College of Teaching moves closer to making its vision of a chartered professional body a reality

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Selection Committee, has today (21 January 2016) hosted a reception event at the House of Commons, London, to mark the progress achieved to date in the development of the College of Teaching – the independent, chartered professional body for the teaching profession.

Key developments were discussed at the event including:

  • The submission of the petition to the Privy Council for the founding Royal Charter, which has been backed by every key subject association and learned society alongside the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan.
  • The launch of a major membership consultation – The Big Staff Meeting – to gain the views of teachers from every phase and stage on the scope and benefits of future membership of the College. Taking place in the lead up to February half term, teachers are being encouraged to have their views counted by submitting their thoughts online at
  • The on-going work of Founding Trustees to take the College of Teaching from a vision to a reality ensuring the College will be fully operational by Autumn 2016 alongside building a tangible and compelling membership offer that adds value to teachers.

Run for teachers, by teachers, the College will be a member-driven and voluntary body, committed to improving the education of children and young people, enhancing the status of teaching and recognising excellence.

The College will play a key role in supporting the teacher community to come together across a wide numbers of areas. In particular, it will help to mobilise dialogue, debate and dissemination of research and evidence and act as an interface between practice and research, drawing on academic research and teachers’ judgements of the best ways to help children and young people succeed.

The College will offer a clear professional development pathway, which will set out an entitlement for all teachers. This will include recognising teacher expertise against valid, portable, respected, but most importantly teacher-led standards. In addition, the College will develop a quality-assured professional knowledge base and support teachers along a career pathway with access to high-quality professional development and learning.

The reception event has introduced the Founding Trustees of the College of Teaching to teachers, headteachers and key influencers in the education sector alongside representatives from the Claim Your College coalition including unions, subject associations, school improvement and leadership bodies, academy chains and teaching schools.

Speakers at the event included Claire Dockar, Chair of the College of Teaching and teacher at Lipson Co-operative Academy in Plymouth; Lisa Pettifer, teacher at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton and Sir John Holman, President-Elect of The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Claire Dockar, says: “We are on the verge of achieving recognition and parity with other professions such as Doctors, Lawyers and Accountants that the teaching profession has been striving to achieve for over 200 years. The College of Teaching will place the teaching profession in the ‘driving seat’ of teaching excellence. Together, we can ensure that our teachers are properly supported and empowered to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils

“The College is different from anything that has gone before and it is not a government agency – teachers have a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to grasp the College and to shape it from the outset. Our ambition is that the College will prove itself to be a new, professional voice in the education debate that represents the experiences and views of classroom teachers who are too often ignored.

“On behalf of the Founding Trustee Board, I would like to thank all of the individuals and organisations who have played a key role in getting us to this point. This includes the 400-strong Claim Your College coalition, the selection committee who helped to form the Board, the former Interim Directors for their leadership and to the many membership and education organisations and unions that have shared their expertise, support and challenge with us.”

Lisa Pettifer, teacher at The Nelson Tomlinson School in Wigan, says: “I am exactly the sort of teacher that needs the College of Teaching and I think its development is crucial to the teaching profession. There is currently a hole in the education system that the College of Teaching needs to fill.

“Teachers need greater opportunities to access professional career development, professional knowledge, mentoring and accredited courses wherever they are based. It is exciting to think that teachers, like me, could access these benefits from the College so we can further our commitment to the education system, the teaching profession, to pupil progress and our own personal development.

“I believe that there will come a point in the future when teachers look back and wonder how on earth there was ever a time when we didn’t have a professional body. In the meantime, we have a long road ahead of us and our priority needs to continue to be engaging closely with teachers so they can make informed decisions about their College”

 To date, the teaching profession has indicated interest in the development of a College of Teaching. A survey carried out in 2015 (75% of respondents were classroom teachers or subject leaders) showed that 80% of respondents viewed the benefits of membership of the College of Teaching as valuable with over 60% saying they would consider paying an annual membership fee.

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Find out more about The Big Staff Meeting visit

Find out more about the College of Teaching at

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