Welcome to this first newsletter

From Chris Pope, Co-Director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI)
Since the publication of the Blueprint last February, there has been increasing interest in the idea of a new member-driven College of Teaching, and an ever greater number of organisations and individuals wishing to engage with the process of establishing it. This is very good news, and continuing my role as “honest broker” in this process I am pleased to now be in the position to make you aware of the different activities taking place and some people’s views about the idea.  A core principle of the venture is to bring the educational community together: we felt the best way to keep the increasingly large band of supporters informed about the various activities and work towards the new body was to create a newsletter. So, welcome to this first edition of the newsletter, which I hope you will find informative and useful.
Clearly, it is only as good as the information we receive, and so we are delighted that so many responded to the call for information. Do please continue to keep us updated, and send us your thoughts and feedback by 
email. Also, please do forward this e-newsletter round to those who you think it would be of interest to. The more people we reach, the more input we can gather for the project! 
Finally, none of this would be possible without the hard work of Lynda Stewart and Lily Campbell-Lamerton, who are leading on the creation of an implementation and business plan, who I would like to thank on behalf of everyone who wishes to see the creation of – in the words of the Education Select Committee – “a new, member-driven College of Teaching.”
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Implementation Plan News
Lynda Stewart                                                  Lily Campbell-Lamerton
We have been seconded by Accenture to help with the exciting project! Our work started in July 2014, and will end in December 2014. We are here primarily to set up a robust business model and implementation plan that will deliver the Blueprint and ensure the core principle of keeping teachers at the heart of the organisation is adhered to. We have been overwhelmed by the widespread enthusiasm that the College is generating.

However, it is clear to us that the College cannot open its doors fully functioning on day one. Based on experience from the US, and other standard setting experts, our hypothesis is there will be an incubation period, that we expect will last 3 years. During this time, concentrated work and pilot testing will be done, to establish robust standards for Membership and Fellowship. We have developed a plan which allows sufficient time to formulate, test, and roll out the certification process. We anticipate that this will include the integration of existing successful qualifications, accreditations and work involved in special roles; e.g. the various Chartered Teacher schemes, Masters qualifications, Lead Practitioners, NLEs, LLEs, SLEs, NPQH etc. However, within the 3 year period, we have specified some key services that the College will need to provide to ensure it meets the needs of teachers. These will include advice on professional development, curation of international research making it relevant to the classroom, a journal, a series of nationwide events to explain the College’s work, and the development of peer and mentoring networks so that teachers are more supported and feel part of a community of peer professionals. We believe that from the start, working teachers need to be at the heart of designing the organisation, and a teacher predominance in the governance structures is key in the long-term. Our research is based on evidence from successful leading membership bodies in the UK and worldwide. We are also speaking with all the teaching Unions to ensure the College meets the needs of the profession. 
We have been dividing our time between 3 main facets of the project: consulting with pre-school, primary, and secondary schools, and speaking to teachers across England to ensure that the College is all-encompassing; we have been working closely with the Royal College of Surgeons and many educational organisations to develop leading practices; as well as developing the operational plan involving creating a robust and sustainable business model that is self-sufficient, engineering the start-up and running costs, and consulting with potential funders for the organisation. 

For further detail, please take a look at the
College of Teaching blueprint.
What's happening?
Read on to find out the various roadshows, consultations and more from the teaching profession across the UK!
Leora Cruddas
The Association and School and College Leaders (ASCL)
The Association and School and College Leaders (ASCL) represents more than 18,000 heads, principals, deputies, vice-principals, assistant heads, business managers and other senior staff of maintained and independent schools and colleges throughout the UK.
ASCL believes deep and sustained reform of our education system will not come from outside the profession: it depends on us – the many, not just the few. This is why we are supporting the establishment of a College of Teaching. Teaching is a profession – but it cannot be accepted as such until it creates the structures that enable it to take responsibility for its own standards and to use and create evidence in the form of research.
ASCL have published a consultation on a blueprint for a self-improving system which can be found 
here.The blueprint is a vision written from the point of view of an imagined future. It sets out the vision for a system which would be defined by strong profession-led features, including a College of Teaching.
Russell Hobby
General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
At our annual conference in May 2014 members of NAHT (the largest grouping of head teachers and school leaders in the country) voted overwhelmingly in support of a College of Teaching. This support is recorded in our manifesto for education.
The reason for this enthusiasm is simple. If the profession wants to be in control of its destiny, and free from political interference, it must take ownership of standards. If the profession wants respect and autonomy, it must base its decisions on evidence. We envisage the College as a powerful voice for standards and evidence, free from vested interests and courageous in speaking up for what works for pupils. 
This may not be a comfortable process. The pursuit of evidence and responsibility may challenge the profession as much as it does policy makers. But the prize is clear: confident, trusted teachers equipped to make the right decisions in their schools. 
We have been promoting the concept to every minister and official we meet along with one other clear message: government can facilitate, but the College must rise up from the profession and be owned and led by teachers themselves. 
Professor Angela McFarlane
CEO and Registrar, The College of Teachers
Between November and March (starting with 6th November - Bristol;17th November - London; 20th November - York), the College of Teachers will be hosting a series of open events across the UK supported by an extensive online debate in partnership with the TES. These offer an opportunity to find out what an independent chartered professional body for teaching could offer and to have your say in the debate that will shape a new organisation. Watch this space for further details. 
What the College means to a teacher and the teaching profession: How will it benefit children and young people in the UK?
Rebecca Diamond
NQT Secondary School English Teacher
The College of Teaching has the potential to unify and strengthen the existing capacity of teachers. Research consistently indicates that highly effective teachers are the most important factor in ensuring good educational outcomes for students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Yet how are teachers to become highly effective when CPD opportunities are not consistent across the profession? How are teachers to know what best practice in their subject looks like when evidence informed research is not made readily available to them outside of a university context? How can teachers evaluate their own skillset and progress when they receive infrequent and often unrepresentative feedback?

These questions are only some of those I have raised upon entering the profession in the past year. As an NQT teacher who has received invaluable support from an array of mentors and tutors, some of which will continue over the upcoming year, I can appreciate how a good support network can equip an unqualified teacher to achieve her potential. Yet looking forward, I see a less certain future. With no immediate ambitions to take on leadership responsibilities, I hope firstly to improve my classroom teaching and understand how best to pitch my subject to the many students I teach who are hindered by low literacy, language barriers and special educational needs. Teacher development has the potential to become much more relevant to teachers and the College could help provide this framework for delivery in and across schools. Many teachers would like to engage in classroom based research yet are not part of a supportive infrastructure which could enable them to do so. A new CPD approach has the potential to redefine teaching, away from a predominantly vertical profession leading towards headship, towards a broader profession where expert teachers can be cultivated and supported on their own journey.

The potential for the College is huge, as are the consequences of its success.  With teachers consistently learning alongside their students, I think that teachers would be less likely to burn out or feel disempowered amid the swathe of policy fluctuations. Teachers would be better positioned to lead learning from within their classrooms and learn from the innovations and evidence of what works from others. As a result, students would be learning from the teachers that they deserve - committed and skilled professionals who have the additional asset of being learners themselves.
Rory Anthony Quinn
Year 5 Primary School Teacher, Oasis Academy Bank Leaze

One point which those involved in education can all agree upon, is that incessant changes to school life, instigated by turbulent political cycles, have had and continue to have, a detrimental effect upon the quality of teaching and learning within schools. With the constant mist of uncertainty permeating classrooms, the need for an impartial and informed body to provide a professional voice for teachers is more necessary than ever.
In addition to providing a voice to teachers, such a body would ensure that within the ever more fragmented world of education, all teachers would be at least afforded the opportunity to access research led CPD regardless of their school situation. Many teachers find that, due to circumstances beyond their control, they are excluded from the means to continue to develop their practice as a result of inadequate and often detrimental CPD provision at a school level. However, membership of the new College of Teachers would remove the need for teachers to rely upon their school to be the sole providers of opportunities for the development of practice.
Teachers would be able to access effective and informed training, which would serve to improve their teaching. Improvements in teaching, garnered through training provided by the College, would inevitably improve learning,   providing professionals with the means to develop their teaching as part of an honest and reflective movement.
In the light of such benefits, the arguments for the creation of the new College of Teaching are more compelling than ever. Not only could teachers improve their teaching, they would be provided with a morale boosting professional voice, be part of a reflective movement, and ultimately, be able to have a greater impact upon the learning of the young people whom they serve each day.
Philip Britton MBE
Headmaster of Bolton School Boys' Division; Vice President (Education) at the Institute of Physics

It is tremendously important for teachers that they have a new College, with the important role of ensuring that membership indicates peer reviewed professionalism, high standards and a commitment to validated and on-going professional development.  Great teachers have a passion for bringing the best out of others, but if the professional is to be invigorated it is also crucial that it is possible for colleagues to seek the acknowledgment of standards and validation of development chartered status can bring.
Leigh Pignatelli
Head of Beauty Therapy, School Governor, Copthall School; and Quality Assurance Co-ordinator for City & Guilds qualifications
I have worked with the Teachers Committee at the PTI on the Blueprint for the College of Teaching and teach vocational qualifications to 14 – 18 year olds in a comprehensive girl’s school in North London. The main benefit that I can see for establishing the College of Teaching will be to create an organisation which has an excellent reputation of installing the highest standards for teachers and improving the image of the education sector.  
Mark Scholey
Head of History and Form Teacher, Parkside School; Former Programme Manager with London 2012 and Accenture
I firmly believe that the proposed College of Teaching is the body that should oversee continuous professional development (CPD) for teachers. A professional body similar to the medical colleges or chartered institutes would also provide an alternative career path for those teachers who are excellent classroom practitioners and yet have no aspiration to manage schools. Political interference and party postulating or prevarication would be reduced and the real beneficiaries would be the children who rely upon a quality education.
Debra Kidd
Teaching and Learning Consultant

What would a College of Teaching mean for those of us teaching EYFS or Primary children? 
Sometimes the world of politics, structures and systems seem so far removed from the hustle and bustle of these classrooms. And yet, research shows time and again, that the early and primary years set the tone for the future. They can shape minds, strengthen hearts and build learners with the tenacity to succeed. It is my belief that this research, gathered and disseminated by a professional body free from political ideology and vote chasing, would give us the knowledge and autonomy to create the learning experiences that these children need. And for this reason alone, I whole heartedly support the idea of a College of Teaching. It is time for us to take control of our profession - to reform not moan and to hope not mope. The CoT seems to me to be our best chance of doing this.
Peter Taylor
Education Adviser, Catholic Education Service
The Catholic Education Service supports the proposal to create College of Teaching. Our education system depends on the talented, enthusiastic and professional teachers who serve in it. A College of Teaching that disseminates the latest pedagogical research, provides forums for teachers to debate their professional practice and develops their subject knowledge will further enhance the quality of the education system in this country. We will be promoting this development among our schools and encouraging teachers in the Catholic sector to get involved in this exciting project.
Activities related to the College of Teaching across the UK
Iain Hulland
Executive Headteacher, Alder Grange Community & Technology School and Sixth Form

Towards a New College of Teaching: Some activity in the North of England
Since becoming engaged with the idea of a new College of Teaching, my colleagues and I have understood achieving it requires our profession to understand and support the thinking behind. And be persuaded that it will be the “property” of the profession and not a coterie of factions. This is taking time and patience but thus far has involved:
  • Including the concept of a new College of Teaching into our School Direct and SCITT ITT Programmes, related to the work on educational philosophy and professionalism;
  • Briefings, updates and discussions with Headteachers and others across and beyond our alliance;
  • Hosting a “Question Time” event with Tristram Hunt later in November where the concept of a College of Teachers will be more fully aired. We are inviting teachers, parents, trainee teachers and sixth form students from across the area and there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the event. 
Over the coming term we intend to build on this initial, low-key work to gather further momentum.
Nick Johnson
Executive Director, BERA

Research and the Teaching Profession: Building the Capacity for a Self-Improving Education System
The final report of the BERA-RSA inquiry into Research and teacher education was published earlier in the summer and concludes that teachers across the UK should be supported to become research literate. This should include being given frequent opportunities to read up on the latest findings, with every pupil entitled to lessons which are informed by the best evidence. The inquiry lays down 10 principles for self-improving and research-rich education systems, and 20 recommendations, embracing both teacher education and teachers’ professional development once in the job. Full details of the report and all the background papers can be found here.

BERA supports the development of a College of Teaching and believes it is important to have a strong organisational presence that supports professional development and excellence and we hope to work with those involved to ensure that access to and participation in research are a key part of any College.
Professor Becky Francis
Professor of Education and Social Justice
King's College London

Best Practice in Grouping Students
A project Funded by the Education Endowment Foundation
(Project Director: Professor Becky Francis, King's College London)
This project seeks to raise the educational attainment of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, by ensuring good practice in grouping (e.g setting or mixed attainment). Research has shown that disadvantaged pupils are over-represented in low sets and streams, that pupils in these groups make poorer progress than others - perhaps because they are shown to experience various elements of poor practice.

The project seeks to address this, via two interventions: one on Best Practice in Setting; the other on Best Practice in Mixed Attainment (mixed ability) Teaching. The interventions are applied in secondary schools with students from Years 7 and 8, in the subject areas of Maths and English. A large-scale Randomised Control Trial (RCT), will be applied to assess impact.

We are looking for schools to work with us to apply the interventions in 2015/16. If you are interested, please contact
David Pepper.

I am a long-standing advocate and supporter of the College of Teaching. I see it as a crucial vehicle for supporting teacher CPD, and ensuring teaching practice is informed by research evidence.
Helen Parkinson
SCITT Director, Ashton on Mersey Teaching School

Ashton on Mersey is a school which has been consistently judged as outstanding by OFSTED in 5 consecutive inspections. We are a National Secondary Support School, a Multi-sponsor Academy Trust, a cohort 1 Teaching School and were designated as a SCITT (School Centred provider of Initial Teacher Training) last February.

As a teaching school, our remit includes professional development for existing teachers, identifying and training the next generation of teachers and school leaders and providing support for underperforming schools.

At Ashton on Mersey we are passionate about Initial Teacher training (ITT). We understand and advocate a relationship between ITT and securing sustainable whole school improvement. ITT has a positive impact on everything we do: it offers professional development opportunities for our staff; has a positive impact on whole school teaching and learning; and leads to improved outcomes for our pupils. This year we will be working with over one hundred and fifty trainee teachers in a variety of ways.

Becoming a SCITT is the latest chapter in our teacher training journey and is a particular jewel in our Teaching  School crown. Amongst our ‘specialist leaders of education’ (SLE) several are deployed within the SCITT. Just as doctors are trained with an enormous amount of support from existing doctors, our teachers are trained and supported by our best teachers. The teachers deployed by the SCITT generate their own research and also work closely with university partners creating a virtuous circle of theory and practice.

The largest proportion of this year’s SCITT allocation of training places, 40, is for the specialist Primary PE course. This is the second year of this innovative pilot programme. The pilot has its roots in the pledge to secure an Olympic legacy and in a commitment to create a culture in schools which encourages all pupils to be active and enjoy sport.

The programme encapsulates and reflects our wider ambitions as a Teaching School i.e. the training of new entrants to the profession, the leading of peer-to-peer learning, the nurturing of leadership potential, the support to partner schools, the deployment of SLE’s and the engagement in research.

Last year’s cohort of twenty seven are amongst the first generation of specialist Primary PE teachers, all of whom have now secured jobs. This year, we have fully recruited our forty trainees who began their one year PGCE course this August. (Unusually, the course begins in August with an intensive four week summer school).

Our trainees will be awarded QTS, gain a PGCE and earn masters credits via a partnership with the University of Chester. Underpinned by the QTS standards, our course builds upon these through our vision to train outstanding teachers of PE who are also capable of teaching core elements of the primary curriculum to an outstanding standard.

Much in the College of Teachers’ Blueprint resonates with us: teachers learning from one another; establishing and building upon professional standards; evidence-based practice; promoting the potency of coaching and mentoring. Hopefully in the future, Ashton on Mersey and other Teaching Schools will be a, contributory piece in the College of Teachers’ national jigsaw.

When we reflect upon the original proposal for the College of Teachers and our journey as a Teaching School and SCITT, there is a striking congruence. The recommendation to establish the College of Teachers came from the Education Committee report, the title of which resonates with  our drive and ambition at Ashton on Mersey, “Great Teachers: training and retaining the best”.
For more information, please contact:
Ashton on Mersey Teaching School
Cecil Avenue
M33 5BP
Tel: 0161 973 1179 Ext. 270
Sarah Boyse
Co-principal MCMA and Head of Teaching School
Kal Hodgson
Assistant Head of Teaching School, Alliance for Learning
(Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, part of the Bright Futures Educational Trust)
‘The existing unregulated CPD market is difficult to navigate’ (Blueprint, p.9). The uncertainties of an unregulated market of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) affect everyone involved in teaching and if left unchecked they could have damaging results for the people we are here to serve: our pupils. Teaching schools have been at the forefront of CPD training since their inception and it is true that a great deal of excellent, effective CPD takes places on a daily basis. As a teaching school, we would welcome an independent body providing the rigorous quality assurance and evaluation which is needed to support the profession. The College of Teaching would meet this requirement, allowing teachers to plan for every stage of their career progression, knowing that they are selecting high quality programmes which are right for them.

The College of Teaching could endorse training, ensuring that it fulfils the required high standards. We would feel confident that a highly regarded institution has given us this accolade. Teaching schools are free to design and create their own quality assurance processes for individual training programmes, which can sometimes result in inconsistencies in the minimum required standards which are being set. By setting down pre-agreed criteria which all providers would adhere to, the bar would be raised.

In July we were awarded the status of Appropriate Body which allows us to support Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) throughout their first year. We have designed a two-tiered package, Core and Enhanced, which directly helps NQTs in their quest to exceed the Teachers’ Standards. The core package includes training for schools’ NQT induction tutors and a school QA visit for each NQT. Providing the Enhanced package, we felt that this was an excellent opportunity for us to build upon the training which we provide as part of our School Direct offer, ensuring continuity of training and a development of our ethos that strong CPD focused on teaching underpins the progress made by all. Our Enhanced programme has been designed alongside the Teachers’ Standards with sessions such as  ‘The Inclusive Classroom: SEND — Securing improvement for SEND pupils secures improvements for all pupils’.

As we embark upon this new venture, we feel that had the College of Teaching been up and running we would be in a position to be clearer as to what we are judging ourselves against, as opposed to devising the outcome measures for ourselves. This can provide NQTs and teaching schools with an additional comfort that what we are providing is of a sufficiently consistent quality as any training provider across the country.

Additionally, teaching schools will also benefit from increased marketing opportunities with a national audience. As the College creates a professional development evaluation network, with structured feedback on courses and providers in a public arena, this can only serve to benefit everyone. After all, our programmes will only be advertised if we meet the required framework.

So, we very much look forward to this new era of independent scrutiny and clearer guidance for teachers.
What's next?

Keep an eye out for our next College of Teaching Newsletter coming out after the November half term!
Register your interest!
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