College of Teaching appoints Founding Trustees

The College of Teaching, the new independent chartered professional body for the teaching profession, has today (25.09.15) announced the appointment of 13 Founding Trustees who will play key leadership and governance roles in driving forward the College in consultation with the teaching profession.

The Founding Trustees – including five teachers and three Headteachers – have been appointed by an independent selection committee with experience in primary, secondary and SEN from across local, independent, government-funded and direct-funded schools, with support from recruitment company Gatenby Sanderson.

Carl Ward, chair of the College of Teaching Founding Trustees Selection Panel and chief executive of the City Learning Trust, said:

After undergoing a rigorous and independent recruitment process, we are delighted to welcome the Founding Trustees of the College of Teaching, who will lead the future direction of this fledgling charity. We received hundreds of applications and the selection committee had a difficult job to identify the best team of complementary expertise from a large and very strong field.

The Founding Trustees embody excellence from primary, secondary and SEN across the country with additional expertise from non-teaching professionals who have much to offer the College as it takes its next steps to fully establish its role, remit and membership offer. It has been a privilege to chair the selection committee, who represented in themselves the best of the profession across all phases and school types – we could have filled the board several times over.

The thirteen Founding Trustees of the College of Teaching, who are undertaking voluntary positions for a period of three years, are:


1. Claire Dockar – Lead practitioner at Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth
Claire is Lead Practitioner at Lipson Cooperative Academy, having previously been a lead practitioner in maths and staff governor at Woking High School. Through her role Claire has raised awareness of research-based practice and led the school’s teaching and learning action group, tackling a range of research projects including the value and effectiveness of feedback and intervention strategies.

2. Simon Dowling – Head of English, Colchester Royal Grammar School.
Since September 2004, Simon has been the head of English and head of research & development at the school. Following a career in the army, Simon has worked as a teacher for the past 22 years (17 as a subject leader) and is currently working on his PhD, which is due for completion in 2018. Simon’s areas of expertise lie in effective teaching and learning, and research and development of evidence-based practice.

3. Paul Dwyer – Director of sixth form and history teacher at Putney High School London.
Paul has been director of sixth form and teacher of history and politics at Putney High School since 2014, having previously been with Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow as a history teacher, head of house and acting associate assistant headteacher. His current role requires input into the strategic direction of the school and overseeing a number of key areas such as pastoral support, curriculum planning and careers guidance.

4. Victoria McDowell – Class teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby School, Cumbria.
Vicky has been a teacher at Birdekirk Dovenby Primary School since 2009. For part of this period Vicky was simultaneously working as a teacher with the Fairfield Junior School. Vicky specialises in RE, effective teaching and learning and research. She is currently involved in planning RE for Carlisle diocese and managing the RE strand of the school improvement plan.

5. Malcolm Wilson – Class teacher, London.
Malcolm has been a teacher since 2014, having previously been a teacher and teacher governor at The Russell School in Hertfordshire. Malcolm is in his third year of teaching and prior to that he spent nearly 20 years as a management consultant with the Nicholls Group. His areas of specialism include assessment, research, development of evidence-based practice, finance and business development.


6. Dr Penny Barratt – Executive headteacher at The Bridge London.
Penny has been executive headteacher at The Bridge London (a specialist school for Communication and Interaction and the first SEN Leadership and Innovation Academy in the country) since 2007 and she also runs a teaching school, after school and holiday provision and an outreach service. The Bridge is one of only 42 special schools across the country designated a National Teaching School. In her time as a teacher, Penny has worked across maintained primary and secondary schools, independent secondary schools and further/higher education.

7. Joan Deslandes – Headteacher at Kingsford Community School, London.
Joan is the Headteacher of Kingsford Community School, an 11-16 mixed community school situated in the heart of the economic and business district of the London Docklands. Kingsford has International School Award status and has been recognised as one of the most effective schools worldwide for its work as a Confucius Classroom. Joan has been in post as a successful inner city school leader since 2000 and has been a member of a number of government advisory boards including the Teachers’ Standards Group and Headteachers’ Standards Group. She is currently a member of the Independent and State Schools Partnerships Forum and governor of successful schools including free school the London Academy of Excellence and Brighton College, an independent school. She was recently included in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000, where she featured as one of London’s most influential figures in education.

8. Dame Kate Dethridge – Headteacher at Churchend Academy, Reading.
For the past 17 years Kate has been the Headteacher of this primary school, which has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2005 and 2008. Kate is a National Leader of Education, a member of Ofsted’s Headteacher Reference Group and the Department for Education Bureaucracy Reference Group and in addition is an associate director of the National Education Trust. She is an executive board member of the Free Schools and Academies Network and has held six executive headships to support local schools in difficulty.

Non-teaching professionals with specialist skills

9. Paul Barber – Director of Catholic Education Service.
Paul has held the post of director of the Catholic Education Service since April 2013. Prior to this he was the director of education for the Diocese of Westminster for 11 years. He is a qualified barrister with previous experience as a lecturer. As a lawyer, Paul’s possesses expertise in the legal structures used in governance in education and he has established a number of different types of multi-academy trusts.

10. Professor Sonia Blandford – Founder and CEO at Achievement for All.
In addition to founding Achievement for All, Sonia is a leading practitioner of education within the voluntary, community, charity and public sectors with over 30 years experience. She has founded, co-founded and led eight educational charities. Sonia was director of research and leadership at Teach First.
She is a former pro-vice chancellor and dean in education and is currently professor of education and social enterprise at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education London and Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Warwick.

11. Andrew de Csilléry– Business leader and management consultant at Csillery Consulting.
Andrew is a strategic leader and experienced general manager with international experience in complex consumer-focused businesses. In previous years, Andrew worked at EuroDisney with specific responsibility for the strategic development of the business. He has also worked for Tesco as business planning director and has proven skills in strategy, operations, finance, business development and marketing.

12. Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE – Professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University and directs the Violence and Society Research Group.
Jonathan is a practising surgeon and fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, which he has served as a council member and trustee. His research on clinical decisions and community violence has made major contributions to practice and legislation over three decades. In 2008, the government took up his proposal for an independent professional body for policing, and the new College of Policing was launched in 2013. Jonathan was also instrumental in the formation of the Probation Institute, the independent professional body for probation. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians. He is a member of the Cabinet Office ‘What Works’ Council, the Home Office Science Advisory Council and the Welsh Government Public Services Leadership Group.

13. Kevin Kibble – CEO, The Nurture Group Network.
Kevin has been the CEO of The Nurture Group Network since January 2013 – an organisation that exists to promote the development of nurture groups and to ensure the continuing quality of their delivery through accredited training programmes and research on effective practice. Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 17 of which have been in the fundraising and voluntary sector. He is a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising (IoE), immediate past chair of the IoF London Region, and an executive coach and mentor.

In addition to the thirteen Founding Trustees outlined above, a nominee from the College of Teachers will join the board taking on a specific role for one year to ensure a smooth and effective transfer of a revised Royal Charter to the new College. The process of Charter revision has begun and will be completed in 2016.

After 164 years of operation, the members of the College of Teachers have made the magnanimous decision to offer their Charter to help found a new and fit-for-purpose professional body in line with the duties and responsibilities of the Charter to support the profession and those they serve.

The nominated representative from the College of Teachers is registrar and chief executive, Professor Angela McFarlane. Professor Angela McFarlane began her career as a teacher and head of department in secondary schools in Hertfordshire. She went on to design and direct a number of highly successful educational research and development projects over a 30 year period and has experience of developing and delivering professional development for teachers.

Angela’s research addresses the role of digital technologies in education and has included the development of a series of commercially successful software tools. Angela has played a key role as one of the interim directors in the development of the Claim Your College campaign and the College of Teaching.

Marva Rollins, selection committee member and Headteacher at Raynham Primary School said:

Today’s announcement marks a major historical milestone in the development of the College of Teaching. The Founding Trustees embody a group of inspiring individuals who have shown passion and drive to take forward a new voluntary professional body that exists to champion teachers.

Whilst the development of the College will take time, it has the potential to have a profound and positive impact on the teaching profession and importantly on the lives of learners. I hope the teaching profession will rally together to own the College of Teaching at this crucial time.

Claire Dockar, Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching and Lead Practitioner at Lipson Co-operative Academy, says:

I am absolutely delighted and so proud that I am able to help shape the destiny of our profession as a Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching. I firmly believe the time for a College is now; quite simply it is essential to our future and the impetus is with us. Our aim must be to raise the profile of teaching as a profession so that it is comparable to others with their own accredited professional bodies.

The College of Teaching is a once in a generation opportunity and we can’t just let it slip away. Our children deserve every ounce of energy we have to ensure their future education is the very best we can offer. The College is no gimmick and we face a tremendous challenge that just has to succeed. We need to be clear on our core activities and articulate exactly what membership will mean for each and every teacher. It is vital that we don’t try to completely wipe the slate clean – there is so much excellent practice already and so much valuable research that we must recognise while learning the lessons of the past, we will surely be able to better shape the future.

Victoria McDowell – Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching and class teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby School, Cumbria, says:

For me, the College of Teaching will mean joined-up thinking: curriculum subjects, developing an understanding of what industry requires of the adults of tomorrow, assessment, inspections and how this can all be translated into fun, cohesive lessons for our pupils through proven, effective staff training.

After eighteen years of primary school teaching ranging from reception to year six, working in both the North and South of England, I will bring a practical, ‘feet firmly planted on the floor of the classroom’ style of thinking. This will be a challenge but one which teaching needs in order to empower its workforce and, in time, return respect to the teaching profession as we carry out the highly skilled task of preparing the next generation for the real world.

In addition to the appointment of the Founding Trustees, James Kempton, an independent education and leadership consultant and former history teacher, has been employed on an interim consultancy basis as clerk to the board for the College of Teaching.

James is highly experienced in charity governance and professional standard setting having worked with two medical royal colleges – including helping set up the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and serving as its first chief executive. He was a councillor (and council leader) in Islington for 16 years. James joined the Board of Ofsted as a non-executive director in March 2015 and most recently served as an associate director of the think tank CentreForum.

The founding trustees have relevant professional knowledge and experience in one or more of the following fields:

  • Effective teaching and learning
  • Professional development
  • Professional accreditation
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • The expertise necessary to found and run a competent professional membership organisation, including legal, HR, financial, project management, communications, professional membership organisations, marketing and fundraising.

The Founding Trustees, who will meet for the first time on Saturday 3rd October in London, will play a key leadership and governance role in the creation of the College of Teaching and will be responsible for deciding strategy and engaging teachers and the wider profession, observing best practice in the running of a charity and working towards future membership of the College.

For further information, visit or follow on Twitter @CollofTeaching #claimyourcollege or Facebook at


For Further Information
For further information, please contact Laura Smith at the College of Teaching on / 07467 945848.

Notes to Editors

Recruitment of the founding board

  • The individuals in the selection committee were nominated by: the academy principals group, ASCL, ATL, College of Teachers, Local Government Association (LGA), Independent Schools Council (ISC), NAHT, National Governors Association (NGA), NUT, Prince’s Teaching Institute, SSAT, Teacher Development Trust and Voice the Union.
  • A generous grant from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation and other philanthropic donations enabled the coalition to start the process of recruiting the founding board.
  • The 15 nominated to lead the recruitment of founding trustees were: Melanie Aley – Headteacher, primary; Eugene Dapper, formerly Year Progress Leader in a London secondary school; Ben Driver – secondary maths specialist at King’s College School; Graham Goldup – Senior Assistant Headteacher, Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove; Alex Grady – SEN specialist, Chair of Governors; Sue Hincks – Headmistress of the girls’ division of Bolton School; Kaisra Khan – Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator, The Kingsmead School; Kim Knappett – KS3 science lead in a South London boys’ community school; Anne Lyons – Headteacher, St John Fischer Catholic Primary School; Heather McKenzie – SENCO Co-ordinator and Assistant Headteacher; Lorne Pearcey – Teacher, King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys’ School; Marva Rollins – Headteacher; Michael Tidd – Deputy Headteacher, primary and nursery school; Wendy Tomes – Executive Headteacher, Sidney Stringer Multi-Academy Trust; Carl Ward – Chief Executive, City Learning Trust and Selection Committee Chair.

About the College of Teaching and Claim Your College campaign

  • The College of Teaching is the new chartered professional body for the teaching profession.
  • The 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, backed by over 450 organisations and individuals, is taking forward developments around the College of Teaching in collaboration with practising teachers, school leaders, unions, subject associations and other leading education bodies and third sector organisations.
  • Claim Your College was originally 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.
  • There are numerous benefits of joining a College of Teaching, from being accredited against valid, portable, respected, sector-led standards; gaining access to a career pathway that informs high-quality professional development and learning and building a validated portfolio documenting professional impact based on classroom experience.
  • Members would sign up to 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.
  • For further information, or to have your say, visit
  • Resources including the College of Teaching events pack, myth buster factsheets on key questions and topics, presentations, Pinterest site, animations and videos of teachers and school leaders sharing their views are available from the Claim Your College site.
  • Follow Claim Your College @CollOfTeaching #CollegeOfTeaching #ClaimYourCollege.
  • Like Claim Your College on Facebook