Is the College of Teaching a good move for the profession?

The Guardian, 09/12/14, Education secretary Nicky Morgan and schools minister David Laws have announced plans to launch a professional body for teachers – but what do education professionals really make of the idea? HMC Vice Chairman, Tim Hands, Master of Magdalen College School and HMC member Tricia Kelleher, Principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation are quoted.

Tim Hands is master at Magdalen College school and vice chair of The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference:

Two years ago it was RIP to the general teaching council (GTC). Then, hey presto, Tristram Hunt announces a Royal College of Teaching and, shortly afterwards, Nicky Morgan announces a college. Nicky Morgan wants to put teaching on equal footing with medicine and law: well, altering the pay might help, especially if teachers are indeed now to be recognised as “dedicated, hard-working and inspirational”. But most of all what any college needs will be independence: the wherewithal vocationally to champion higher standards for children, free of political interference. Is this really at last a rabbit out of an improbably political hat? Let’s hope so.

Tricia Kelleher is principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation:

Is this an attempted panacea for systemic problems within the teaching profession? Low morale, concerns over terms and conditions, the top-down structure of regulation and inspection, and the chaotic imposition of examination reform.

At the moment, the idea looks more like an attempted antidote to Michael Gove. I would like it to work but Nicky Morgan needs to prove it’s not just another grandiose education project.

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