What is the College of Teaching?
The College of Teaching will be a new member-driven professional body. It is being developed by teachers, and organisations that support them, for teachers, to benefit the children and young people that are learning in our classrooms every day.
Our focus is to work together as a powerful force to drive teaching excellence by taking charge of our profession’s destiny, setting aspirational standards and challenging ourselves to be ever better for those we serve.
What is the need for the College?
Teachers play a crucial role in our society, educating children and young people who shape our future and the success of our economy. The deeply human nature of great teaching sometimes disguises the knowledge and skills excellent teachers possess.
Teaching is a standout example of a major profession that has, to date, had no independent professional body. The absence of such a body has resulted in governments defining professional practice over the years, disempowering the
profession and affecting the standing of teaching in society.
What is the history behind it?
The idea of a College has been around for a long time, but momentum has steadily increased following a recommendation to explore the project further by the Education Select Committee in May 2012.
An initial blueprint for the College (published in February 2014 by the Prince’s Teaching Institute – PTI) contains proposals that are based on extensive consultation with teachers and the wider education sector. In June 2014 the PTI began developing a fully costed plan; this is due for delivery early in the new year.
Please contact us for more detail on the milestones that have led to the College’s development.
What consultation has there been in the sector?
Three surveys, each involving 1200-1500 individuals, have been conducted by the PTI, the Sutton Trust, and the Times Educational Supplement. The findings were remarkably consistent: approximately 40% of teachers in favour; 40% wanting to know more; and 20% unfavourable.
Consultation continues and there are many other organisations planning events in the new year, including the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), SSAT, Teach First, Voice the Union and a number of additional schools and teachers.
What will the College do?
The College will help to improve the education of children and young people by championing high standards in teaching. It will promote the wider professional use of evidence to inform teaching practice and policy, curating and disseminating evidence to help teachers make the best professional decisions.
It will ensure high standards of support for teachers by providing support and guidance for professional development and a platform to evaluate and record professional learning.
It will articulate profession-led standards of practice in five key areas – subject content; pedagogical knowledge; professional skills; contribution to the profession; and leadership. A core principle of membership will be providing advice and mentoring to other College members.
The College will have equality of status with other chartered professions, giving teachers greater confidence and independence. It will also harness the experience of its members and draw on robust evidence that will speak truth to politicians and pundits – reducing ineffective interventions, policy and practice.
The College’s role and remit will develop over time. Its initial focus will be setting standards for in-career progression. The aspects of professionalism the College chooses to address in the future will be a matter for its members. These may include the requirements for initial entry to teaching and regulation of the profession.
What’s in it for teachers?
Ultimately, it will be for the membership to decide what this body will do for them. Benefits suggested by the Commission included:
- Challenging professional standards with validity, portability and accreditation
- Professional recognition and status
- A robust, respected portfolio demonstrating teachers’ development
- Guidance and support from a College Mentor
- Access to up-to-date research evidence to support more effective classroom
- Access to professional knowledge that will draw upon academic research.
Members will have the opportunity to contribute to a growing knowledge base
that will help all professionals
- Being part of a College that is recognised by schools who are committed to
accessing professional learning, accreditation, sector-led standards and peer-topeer
- Work towards better outcomes for young people as they enter an ever-changing
and challenging global job market.
Why do some people refer to a ‘Royal College of Teaching’?
Initial discussions referred to this name, but applying to use the word ‘Royal’ in the title is a separate process from getting a new Royal Charter. It would be up to members of the future College whether to request this name, the granting of which is strictly controlled by Royal Prerogative.
How would the College differ from the General Teaching Council?
Membership would be voluntary, and the College would be governed by its members to support themselves in raising standards of professional practice. The organisation would focus on aspiration, development and recognition, not regulation and striking off. It would be independent of Government and thus provide a point of stability through changes in policy and fashion.
How does this new College of Teaching fit with the College of Teachers?
The existing College holds the Royal Charter for teachers’ professional development. It is committed to being completely transformed, through broad, inclusive partnership, into the new College. It is using the powers of its Royal Charter to give the highest level of authority and legitimacy to the process of transformation, and to the work being undertaken by partners, and will lead the process of getting a new Royal Charter for the new College of Teaching.
We believe that the new College, and only the new College, has the right to take long-term decisions about its work and operations.
Will people be forced to become members?
No. Membership of the College will be voluntary and available to individual teachers as well as to schools across the state, independent and academies sector.
How will the College be funded?
Ultimately, solely by membership fees. Initially, however, the College will require start-up funding which should include contributions from members and mixed funding from public and private sources. Any offer of support can only be accepted on the understanding that it cannot compromise the independence of the College.
How will the College be independent from Government?
The College will be an autonomous, voluntary body that is independent of Government and teaching Unions. The College will be entirely independent of Government or any other body, and this independence will be maintained by its governance structure. Any initial start-up funding would only be accepted on the condition that the College would remain fully independent.
Will the College be run by any particular school grouping (e.g. Teaching Schools, an Academy chain, etc.)?
No. It will be an autonomous, voluntary body that will work with all schools.
How much would membership cost?
Membership fees will be comparatively low for an organisation of this type; the exact costs will depend on the take-up and costs in the early years of the College. Initial models and estimates are around £70 for associates per year at entry level, rising for (chartered) Fellows to around £150.
Who is funding the start-up costs?
The plan is to approach a large number of funders to provide start-up support, including prospective members. Eventually the College would be funded through professional membership subscriptions. Expressions of support from Government are encouraging – however, as with any other funder, this cannot compromise the College’s independence.
Will the College take a regulatory role?
The College would have no role in disciplinary hearings or matters such as pay and conditions, but would retain the right to expel members if their conduct were seriously injurious.
How can teachers find out more and have their say?
Individuals can find out more, sign up for updates, and have their voice heard by visiting www.claimyourcollege.org and they can contribute to debates using #claimyourcollege.
Membership proposal FAQs
Who can be a member?
Full (i.e. chartered) Membership is achieved through demonstrating exemplary practice, learning, knowledge and professional development as a teacher. The proposals are developed with classroom teachers in mind. We have followed the principle that the College should not occupy spaces where other bodies already exist, so the proposed scope covers Early Years, 4 to 16 plus sixth forms. However, the proposals clearly allow that teachers working in other sectors (e.g. teachers and trainers working in vocational areas in FE) could achieve the standards ultimately set by the College through their practice in those settings. It would be for future members to decide whether to extent the College’s remit to these areas, by mutual consent with other bodies.
Full Membership confers voting and decision-making rights on all those achieving the standards, admitted to Membership and maintaining good professional status and standing.
What happens to your membership if you leave the classroom?
As in other professions, we would expect that as long as a Member maintains their commitments to the College and its professional standards, membership once achieved is retained. Membership is a professional status not an occupational qualification or occupational tie. By analogy, a Chartered Accountant who moves into management consultancy or project management or becomes a finance director or chief executive would wish to maintain his or her professional standing. In these roles, they would also remain bound by the professional standards and expectations of their profession as long as they maintained that membership. The same would apply in teaching, so that those moving into management positions or working in allied professions would expect to keep their professional status and would remain bound to the same standards.
How long would it take to achieve full membership/how demanding is it?
We envisage that it will be demanding to achieve full membership. Just as engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants, actuaries and others spend the first part of their working lives working towards full professional status, so these proposals assume that it would typically take teachers around 4 years to achieve full chartered status. Increasing the expectation of professional training, development and support in the early years of a teacher’s career is a core part of these proposals.
How would teachers and others become involved in the College before they achieve full membership?
The original PTI Blueprint envisaged 3 levels of membership: Fellow, Member and Associate. A Fellow is a particularly distinguished teacher, who has demonstrated teaching excellence over an extended period. This status is about professional standing as a teacher and teaching skill, not management position in a school (though clearly it is open to all Members who can meet the standards). Those working towards Chartered (i.e. full member) status would be Associate members.
In some other professions there is also a wider ‘Affiliate’ status. This can be open to a wider group of allied occupations and professions. We think that this could be particularly useful in teaching. There are many people with an interest in education, who teach others as part of a wider professional role or who would otherwise benefit from access to the resources and knowledge of the College, but whose role would not allow them to demonstrate the standards for full membership. It is proposed that these people could become Affiliates of the College. Affiliates would not qualify for post-nominals or have voting rights, but for a lower fee could have access to appropriate resources and support from the College.
How will the initial stages work when highly experienced teachers are looking for entry? Will everyone have to wait 4 years for full membership?
The Blueprint recognises that the current workforce includes many highly experienced and professional teachers, who are likely to be able to evidence that they have met the standards required for full membership more quickly than four years. We expect that four years will be the typical time taken for new entrants to the profession to be able to evidence that they have met the standards. The new College will want both to maintain its high standards and avoid unnecessary barriers to entry for current classroom teachers who have shown exemplary professional knowledge, practice and professional development over a number of years. We expect the new College to consult on how best to achieve this balance. The costings underpinning the proposal assume, however, that some teachers achieve full membership more rapidly at the outset, until a steady state is achieved after a number of years.
How will teachers influence the initial standard-setting process when there are few full members?
It is assumed that the initial standard-setting process will reach out well beyond the full membership to other practising teachers. The Associate Membership of teachers working towards chartered status is likely to be a particularly important constituency. Similarly, we believe it will be necessary to give Associate Members a voice in determining appointments to the governance and standards-setting bodies of the College in the early years, until a critical mass is achieved.
Founding Trustee FAQs
What does it mean to be a Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching?
The Trustees will play key leadership and governance roles in driving forward the College in consultation with the teaching profession. After undertaking a rigorous, competitive and transparent recruitment process, Founding Trustees will play an important and historical role in the development of the independent, voluntary and chartered member-driven professional body.
Founding Trustees will use their skills, expertise and networks to support the College of Teaching helping the charity to achieve its aims. Trustees will also learn new skills and develop into new areas during their time on the board as part of continued professional development (CPD).
Is the role voluntary and how long will it last?
The role of Founding Trustee is a voluntary one and the term of office will be three years. However, some Founding Trustees – at least one third of those appointed – may be required to stand for election before that period has been served as part of an ongoing process of facilitating engagement and refreshing the skills represented on the board.
Trustees will commit approximately 20 days to the development of the College of Teaching in the first year and this will include some weekend working. The amount of work and commitment required has been reiterated throughout the recruitment process and ensuring that individuals have the support of their employing school or organisation.
What is the role of the Founding Trustee?
The College of Teaching Founding Trustees will take overall control of the charity and will be responsible for making sure the College is doing what it was set up to do – to establish an independent voluntary and chartered member-driven professional body to support teaching practice and professional development, ensuring that teachers are engaged at every step of the process.
What are the specific legal responsibilities of a Founding Trustee?
Trustees will use the skills and experience to make sure the charity runs efficiently. This includes ensuring the charity:
- Has the money it needs
- Spends its money sensibly on the activities it was raised for
- Follows the law, including preparing reports and accounts to send to the Charity Commission
- Doesn’t break the rules in its governing document (its constitution, trust deed or articles).
Trustees are allowed to get advice from external sources like solicitors or other experts if they need to.
Will costs and expenses be covered?
Yes, there is no remuneration for attendance but Founding Trustees will be eligible to claim allowances, at rates set centrally for travel and subsistence and other agreed costs necessarily incurred. Whether the College meets the costs of supply cover is something the Trustees will be discussed.
Where will the role be based?
The College of Teaching is yet to make decisions on office space and the locations of its operations – this will be a decision that Founding Trustees will explore in discussions with the profession. The first two meetings will be in London but after that it’s a decision for the Founding Trustees.
It is however anticipated that the College will not adopt the model of a large staff team based in a building. The heart and soul of the College will be in its members across the country with a diverse regional spread – connected to each other through a range of networking technologies.
How often will the Founding Trustees come together?
The board will set its pattern of meetings as business required.
What will be the first key decisions that the Founding Trustees will make?
The board will set up groups to work on the membership offer, fund raising and business planning, communications and branding and its corporate governance framework including the Board’s own code of conduct and rules on decision making and financial reporting etc. Most importantly they will set out the vision and ethos.
Who is supporting the Founding Trustees in their role?
James Kempton has been appointed on an interim consultancy basis as clerk to the board. In this role James will provide organisational support and advise the board. The initial priority is to ensure the transition to being a Founding Trustee of the College of Teaching is as smooth as possible.
What is James Kempton’s background?
James Kempton is an independent education and leadership consultant and former history teacher that 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.
Will you make the minutes and papers from Founding Trustee meeting public?
In the interim whilst decisions are made about developing a visual identity for the College of Teaching, the Claim Your College website www.claimyourcollege.org.uk will be used as a platform for sharing the agendas and minutes to ensure transparency.
What formal process will take place for Founding Trustees to commence their role?
Founding Trustees will be formally proposed and elected at the first meeting on October 3rd. At this meeting the current interim directors will receive a report from representatives of the Selection Committee that outlines their recommendations for the individuals to be appointed as Founding Trustees. Following this, the Founding Trustees will be elected as members of the College and as trustees/directors of the College of Teaching Ltd – a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.
Following this, the interim directors will resign their roles although they will remain as members of the College and may be asked by Founding Trustees to support in an advisory capacity.
The Founding Trustees will be asked to co-opt the nominee from the College of Teachers for an interim period of a year as set out in the CYC proposal, as the 14th member of the Board. The nominee is Professor Angela McFarlane.
How have you accounted for any conflicts of interest from Founding Trustees in the recruitment process?
Founding Trustees have been asked to give details of any business or other interests or any personal connections that could be deemed to constitute a conflict of interest. As part of the recruitment process, any potential conflicts of interest have been reviewed and explored with individuals.
Founding Trustees have also been asked to declare if they have been convicted of, or cautioned for, any criminal offence (excluding speeding offences) or have been found guilty of professional misconduct, or if any such proceedings are pending.
How will conflicts of interest be managed on an ongoing basis?
Trustees must declare the nature and extent of any interest, direct or indirect, which he/she (or their immediate family or other close personal connection) has in a proposed transaction or arrangement with the Charity or in any transaction or arrangement entered into by the Charity.
A Trustee must absent themselves from any discussions by the Trustees of any matter in respect of which it is possible that a conflict will arise between the duty to act solely in the interests of the Charity and any personal interest (including, but not limited to, any personal financial interest) and shall not vote on such a matter.
Will there be a chair and vice chair of Trustees?
Yes there will be a chair and vice chair of Trustees. The proposals for electing a chair and vice chair of Trustees will be agreed at the first meeting on October 3rd and these individuals will be in place following the second meeting on November 7th.
What happens if you need to disqualify or remove a Founding Trustee from their post?
The rules state that Trustees shall cease to be in post if they are disqualified from acting as a Trustee by virtue of section 178 of the Charities Act 2011 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision). In addition, Trustees could cease to be in post if they become incapable as a result of illness, mental disorder or injury or if they are absent without permission of the Trustees from all their meetings held within a period of six months.
The Charity may, in the above situations, remove any Trustee before the expiration of their period of office and appoint another person in place of a Trustee so removed from office. The person appointed to fill such a vacancy shall be subject to rotation and retirement in accordance with the initial appointment of the original Trustee.
How do I get in contact with the Founding Trustees, or an individual, about my views on the College of Teaching?
Founding Trustees as a group can be contacted on the following email email@example.com or by contacting the clerk James Kempton on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want a Founding Trustee of the College to speak at an event or take part in some other communications work such as media. Who do I contact?
To discuss the above, please contact Laura Smith in the College of Teaching team on email@example.com / 07467945848. The College also has a general information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who managed the recruitment process?
GatenbySanderson were recruited to assist in managing the recruitment process.
Why was GatenbySanderson chosen to take on this work?
GatenbySanderson won a competitive tendering process to support the recruitment. In particular their advanced online tools and experience gave us confidence they could manage the level of interest we anticipated. They also recognised this was not just another job. Our confidence in them proved well founded and the selection committee expressed their appreciation of the high quality support they received throughout.
Who was responsible for choosing the successful candidates?
A selection committee was appointed to lead the recruitment of Founding Trustees. The selection committee had experience in primary, secondary and SEN from across local, independent, government funded and direct funded schools.
How was the selection committee formed?
The committee were nominated to represent the diversity of experience and expertise in the teaching profession by the Academy Principals group, unions including ASCL, NAHT, NUT, ATL and Voice the Union and wider organisations including the National Governors’ Association, Independent Schools Council (ISC) and Local Government Association (LGA).
Who was on the selection committee?
The 15 individuals nominated to lead the recruitment of Founding Trustees were:
- Melanie Aley – headteacher, primary
- Eugene Dapper – former 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, Raynham Primary School
- 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.
How many applications did you receive?
The application process for recruitment Founding Trustees was a demanding one and we were delighted with the level of interest. We had just less than 200 exceptional applications for the role.
What was the breakdown of applications taken forward by teachers, heads and non-teaching professionals?
The numbers broke down as 40 headteacher applications, 65 teacher applications and 84 non-teaching professional applications – many of these applicants had a background in teaching or were working in other parts of the education system. A website was set up to support the recruitment of Founding Trustees at www.collegeofteachingtrustees.com. This website will remain available and will in time be archived for historical purposes.
The website achieved an impressive 5,601 unique visitors to the microsite and advertisements were run in a number of sector, national and professional media outlets such as the TES and the Sunday Times. In addition to this, a strategy was employed to disseminate the Founding Trustee recruitment opportunity far and wide through the Claim Your College coalition of 450 individuals and organisations and through direct outreach to over 300,000 teachers and headteachers via The Education Company database.
What were the criteria to become a Founding Trustee?
Individuals with 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.
What was the recruitment process?
The recruitment process was in four stages:
- Self-selection – a range of self-selection questions on the website that were designed to help candidates identify whether they matched the requirements of the role and save those who do not from taking the time to apply.
- Competency-based online application – candidates had to provide information about their career history and experience as well as provide answers to a number of questions focusing upon the key competencies of the role. All answers were limited to 250 words.
- Online assessment – this included applicants completing an online assessment tool followed by a validation session (via telephone) with a qualified user and receive feedback on their profile.
- Interviews – interviews were conducted by members of the selection committee.
How long was the recruitment process?
The closing date for applications was 16th June 2015. Candidates were notified if they were being taken through to the next stage of the assessment on 3rd July 2015. The candidates under took the online assessments over a two-week period (w/c 6th and 13th July 2015). Interviews took place in the weeks commencing 24th August and 5th September 2015.
What type of questions were asked at the self-selection process?
The process was aimed at helping applicants understand the responsibilities of a charity trustee as well as a representative and advocate for the profession. The questions sought experience and expertise relevant to these areas.
What type of questions were asked regarding the key competencies of the role?
The selection committee worked with experts at GatenbySanderson on this section to identify the key areas to probe. These were evidence-informed decision making, strategic awareness, problem solving, stakeholder engagement and planning and organising.
What was the online assessment tool used during the process?
This was a tool developed by GatenbySanderson, appropriately modified for this recruitment.
What type of questions were asked during the phone interview?
The expert assessors explored with candidates their responses to the key competence questions.
How many applicants were shortlisted to be interviewed?
44 applicants were shortlisted to be interviewed.
What were you looking for in an applicant to put them through to the interview stage?
The panel was looking for all round performance in the process so far and representation across the diverse range of expertise and contexts in the maintained sector particularly.
For the interview, what type of questions and/or tests did you ask applicants?
The details and timing of the process and the full job and person specifications have been available online throughout the process at www.collegeofteachingtrustees.com.
The selection committee biographies have also been made public on the website at: http://www.collegeofteachingtrustees.com/sections/application_guidance/the_selection_committee
Everyone involved has observed the highest standards of professionalism and respect for confidentiality throughout.
Describe the process that led to choosing the final 13? How were these final decisions managed?
In an historic meeting at the RAF club in London, the panel met to consider all the evidence available for the 44 interviewees. Each interview panel had made a recommendation as to whether the candidates they saw were appointable. The final deliberations focused on assembling the best team of 13 with the skills the founding board needs and the ability to represent the rich mix of experience and contexts across the profession.
Why did you recruit 13 Founding Trustees through the recruitment process and not more or less?
In line with best practice in governance, the College sought a board that could bring a suitable balance of representation and skills needed for a credible membership body, whilst ensuring the board remained small enough to be efficient and effective.
You recruited 13 Founding Trustees through the recruitment process but there are 14 Founding Trustees on the board. Why is this?
In addition to the thirteen Founding Trustees, a nominee from the College of Teachers – registrar and chief executive Professor Angela McFarlane – 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.
Angela will be nominated for co-option to the Board for 12 months at its first meeting.
Is there a chance you will co-opt other Founding Trustees onto the Board?
The articles of association governing the College of Teaching do allow Trustees the option to co-opt onto the Board if they desire and if there is a specific skill set that they feel the College of Teaching needs.
Who didn’t make it through to being a Founding Trustee?
We are not able to disclose the details of any individuals who took part in the process and were not successful. Those individuals have our thanks and gratitude for their interest in becoming a Founding Trustee and we hope to work closely with them in the future.
These individuals also received feedback on the reasons why they were not successful this time – as previously outlined it was a very competitive field and the selection committee could have filled the Board a number of times over. Those appointed represent the best team fit at this time.
How will you work with individuals who haven’t become Founding Trustees but shown a huge commitment to being involved?
We will keep in touch around the developments related to the College of Teaching and urge those who applied to consider putting their names forward at a later date. In line with best practice, the board will refresh membership each year through a proportion of trustees stepping down.
What will happen to the existing directors now the Founding Trustees have been appointed? Will any remain involved with the College?
The interim directors are:
- Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning
- Anne-Marie Duguid, director of education for SSAT
- Chris Pope, co-director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute
- David Weston, chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust
- Professor Raphael Wilkins, president of the College of Teachers
- Professor Angela McFarlane, chief executive of the College of Teachers
These individuals have made a significant and outstanding contribution to the development of the College of Teaching to date as instigating members of the Claim Your College coalition. The individuals, and their associated organisations, have always been clear that the Claim Your College campaign is a stepping stone to a teacher-led future and they have sought to ensure that no one (including themselves) will impose their will on the long-term future of what must be a profession-led College.
Whilst the individuals will step down as interim directors, their commitment and passion for driving forward the College of Teaching will endure and they will be available to provide support and advice to the Founding Trustees to ensure a smooth transition and induction process.
Professor McFarlane is the nominee from the College of Teachers to the new board and if co-opted will serve for the first year.