The story so far

2012: Headteachers broach the idea and Government responds

  • The idea of a new College of Teaching was broached at a Headteacher Residential held by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) in 2012.
  • The House of Commons Education Select Committee recommended a new College of Teaching, independent from Government. Their report Great Teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best on can be found here:  Volume IVolume IIVolume III.
  • Government responds to the Education Select Committee report in July:
  • “We acknowledge and support the case for a new, member-driven College of Teaching, independent from but working with Government, which could play important roles… in the accreditation of CPD and teacher standards.”
  • Heads from the residential ask the PTI to host an exploratory workshop to facilitate discussion of ideas. There is a unanimous request from those at the workshop for the PTI to act as ‘honest broker’ in exploring the idea further. The results from this two-hour session are published in ‘Investigating the appetite for and remit of a new member-driven College of Teaching: An Exploratory Workshop’.
  • The PTI establishes a Teacher Committee drawn from a wide cross-section of schools and with a wide range of experience, and a Commission to work on the idea.

2013: The education community offers support and seeks more teacher input

2014: The revised Blueprint emerges, implementation and financial planning and consultations begin

  • Charlotte Leslie, MP has been lobbying in Parliament for a College of Teaching; now she pens an article for The Guardian stating that a Royal College of Teaching could work, but must be a “politician-free zone”.
  • A Blueprint, revised on the basis of 2013’s consultation, is published in February.
  • During this time the results of three surveys of the teaching profession are published, by PTI, Sutton Trust and the TES. They all show remarkably similar results – c.40% of teachers in support, c.40% undecided, c.20% against. Interpretations of these results vary. Our view is that if 40% of teachers support a voluntary College this is enough critical mass to get started.
  • In May, the Headteachers’ Roundtable publishes their manifesto – this calls for a College of Teaching.
  • In June, The College of Teachers publishes its members’ response to the PTI Blueprint and the Teacher Development Trust manifesto calls for an independent, member-led College of Teaching.
  • The Royal Society’s ‘Vision for science and mathematics education’ expresses support for a new College of Teaching.
  • The autumn sees a series of roadshows, hosted by the existing College of Teachers, in Bristol, London and York. Speakers such as Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning; Eugene Dapper, Progress Leader for Year 10 at Kingsford Community School; and John Tomsett, Head at Huntingdon School in York, relate what the College will mean to them.
  • In October 2014, the first College of Teaching newsletter is circulated, with articles from teachers, heads, and the wider education community.
  • The Claim Your College website is launched, and the #claimyourcollege Twitter campaign begins at @CollofTeaching #CollegeofTeaching
  • November sees ‘Licensed to Create: Ten essays on improving teacher quality’ published by the Action and Research Centre (RSA).
  • One of its main recommendations is the empowering of a new Royal College of Teaching to introduce licensing “through a peer-reviewed portfolio process”. Includes:
  • Wiliam, Dylan. ‘Teacher Expertise: Why It Matters, And How To Get More Of It’. Licensed to Create: 27-36. (2014).
  • In December, Government announces its support for the College of Teaching through Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary, and David Laws, Minister for Schools, in The Guardian.
  • A set of FAQs on the College of Teaching and FAQs on the membership proposal are made available on the Claim Your College website.
  • On December 9th, the Department for Education launched a consultation: A world-class teaching profession’. This closed on the 3rd of February 2015.

2015: The College of Teaching starts to emerge, Founding Trustee recruitment takes place and appointments made and engagement activities increase

  • The Claim Your College coalition published ‘The profession’s new College of Teaching: A proposal for start-upon 2nd February which was backed by a broad base of unions, subject associations, universities and many teachers and schools. The press release can be found here.
  • The full list of supporters can be viewed here, where you can also pledge your support for a voluntary, member-driven and independent College of Teaching.
  • Coverage was achieved in a number of media outlets including The Guardian, TES, Schools Week and BBC News Online.
  • Thanks to a grant from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation and other philanthropic donations, the process of recruiting 15 founding board members of the new College got underway. The government also pledged their support for the College and offered “no strings” financial support. The press release can be found here.
  • In April and May a total of 13,004 respondents – 75% of which were teachers or subject leaders – took part in a survey carried out via The Education Company, on behalf of the Claim Your College coalition.
  • The survey looked into the thoughts of classroom teachers and subject leaders about the College. The results were extremely positive with over 80% seeing the ambitions of the College as important and the benefits it promises as valuable, almost a third of respondents said they would be willing to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign to help found the College, with almost seven in 10 respondents indicating they would be willing to make a donation of up to £25.
  • The end of May saw another milestone met with the launch of its recruitment drive for the appointment of Founding Trustees. The deadline for applications ended in June and a selection committee assessed candidates.  Successful candidates were announced in September.
  • A number of resources are made available on the Claim Your College website for those who would like to host their own discussions and debates.
  • Supporters of Claim Your College have collaborated together to develop College of Teaching animations – one on the background of the College of Teaching and one on how it could support teachers in practice – to help individuals and organisations to spread the word.
  • The animations have been developed by Gareth Alcott, Assistant Head Teacher at King Alfred’s Academy and designed by Edwin Lagos on behalf of the Claim Your College Coalition.
  •  In September, the College of Teaching launches a new Hubbub fundraising and engagement platform to establish its founding support.
  • The Big Staff Meeting initiative is launched in November 2015, encouraging teachers from every phase and stage across the country to set aside half an hour of their time to discuss the College of Teaching and respond to a national membership survey. Read the press release here.
  • At December’s Trustee meeting, classroom teachers were appointed to drive the College forward, with Claire Dockar as Chair and Victoria McDowell as Vice Chair. Click here for further information.


  • The College of Teaching holds a reception at the House of Commons, hosted by Neil Carmichael MP, to mark the progress achieved to date in the development of the College of Teaching. This included the submission of the petition to the Privy Council for the founding Royal Charter, which was backed by every key subject association and learned society alongside the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan. Click here for further information.
  • Joan Deslandes, Founding Trustee of the College and Leading London Headteacher runs a Big Staff Meeting and calls for the teaching profession to self-regulate and resist ‘detrimental initiatives’. Read the full press release here.
  • Sonia Blandford, Founding Trustee, joins Vicky McDowell as a Vice Chair of the board to the College of Teaching.
  • In February, the crowdfunding campaign closed and the target was not met. The College confirms they will continue to work with teachers on a voluntary basis and will also continue to raise funds from other sources, including charitable foundations. Read the release here.
  • The Big Staff Meeting and membership consultation closed in March and results are being announced in the coming months.
  • The College of Teaching welcomes the announcement of support and up to £5 million staged seed funding outlined within the Department for Education’s Educational Excellence, Everywhere white paper, presented to parliament by the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP. Read the statement here.

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