Dame Alison Peacock was visited Edspace, the education co-working space in Hackney, to
discuss the ongoing development of the Chartered College of Teachers. The Chartered College of Teaching
is the new professional body for teachers in the UK. With their recently acquired Royal Charter, the Chartered College are set to revolutionise teaching in the UK by pushing for best practice, continued professional development, and recognition for the work that teachers do.
The vision which Dame Peacock sets out is an inspiring one. At the same time as joining the newly formed National Education Union
, educators can also join this new professional body, the Chartered College of Teaching. This combination provides them with the perfect support to remain secure in their position, as well as pursue the highest grade of aptitude in their professional capability.
We don’t need to list all the ways in which teaching differs from other professions but some are obvious when you think about it: How many engineers learn to be the best possible engineers by working on their own all day, with no supervision and relatively little investment into their continued professional development?
What does this mean for teachers?
Here are the three ways that the Chartered College of Teaching aims to help educators:
There is research that teachers can access through the Chartered College which simply isn’t accessible to those not doing PhD research. Members all gain access to EBSCO, the authoritative online resource for education research & professional development for educators.
A royal charter and a barrier to entry give the Chartered College’s members the confidence to become master teachers in their own respect. The Chartered College will be a centre for excellence for teaching and it would be hoped that its members are seen as having been quality checked as being above and beyond.
Helping teachers transition to a new model of education
There has been a devolution of power from the DfE and local authorities down to individual schools and teachers. Despite this, there has not been a huge uptick in the amount of information available to these teachers. Much like WonderHub
‘s edtech review and advice service, the Chartered College will empower individual groups of teachers to help and support each other, through networks across the UK. This means that unlike the traditional ‘hub & spoke’ model, it is up to teachers to drive the network growth. The proof is in the pudding and so far the Chartered College has over 81 networks across the UK!
Partnerships with the University of Cambridge & the National Association for Teachers of English will help them excel
There is a vocal outcry for the kind of support that the Chartered College can provide. Organisations that are partnering with the College include the University of Cambridge & the National Association for Teachers of English. These partnerships are part of what will help the first members of the Chartered College excel.
The start of a journey
The Chartered College can’t expect to win over the most stubborn teachers out there straight away, just as some people are more willing to try new technology in the classroom than others. What seems clear is that those that join early will benefit the most and those that join later will benefit from an overall raising of standards
The rising tide floats all ships. More teachers in their membership will make them more financially independent which will lead to more innovative work
– Dame Alison Peacock
As a head, Alison Peacock’s speciality was turning schools around from somewhere that had lost hope to places that shone. Her mission each time was to work with those that have a spark within them and kindle that into a flame. Those on the outside looking in will eventually join. With 11000 members already on board, this venture feels like it could be the spark for a whole sector.
Questions from the audience
Natalie Richard, Director of Edukit: “How will the Chartered encourage innovation in education?”
- Write for Impact, the journal of the Chartered College of Teaching
High-quality input from teachers who are using and testing innovations on the ground can help highlight ideas between those that work in practice but not necessarily in theory.
Ed Fidoe, Founder of School 21: “What about teachers who just want to be amazing teachers?”
- The Chartered College wants to champion the teacher who just wants to teach.
This means developing multiple leadership pathways. It shouldn’t only be by moving up the management ladder that career and pay advancement occurs. Teaching one thing exceptionally, and sharing your knowledge should be a prized skill. There should also be more interaction with the academic sector. Dame Peacock would like to see professors in schools bringing new ideas to light.
One other tool in their bag is their work with the DfE in developing an early career journal for new teachers. This will be something that all new teachers receive and give them a whole-career view of teaching. Tying this in with the previous pathways work will help attract and retain more high-quality teachers. Achieving Chartered status will become synonymous with achieving a new milestone in your career, with the pay rewards associated with it.
Jonathan Page, MD of WonderHub: “The DfE is looking for ways to help teachers manage their time. How can this help?”
It is ironic that the teaching profession often doesn’t have the time to be a learning profession. Most time in teaching is spent fire-fighting. Teachers are often only able to plan one day, week or year ahead and have to deal with those urgent issues that only a teacher must, such as bullying and safeguarding. Sharing best practice and helping to guide and advise each other on new solutions to old problems will form a core part of the Chartered College’s networks.
The workload change needs to come from the ground up. If teachers on the ground are getting outcome assessments from things like marking then it won’t change. The Chartered College is looking to work to create new methods of teaching which can help with this paradigm shift.