An appetite for change

The attitudes of teachers and other associated professionals to the establishment of a new professional body for the teaching profession.


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.

The proposal published in February 2015 by the Claim Your College Coalition has attracted support from more than 400 educational organisations and prominent individuals but what of the individual teachers who will ultimately have to join to make a new College a reality?

A major new survey suggests the message is getting out there and more than 80% seek the benefits a new College would offer.

In April and May 2015, teachers were surveyed via The Education Company, who are providing pro-bono support to the Claim Your College coalition.

In total 13,004 teachers, whom we thank for taking the time to complete the survey, responded to these two waves of questions and 75% of respondees were classroom teachers and subject leaders. The findings highlighted:

  1. Over six in 10 (63.1%) indicated that they would consider paying an annual membership fee to be part of the College of Teaching.
  2. So far 45% of teachers have heard of a College of Teaching.
  3. More than 80% see the ambitions of the College as important and the benefits it promises as valuable, despite hearing about these for the first time in the survey
  4. The majority of respondents (68.4%) indicated that the College of Teaching should be a community led by teachers and should include others working in the education field.
  5. Almost a third of respondents said that they would be willing to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign to help found the College of Teaching – as awareness of the College amongst the profession is shown to be 45%, this represents a significantly positive indicator.
  6. 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, which is more than enough to get started.
  7. Respondents were happy with the idea of matching donations with funds from elsewhere – the government (with no strings attached) was the preferred option as to who should match the funds with philanthropy a close second.
  8. Almost seven in 10 respondents indicated that they would be willing to make a donation up to £25.
  9. When asked what they would value as a membership benefit, the top five ranked “extremely valuable” or “valuable” 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%.
  • 63.1% of respondents indicated that they would consider paying an annual membership fee to be part of the College of Teaching.

The 2015 survey results highlight an increase in awareness and appetite. Previously three surveys, each involving 1200-1500 individuals, had been conducted by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), the Sutton Trust and the Times Educational Supplement (TES) highlighting approximately 40% of teachers were in favour; 40% wanted to know more; and 20% were not in favour.

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

College of Teaching Survey Results May 2015

Recruitment of Founding Trustees

Thank you for your interest and support to date for a College of Teaching. Led by teachers, the College of Teaching will be the new independent chartered professional body for the teaching profession.

The project to found a new College is built on extensive consultation with the teaching profession and backed by more than 400 educational organisations and prominent individuals.  The recruitment of a founding board marks a major milestone in making the new College a reality.  It has been made possible by a grant from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation and private donations.

We are currently seeking to appoint the 13 founding trustees of the new College.  The founding board will be tasked with establishing a professional body that can deliver the broad vision set out for the College of Teaching and create a membership offer that will attract the critical mass of members needed to be sustainable.

The role of trustee, which is a voluntary position, offers the opportunity to play a key leadership and governance role in the creation of a professional body that will have a profound and positive impact on the teaching profession and, ultimately, on the lives of learners.  Cover costs may be available to enable release from school for this.

We wish to attract teachers and other individuals with relevant professional knowledge and experience needed to set up a new membership organisation. We hope that you are inspired by what you read, and we encourage all teachers with an interest in taking part in defining the profession’s destiny to apply for the exciting role of Founding Director. Visit for more information and to apply.

Claim Your College coalition receives funding to make a College of Teaching a reality

We are delighted to announce that we have received an initial grant from The Mercer’s Company which will enable us to proceed with the recruitment of an independent board for the College of Teaching as described in our proposal (see here).  Today the DfE has also announced its support for the Claim Your College proposal and reiterated the commitment to support the setting up of the College without in any way compromising its independence.  The related Claim Your College press release can be found here.

This is in line with the decision of the stakeholder consultation meetings in January where it was agreed that government support could only be accepted on a ‘no strings’ basis.  We will continue to work with officials on the detail of this offer and once agreement has been reached we will make that public.

Thank you once again for your engagement and support so far.  We hope you will continue to engage with the new College and contribute to the founding of an organisation which truly represents the best professional practice in teaching and supports teachers to achieve excellence for learners.

Do sign up for updates so you get the latest news as it emerges and add your name to the growing list of supporters here.