@Kalinski1970 drew my attention this week to an independent body which exists to support all sectors of the teaching profession (the GTC that I (and many others) have been calling for for a while now).

Except it’s not called the General Teaching Council – it’s got a far cooler name that I sorely wish I’d thought of:  The College of Teachers – what a great collective noun!

Set up in 1849 by Queen Victoria, under a Royal Charter, it’s organised as a Mutual, in that its members elect the trustees:  a college for teachers,  whose management is elected by teachers.

So why isn’t it “problem solved”?  Well for a few reasons really:

  • Firstly, the College does not enjoy a high profile.  Teachers, School Leaders and even Educational Consultants expressed a collective “Wha?  Who?” as the College emerged on the Twitter horizon this week.
  • Its £104 per year membership fee.  Whilst that’s not a huge amount of money, (and there are numerous benefits to being a member of the College), many teachers feel the need of the security of being in a Union – in case something should go wrong.  Would they pay subs to two bodies?  Because without 100% enrollment, the College obviously wouldn’t be completely representative. MORE
  • It would inevitably mean an exponential expansion of the college – I’ve no idea how many members it currently has,  but apparently there are hundreds of thousands of teachers across the land.
  • And it would change the nature of the college, imposing a political element.

So, could the government find a way to fund the College, and yet keep it at arm’s length?  Well they manage to do so in many other spheres of society.  And might schools help out by funding their staff’s ongoing professional development?  Perhaps.

Would the College want to transform itself?  They tweeted,  “We like a challenge.”

But would the teaching profession and the unions embrace the qualified advice of the College any more than they take on the ideas of the Secretary of State?  Dunno.

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