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The proposed College of Teaching needs complete autonomy for it to be meaningful.

A recent poll conducted by School Improvement Network suggests that most teachers (64% at the last count) don’t believe that the proposed College of Teaching will help improve standards. The result is surprising given the consensus underpinning the idea.

Professor Howard Stevenson, of Nottingham University, thinks the reason for this scepticism could be linked to how independent the college is likely to be in reality. Problems will arise, he claims, if it has little more than a licensed independence in which professional autonomy will be contingent on the profession demonstrating ‘good behaviour’. The desire to be seen to be independent and ‘free of political influence’ is clearly viewed, says Stevenson, by those who wrote the proposals as central to securing teacher support.

SSAT and its vast network of schools have long championed the voice of the teacher, and the importance of empowering our profession

As the largest and most active network of schools, SSAT represents over 34,000 teachers and hundreds of thousands of students. The SSAT and its vast network of schools have long championed the voice of the teacher, and the importance of empowering our profession to be the best it can be.

We believe in re-professionalising the teaching profession, and are passionate about the importance of a truly independent College of Teaching; affording teachers the recognition and opportunities that are enjoyed by other professions already.

A new College of Teaching, focusing on recognition and aspiration – for ourselves as teachers, and for each other as peer professionals – would bring opportunities to all teachers in a genuinely supportive and professional context.

Alongside #ClaimYourCollege colleagues, teachers from across SSAT’s extensive networks of schools have been debating the issues surrounding the new College of Teaching; suggesting solutions and ideas for its work, and identifying how best it can enhance their existing professional roles.

These conversations all share a common thread: that the College of Teaching must be independent from any organisation or body

These conversations all share a common thread: that the College of Teaching must be independent from any organisation or body. It should be led by teachers, and for the benefit of teachers – thus truly representing the voice and aspirations of our profession. Let us be clear – our support for a College of Teaching is dependent on this critical feature.

We believe that the College of Teaching’s members should all be voluntary, committed, aspirational and, above all, professional. The College of Teaching has to earn the hearts and minds of teachers, only then will it earn the respect of the profession and its place in our future educational landscape.

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Mini report of the SSAT National Conference 2014, 4-5 December, Manchester Central

19 December 2014

SSAT Reform Discussion Dinner November 2014

5 January 2015

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