70 per year, members would also be provided with a common code of practice that reflects aspirational standards of teaching, an evidence-informed approach to practice, ethical behaviour, promotion of the profession and the best possible opportunities for learners.
  • The proposal is backed by a 400-strong coalition. This includes a wide range of organisations and individuals from across the education sector including unions, subject associations, schools, practising teachers, school improvement and leadership organisations and third sector organisations.
  • To find out more about Claim Your College, visit
  • Follow Claim Your College @CollOfTeaching #CollegeOfTeaching #ClaimYourCollege.
  • Like Claim Your College on Facebook


About The Mercers’ Company

  • The Mercers’ Company is the Premier Livery Company of the City of London and has a long history of supporting education. It is involved with 17 schools, primary and secondary, across the independent and maintained sectors. The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation provides grant funding to support a range of educational projects.


[1] Survey conducted by Classroom Voice, part of The Education Company, on behalf of the Claim Your College coalition in April and May 2015.