The College of Teaching is at an early phase of development; finding a unique role and attracting enough members who are committed to the College may take time, possibly even a decade. Let’s hope it lasts that long.
SLTchat on Sunday evening, brilliantly led by Lisa Pettifer, was focussed on the College of Teaching. Whilst the first question was about how teachers might shape the College of Teaching a bigger question for me was, “Whether the College of Teaching will be able to shape National Education Policy?” If not it’s likely to find itself on the periphery instead of at the heart of the Education System.
Membership is a thorny issue; in a brief twitter exchange an old tweeter maintained his consistent line that the College was only for teachers so there would be no place for me; despite being employed on Teachers Pay & Conditions the door was closed. Ironically I was approached about applying to be a trustee of the College but a combination of not the right time at a personal and professional level, a frightening application form and a genuine concern about the College’s limited impact over the next five years led me to travel other paths.
The debate about the inclusiveness or exclusivity of the College of Teaching for class room teachers (definition to be agreed) versus Head Teachers/Senior Leaders or other interested parties will go to the heart of the College’s purpose and potential impact. I see it as a wide church; inclusive and engaging with those who have a stake and interest in teaching, this is by no means agreed.
Carving a niche for itself in the current confused and over bloated educational landscape will by no means be easy. Vested interests and current providers are not likely to give up their position without a fight. The government don’t seem that keen on giving the College a leg up, for example, the High Potential Initial Teacher Training Programme (think the current Teach First programme) tendering programme advertised in November 2015 would have been a great opportunity to boost the role and status of the College. It would have ensured that between four to five thousand teachers were well aware of the College’s existence as they would have trained on its programmes. It’s not just a vision thing, the College needs an actual purpose.
Will the College of Teaching suffer from an apathetic response from the profession it desperately needs to support it to have any authenticity? A positive rejection by some allied with an unwitting ignorance of its existence and purpose, from the majority of teachers is a lethal mix. It seems that the College of Teaching is not top of people’s priority list and this will have to change if it is to establish itself; a game changer is needed.
#SaturdayThunk is based on something I’ve been thinking about, discussing, working on or has been topical that week. The thunk is designed to be bite sized and will deliberately be kept short. It will take one small issue or an aspect of something much bigger. The intention is for it to be read in two minutes as you’re relaxing or busy running around on you day off.