It won’t regulate, discipline or force membership – but for £70 a year the newly proposed College of Teaching will support the profession in ‘taking responsibility for its destiny’.
That’s the claim of a proposal released today by the ‘Claim Your College’ coalition, which includes the existing College of Teachers, Prince’s Teaching Institute, Teacher Development Trust, and SSAT along with practising teachers and school leaders.
Joining the new college will be voluntary, the proposal says, and the independent organisation behind it will run on a charitable basis.
Costs for membership are estimated at £70 per annum, and though anyone interested in education can join, ‘chartered’ membership will be reserved for practising classroom teachers.
Membership routes for teaching assistants and exam officers are mooted as future possibilities, but the proposal makes clear this would only happen after consultation.
Speaking about the report Angela McFarlane, Chief Executive of the existing College of Teachers, said that it had been shaped by a “wide consultation with the education sector over the last two years” and that “the proposal sets out the areas of consensus and immediate next steps”.
Estimated start-up costs for the project will run to £11.9m over five years, with the group likely to crowd-fund for founder members as well as considering a range of philanthropic donations.
Ms McFarlane said: “We are seeking start-up funding from a range of sources including government and charitable trusts underpinned by our ethos that any offer of support will only be accepted on the understanding that it cannot compromise the independence of the College of Teaching.”
The document describes a college management structure that includes both current teachers and ‘lay directors’ who could bring project management or financial expertise.
Pursuits for the college include the development of teaching standards, as recently described in the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training, and sharing good practice from around the world.
A driving force behind the proposals, David Weston, Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust, emphasised the proposals were part of a collaborative effort to start the new organisation.
He said: “The Claim Your College coalition has received extraordinary interest from the great majority of teachers consulted alongside unions, subject associations, universities, school improvement organisations, third sector organisations and others across the education sector.
“It is essential that teachers are at the heart of the College of Teaching. It must be designed, driven and run by teachers and it will only be effective if it is relevant, high-status and provides true professional progression for teachers.”