Session 150: What are your views on the Royal College of Teaching?

Thursday 9th May, 2013

Date: Thursday 9th May, 2013
Host: @informed_edu
Session Title: A Royal College of Teaching

 Session Summary

This was a really wide-ranging discussion with a lot of different views variously expressing optimism or pessimism about the idea for a new member-led College of Teaching. Most commentators had read the recent book “”Towards a Royal College of Teaching”” and this was referred to a number of times.

Some participants had blogged about their experiences and these were collected at

Some key themes and questions that emerged were:
– A member-led College of Teaching could act as a single voice for the teaching profession and have more influence over government actions and offer independent advice and policy development
– There was significant disagreement as to whether it would be wise for the new body to be called “”Royal””
– A new body could help drive improvements in the quality of teaching, ensure practice is more evidence-based and help teachers engage in research.
– How would it be different from the General Teaching Council?
– What relationship will it have with the Subject Associations?
– Will this idea be pushed by real teachers or end up being run by ‘the usual suspects’? Is it really independent of the current government?
– Who should be a member? There was disagreement whether this should be open to all (or indeed compulsory) or some form of entrance exam.

There was a final straw poll “”Do you personally support a member-led College of Teaching””. The final tally was 9 x Yes and 13 x No.

 Notable Tweets

@StuBillington Why does it have to be “”Royal””? I object to that!

@urban_teacher Bewildering how a profession as important as teaching does not have a single body that encourages & advances good practice in edu

@debra_kidd we need a body which forms policy and education  guidance at arm’s length from party politics

@Ebi_Association Would be good to have an actual standard. Also there would be a means of debating educational issues without union baggage!

@MrACalvert I don’t think there is the common will amongst teachers to make this work. Too many want and do plough their own furrow

@truan_steve I am nervous. If it disagrees with Gove then it will be full of bad mr men, if it supports his policies ?? can’t really b indep

@Bedtonman it’s a waste of time and money and will have no impact on ordinary teachers. The name is irrelevant

@paulsnorman the Royal carries weight in terms of social / cultural capital and public perception that may not be there just as a College?

@Graham_IRISC the aim of the RCT must be to act as an independent voice for the profession – not an arm of the government – hence Royal

@HeyMissSmith If teachers want to protect their profession, they should fight Gove’s attempts to de-professionalise us, not back a RCoT

@bekblayton It will be like the GTC-we already have a College of School Leadership, needs to be done properly, and it won’t be. Waste of money.

@CharHarAgain I think Jonathan Shepherd’s points about innovation without Gov influence, held by Royal College of Surgeons, are convincing

@HuntingEnglish Conscript some experts/researchers & nominate teachers from a range of schools & from all levels

@cia262 Unions give teaching a poor image. Independent RCT could be the remedy

@jlog2712 If unqualified teachers can teach should they join as teachers? Mm!

@developingTandL I kinda thought CoT would be apolitical, supportive professional body giving us one voice? Most professions have them

@inwte If #RCoT has some teeth and protects the profession and professionals in teaching then teachers will/could want it

@StuBillington No “”College”” of any description is worth the effort and expense unless unless Govt gives lots of influence over the PoS and quals

@miconm Would other people involved in schools be excluded? Do we need associate membership?

@LiamRCarr We haven’t had a GTC in FE we boycotted IfL we shouldn’t need a “”Royal College of Teaching”” for our work to be valued

@AlisonMPeacock This body is voluntary and has a strong role in advocacy for evidence informed practice

@Heatherleatt The GTC was imposed and never had the support of teachers. Ill conceived and held in contempt

@eyebeams If it can be supportive of professional dev in a contstructive manner? Then yes.

 Tweet of the Week

@Simon_Warburton I’d like a Royal College to plot a path for education for 21stC, to maintain standards and restore public pride in teaching

About Your Host:

David Weston (@informed_edu) is the Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust ( He taught Maths and Physics for nine years before founding the charity which promotes more effective professional development in education. He is based in London.

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Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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