DfE consults on plans for “world-class teaching profession”

A consultation on creating a ‘world class teaching profession has been launched today by the Department for Education (DfE).

The document outlines support for an independent “College of Teaching” and additional funding for the Teaching Schools network, designed to drive up the quality of teacher professional development.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan and schools minister David Laws set out the plans, stating: “The value of a new “College of Teaching” is almost unanimously agreed upon by experts and – although we are very clear that such a body needs to be independent of Government and led by the profession if it is to be truly successful – we are committed to offering the support that is needed to make its establishment a reality.”

Ms Morgan and Mr Laws added: “At its centre is a new fund which will support high-quality, evidence-based professional development programmes, led by the Teaching Schools network and rigorously evaluated for impact.”

The consultation also invites ten page “Expressions of Interest” from parties interested in the operation of the college, although the document clearly states that it is “not a formal call to tender”.

Beyond the college, views are also sought on the creation of a set of “Standards for Teachers’ Professional Development” to “complement” the existing Teachers’ Standards.

But adds: “The new standard will not be mandatory or statutory; rather it will provide a helpful point of reference for those schools which need a little extra support in identifying and understanding good practice, and thinking about how they can apply lessons learned by others in their own environments.”

The consultation also describes plans for an “online platform” for knowledge sharing and suggests this could, in the long term, be hosted by the proposed College of Teaching.

The consultation opened today and will accept feedback until February 3, 2015. Consultation events will also be held so that interested parties can attend, and people are invited to discuss the issue on Twitter using the hashtag #worldclassteachers

For more analysis and reaction, see the next edition of Schools Week, published Friday, December 12.

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