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

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