The College of Teaching is to be created for teachers in the next two years in England to protect standards and raise the status of the teaching profession.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Schools Minister David Laws have set out the objectives for the new College, which is to be endorsed by ministers but independent of government control.
Aiming to raise the status of teaching to that of the medicine and law sectors through the College, in a statement Morgan and Laws said teaching is "almost unique amongst the professions in lacking such an organisation.”
Funding the College of Teaching
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat education ministers have voiced their understanding of the organisation being led by the profession, rather than by Government.
The ministers aim to facilitate its creation, reporting that they would fund a College that "will allow teachers, like other professions, to set their own high standards for their members; to take a lead in improving the profession's skills and abilities; and to champion higher standards for children".
A Historical Moment for the Teaching Profession
Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said this was a "pivotal moment for the teaching profession".
"The ball is now in the profession's court. Will it rise to the challenge and take control of its own destiny? Will it build a consensus and get all the interested parties and representative bodies backing a united project to take this forward? Will we learn from the past to build an institution that thrives outside the short-term political cycle?"
The Struggle for Status in Teaching
Christine Blower, leader of the National Union of Teachers, voiced current problems in teaching: "Attempts to raise the status of the teaching profession are now critical. Teacher morale is dangerously low.
"This desperate state of affairs arises from an almost total lack of trust in teachers and a punitive inspection and accountability regime which is leading to excessive workload."
A new College of Teaching that encourages proactive learning and professional development among teachers is hoped to be the remedy for the struggling status of a profession that has been criticised by the Labour Party for allowing unqualified individuals to teach. With General Teaching Councils for teachers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the College of Teaching will be a welcome addition to the professional body sector.
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