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.

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