Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Rebel Yell Bursts in on Royal College's Chorus of Support

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Rebel Yell Bursts in on Royal College's Chorus of Support

Article excerpt

NASUWT votes against plans with 'no benefit for profession'

The planned new College of Teaching has failed to win the backing of school staff and would bring "no demonstrable benefit for the profession", teachers warned this week.

In the most outspoken criticism of the plans yet, the NASUWT teaching union used its annual conference to pass a unanimous vote against the proposed college, claiming that it had no "groundswell of support".

The idea of an independent royal college to champion high standards in the teaching profession has been backed by both the Conservatives and Labour, along with the NUT teaching union and the Independent Schools Council. The Claim Your College coalition, which is drawing up plans for the body, is currently recruiting an independent board to develop detailed proposals.

But NASUWT members expressed concern about the independence of the college and questioned what purpose it would serve. The union's conference in Cardiff heard that there was no "clear consensus" on the functions it should carry out.

Honorary treasurer Brian Cookson told delegates: "It is dismal that some organisations and individuals that purport to represent teachers are...advocating support for a College of Teaching which has no demonstrable benefit for the profession or for wider society."

He added: "There's no clarity on its aims, yet the momentum gathers as the great and the good sign up."

The conference unanimously called for "an independent system of teacher regulation that has oversight of professional standards", but said a College of Teaching was not the answer.

National executive member Paul Watkins said: "There's very little consensus from those involved in regards to its role, function and remit. Many of the potential aims proposed are contradictory. It's highly unlikely that the college will be established on a coherent basis. …

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