College of Teaching Newsletter - June 2016

In this newsletter you can read about our search for an inaugural CEO to lead the College of Teaching, access our first article in a series about the professionalisation of teaching and find out more about one of our Vice-Chairs - classroom teacher Vicky McDowell.

College of Teaching searches for inaugural Chief Executive

The College of Teaching is looking to appoint an exceptional and visionary Chief Executive who will lead the College through a period of exciting challenge on its journey to becoming a successful member driven and voluntary organisation.

The window for applying remains open until noon on 1st July.

Candidates will have a successful track record in a senior leadership role in education or professional bodies/membership organisations and experience of leading service/product development. They will have a strong understanding of the schools’ sector, proven advocacy experience and the ability to influence and inspire at the highest levels.

Find out more by visiting quoting reference GSe24831. Alternatively please contact Elliott Rae on 020 7426 3964 or Carolyn Coates on 0121 644 5705 for a confidential discussion.

Professionalisation of teaching – a new series

The June issue of Education Today kicks off a new series that the College of Teaching will be exploring in relation to the professionalisation of teaching. Below is an excerpt from the editorial authored by Professor Angela McFarlane, Founding Trustee and Chief Executive of the College of Teachers, which you can read in full here:

 “Clearly there is no such thing as one right way to teach.  Teaching is a complex and nuanced activity. So can there be a meaningful professional status that carries weight and recognises true expertise?

If the Chartered College of Teaching is to add power to the teaching profession it must rise to the challenge of creating a professional community of teachers that supports and develops its members, offering real benefits and professional recognition.  After many years of consultation, a model is emerging based on the appetite for a knowledge sharing professional community, and the development of shared professional principles.

The transformed College offers an opportunity for the teaching profession to come together and take ownership of the professional principles that should guide practice and push back against fads and fashions that wash over schools in a constant stream.”

Visit the new professionalisation of teaching page on our website to download Professor McFarlane’s full paper on the challenges and potential rewards of building a knowledge based teaching profession. Please share your views with us using @CollOfTeaching and the following hashtags #collegeofteaching #builditwithus.

Meet the team: Introducing our Vice Chair

Name: Victoria McDowell

Role: Vice-Chair, Founding Trustee and class teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby School

Region: Cumbria

Background: Vicky began her career as a primary school teacher in Slough twenty years ago. She is now teaching years 4-6 and is leading RE at Bridekirk Dovenby School in Cumbria. She has also worked as a Lead Literacy Teacher, a subject leader in ICT, PE and French, mentored NQTs and teacher training students and acted as the school liaison for the ‘Playing for Success’ scheme.

What made you get involved in the College of Teaching?

In short, to rescue an education system which has the potential to be world class. The College of Teaching is long overdue.

‘Change fatigue’ exists in all levels of teaching due to the number of new initiatives, which have been imposed on teaching since the first National Curriculum. We have subsequently seen changes come thick and fast and I think over time this has resulted in a huge lack of confidence amongst teachers and the current recruitment and retention crisis that we face. And yet, teachers are the experts.

On a personal level, my Dad had to leave school unqualified at the age of 14 in order to earn money for his family and my mum moved from rural Ireland aged 16 to train as a nurse in England. For them, education was everything and they instilled my sister and I with a work ethic and a belief in education.

I am also aware, having moved to Cumbria some 10 years ago, of the disparity between training opportunities offered between north and south, rural, urban and city. I have taught in all of these types of schools. We deserve fairness of opportunity because the children in our care deserve the same opportunities regardless of their postcode.


How do you combine the role of Vice-Chair with being a primary school teacher?

...And a Mum. Plate juggling comes as standard with the role of primary school teacher. Board meetings occur once a month so my husband looks after the children while I head off from Penrith Station at the ungodly hour of 5.15am.

I prepare papers to feed back to the Board regarding developments in current communications projects, as do the other committee chairs. I recently organised the conference in Sheffield and plan to assist in others around the country.

Fitting it all in is a challenge and has been an enormous learning curve. As I said at my Trustee interview last September, I want to give the view of what the everyday teacher would make of what we are planning so that we stay grounded. Sometimes that means saying no and requires us to refine what we’re doing.


What do you see as the biggest challenges for the College?

There are many: getting the message to as many teachers as we can, getting our membership proposal right, bringing the respect back to teaching and tackling the issues which are affecting teachers directly. We need to bring parity to training and enhance teacher practice with evidence-informed CPD.

In short, we at the College of Teaching must be 'fit for purpose' and flexible enough to adapt with the needs of real teachers. We have never so needed a united spirit and the combined experience of so many to come together to unpick the tangle which education has become. Feet firmly placed on the ground, I’m in for the long haul. I hope other teachers will join us.

Where you can find us

04.07.16: School of Education and Mentoring Conference at the University of Leicester. The inaugural conference is a key development day for all levels of staff supporting colleagues in schools, academies or colleges working across the East Midlands. Click here for further information.

25-26.07.16: Teach First Impact Conference will bring together over 4,000 of the best educators, business leaders and innovators to work together at Leeds Beckett University. Click here for further information.

What people have been saying about the College this month

Lisa Pettifer ‏@Lisa7Pettifer 24th June

What would @CollOfTeaching membership mean for teachers of the future? #educationfest


shinpad ‏@shinpad1  Jun 24

Our profession is not respected. We have been done to. @CollOfTeaching wants to change that says @dockar_claire #educationfest @informed_edu


Karen Wespieser ‏@KarenWespieser  Jun 24

@JonColes01 advocates for the @CollOfTeaching as part of a new direction for school reform #educationfest


Angela McFarlane @AEMcFarlane 20th June

Excellent piece by Derek Bell on importance of @CollOfTeaching  for teachers (link:


TES @tes 16th June

Power to the teachers: The College of Teaching looks to appoint its first chief executive (link:


College of Teaching @CollofTeaching 14th June

We are looking for an exceptional Chief Executive who can lead the College. Find out more here (link: #builditwithus


Bob Harrison @bobharrisonset 15th June 
                                             This is a critical appointment and needs to someone who                                                        understands teachers and teaching in ALL phases and sectors

Ephemeral321 @Ephemeral321 14th June

                                           @teach_well @Kevinberry03 @CollOfTeaching It's interesting to                                      watch developments. Chief exec will bring concrete direction.

                                         - Gill Budgell @gillbudgell 16th June

                                           Challenging opportunity here...

Get in touch...

We always like hearing from our friends and colleagues across education and beyond. If you've found something interesting we should mention, or if you'd like to get involved with what we're doing, please do get in touch
Copyright © 2016 College of Teaching, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp