Leading London Headteacher calls for the teaching profession to self-regulate

Joan Deslandes, Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching and a leading Headteacher at Kingsford Community School who has been named as one of London’s 1000 most influential people for her work in education by the Evening Standard three times, called for teachers to be empowered to self-regulate the teaching profession at a Big Staff Meeting event this afternoon.

Lauding the current and previous governments’ dedication to the setting of rigorous teacher standards and raising the bar, she expressed her firm belief that the teaching profession was now at a point where it was able to govern itself, whilst raising concerns that social mobility had been hindered by ‘initiatives underpinned by political dogma’ rather than educational research.

Joan shared her insights with over 150 members of staff at Kingsford Community School in London where she said: “Education is a vital vehicle for social mobility and teaching. The engine of that vehicle should be run by the specialists. No matter what people may say, teaching is a specialism, and one that requires the expertise of teachers and education leaders in both the classroom as well as in policy making.

In recent years there has been a great deal of excellent research in education which has resulted in a pool of teaching talent that has never been greater. However, the politicisation of our profession over the decades has meant that, for too long, social mobility has been hindered by abortive ideological experiments. Under successive governments, innovations in teaching and learning have been introduced thick and fast. Some of these have benefitted both pupils and the profession greatly. However, these have at times come sandwiched between detrimental initiatives or supported by a selective reading of the evidence base.”

Joan is passionate that a move towards a self-regulating College of Teaching is not only viable but a necessity to take forward the future success of education provision in this country.

Ms Deslandes continued: “The wealth of teaching talent and educational know-how in the UK is substantial and yet we are seeing teachers leave the profession in droves. Retention of staff is key to ensuring that a British education remains highly prized. Implicit within this is maintaining teacher morale, something which it is abundantly clear cannot be achieved when policy can be devised and implemented independently of educational research and teacher expertise”.

Teachers from Kingsford Community School took part in The Big Staff Meeting consultation today (Wednesday 10th February) to help determine the future membership of the College of Teaching.

The College of Teaching is calling on all teachers from every phase and stage to take part in The Big Staff Meeting survey at: www.research.net/r/N3L3KMC.

Read the full press release here.

College of Teaching Founding Trustees to take part in Primary Teacher Update’s CPD Twitter Chat

CPD is crucial for teachers and in turn the schools and pupils they work with. It is important that CPD is carried out effectively, is realistic on resources and of real benefit to those participating.

There is no one size fits all approach to CPD so getting CPD right for each and every teacher is vital. CPD is a key focus for the College of Teaching moving forward and for this reason, Founding Trustees and supporters of the College of Teaching are taking part in Primary Teacher Update’s CPD Twitter chat tomorrow (Wednesday 10th February) evening at 9pm.

Primary Teacher Update is inviting primary practitioners across the country to participate and Founding Trustees with primary experience, including Victoria McDowell (Vice Chair), Malcolm Wilson and Penny Barratt will be joining the chat alongside David Weston, CEO of the Teacher Development Trust, to discuss views, opinions and best practice on CPD.

The following questions will be explored during the hour:

9.05pm – How are your needs, and the needs of your colleagues, supported regarding CPD?

9.20pm – What do you think is the most effective form of CPD?  What has worked for you?

9.35pm – Is collaborating with local schools realistic considering workload etc.?

9.50pm – What are the greatest barriers to accessing CPD?  Time or budget restraints, or both?

Join us tomorrow evening and share your views @PrimaryTeacherU and #CollegeofTeaching

Find out more using hashtag #PrimaryTeacherCPD or by visiting our website.

Don’t forget in the lead up to February half term to register your views on the future membership of the College of Teaching by taking part in The Big Staff Meeting survey.

Take the survey now at www.research.net/r/N3L3KMC

The Big Staff Meeting is here!

As we get back into work and quickly back up to speed, the New Year brings with it a chance for us to reflect on what a College of Teaching represents to us collectively through The Big Staff Meeting.

The Big Staff Meeting is an initiative where all teachers across the UK from every phase and stage (including schools, colleges, early years settings, FE settings, pupil referral units etc.) can discuss, debate and share with colleagues their views on what a new independent, chartered professional body could mean to them.

The Meeting is an opportunity for teachers to share views on the scope of future membership and related benefits by completing an online survey and to also discuss any questions or concerns teachers might have.

The Big Staff Meeting activity is officially starting today (6th January) with the majority of events taking place in January and February. The Founding Trustees of the College are leading the way hosting events in their schools.

Claire Dockar, Chair of the College of Teaching and Lead Practitioner at Lipson Co-Operative Academy in Plymouth, says: “I was delighted that our school was one of the first schools in the country to run a Big Staff Meeting. It was an incredible opportunity to connect with colleagues about how a College of Teaching could tackle, in the future, some of the key challenges we face around motivation, recruitment and retention in the profession.

“It also gave teachers an opportunity to share any questions or concerns they have. I will be working with my fellow Founding Trustees to address these directly with schools and individuals over the coming weeks and months.

“The College is providing an opportunity for teachers across the country to make an informed choice about membership and gives us a rallying point for teachers to come together and have their voice heard. The Founding Trustees are here to support any setting with tips and advice on how to run their own Big Staff Meeting.”

Downloadable The Big Staff Meeting resources (including an information pack, poster and accompanying PowerPoint slides) have been created to help explain the College’s place in the professional landscape of teaching in the UK and to help educational settings to conduct their meetings.

If you would like to host your own Big Staff Meeting, there is still plenty of time to get involved. Visit our website for more information.

Alternatively, if you are not able to run or attend a Big Staff Meeting event between now and February half term, you can still answer key membership questions online and have your views counted.

The membership consultation will close on the 26th February and the results will be made available from mid 2016. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to have your say on the future direction of the teaching profession.

If you would like to discuss your Big Staff Meeting further, please contact us at info@collegeofteaching.ac.uk


If you would like to pledge your support for the College, and view our new video featuring our Founding Trustees, click here

Read more about The Big Staff Meeting in Schools Improvement here.

Access resources and myth-buster factsheets here.