From the initial failed crowdfunding campaign, through to that curious incident when Graham Brown Martin interviewed Alison Peacock for Russian propaganda channel, RT, England’s Chartered College of Teaching has behaved like the hapless antihero of a British sitcom. Perhaps worse of all, it has broken its promise to be teacher-led. This disdain for the teaching profession appears to be mutual, with the College apparently possessing a subterranean profile in staffrooms.
The failure to appoint teachers to top roles at the College has added fuel to the longstanding concern that the College would be captured by those with an ideological agenda that does not necessarily align with either the best interests of teachers or the best available research evidence.
A new investigation by the TES lays out some of the severe challenges now faced by the College and includes comments from sources in the UK Department of Education.
Hopefully, the department will sooner rather than later cut its losses, turning off the subsidy and quietly shuttering the College. However, one far more worrying possibility has emerged through the TES‘s sources.
If the College cannot fund itself through memberships then the government might formally hand control of teaching standards to the organisation. The College could then leverage their custodianship by charging for training.
Those of us who taught in England during the time that Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, was captured by educational progressivism will be deeply troubled by the idea of handing the regulation of teaching standards to an organisation prone to capture.
Does any of this matter outside the English education bubble? I think it does. England is currently an outlier in curriculum and teaching practice. If you are in any doubt about that then compare England’s education policy with that of its neighbours, Scotland and Wales. If the Chartered College manages to knock the corners off this policy and crowbar England back towards the misguided global consensus, we will lose an important example of an alternative approach.