A programme for “chartered teacher status” will open next year, promises the Chartered College of Teaching.
But critics question how “proven expertise” will be measured.
Lucy Crehan (pictured), an education consultant and former teacher, told the Roundtable that chartered status would bring a “mark of quality” amid unregulated career progression.
A college spokesperson confirmed the programme would go ahead and that a “number of different pathways to achieve the status” were being consulted on.
Full details of the programme – known as CTeach – will be released in September to allow teachers to submit “early registration” of interest. It is intended to offer a level of membership above qualified teacher status.
I shouldn’t have to prove myself, I’m already a teacher
A pathway called the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), is expected to start in January. To complete this route, teachers will need to submit evidence of skills, experience and career development “to demonstrate they meet the criteria for chartered teacher status”.
But Professor Samantha Twiselton, director of the Sheffield Institute for Education, said some teachers objected to different levels of college membership.
“Some people are objecting to a higher level of membership, saying ‘I shouldn’t have to prove myself, I’m already a teacher’.”
Tom Bennett, founder of ResearchED and behaviour adviser to the government, said the college needed to be clear what chartered teacher status would represent.
“If it represents a proven expertise of some form, then it could be very useful to employers and the profession.
“But there is a real danger that the organisation focuses too much on building membership before clearly explaining what entitles one to be a member.”
The proposed programme would be “explicitly focused on pupil outcomes” and “a set of professional principles that exemplify excellent teaching”, according to the college’s website.
In 2004, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) criticised a Chartered London Teacher Status that allowed staff to submit evidence in return for a pay hike. The union said it made money available for teachers “in one part of the country that is not available to teachers elsewhere”.
Some subject associations also award a licensed “charter status”, including the Science Council, the Association for Science Education (ASE) and the English Association.
The college is currently consulting on whether to have a “general or a subject-specific” chartered teacher status.
A spokesperson for the ASE, which awards a chartered science teacher status called CSciTeach for £95, said: “The college is looking at making the chartered status applicable for those associations that can’t give out chartered status yet.”
Since setting up the award in 2006, ASE has awarded chartered status to 260 science teachers.
A new chartered status could “raise the whole concept” as currently the award was “not always recognised by senior management”, the ASE spokesperson said.