The Chartered College of Teaching – A broken promise to teachers

October 6, 2018

Over the last few years I have been following the development of the Chartered College of Teaching, the successor organisation to the late, unlamented General Teaching Council of England, which was abolished by Michael Gove.

It was repeatedly promised by the politicians and organisers that it would a teacher led organisation, “run by teacher for teachers”. I quoted many of those promises in these two posts:

I have repeatedly warned that if we weren’t careful it would be taken over by non-teachers and headteachers. And I was repeatedly told that this wouldn’t happen. And yet at every step, actions were taken to increase the power of non-teachers, and diminish the role of those in the classroom. Most blatantly, most of the positions on the council, including all 4 of the officer positions, were restricted to “fellows”, a small minority of members who didn’t have to be teachers.

Well the results are now in. The leadership of the “teacher led” Chartered College of Teaching are:


  • President: Stephen Munday – Elected unopposed, a MAT CEO.
  • Vice President (External): Professor Sam Twiselton. – Director of Sheffield Institute of Education. Before standing against teachers for this position she wrote an article describing the College as “a membership organisation by teachers, for teachers” and arguing: “The independence of the organisation will need to be ensured through the open election of teachers to a body that is led and overseen by teaching professionals…”
  • Vice President (Internal): Vivienne Porritt – Consultant.
  • Treasurer: Marcus Richards – Elected unopposed. Accountant.

It would appear to be the case that all four officers of this “teacher led” organisation are not actually teachers.

Council Member (Fellow): 

  • Wendy Pearmain – Science teacher and director of STEM.
  • Nicola Faulkner – Headteacher.
  • Gareth Alcott  – Assistant headteacher and teaching school director.
  • Hannah Wilson – Headteacher and executive headteacher.
  • Helen Blake –  Lead practitioner and director of geography.
  • Farah Ahmed – Former headteacher, now “oversees” the SLT of 2 schools.
  • Joan Deslandes – Headteacher.
  • David Weston – Chief executive of a CPD organisation. Before standing against teachers for this position, David had argued for many years that the College should be teacher led, at one point telling me that the non-teachers, such as himself, who helped set it up would be ” stepping out entirely, ensuring no influence, handing to teachers”.

Council Member (Member)

  • Aimee Tinkler – SLE, also working for LA and Teaching School Alliance.
  • Gethyn Jones – Teacher.
  • Will Grant – Teacher and leader.
  • Rebecca Nobes – Teacher.
  • Stephanie Burke – Senior manager.
  • Julie Hunter – Deputy headteacher.
  • Penny Barratt – CEO and executive headteacher of a MAT.
  • Ben Ward – AVP. (Which I assume means Assistant Vice Principal not Aliens Versus Predator).
  • Paul Barber – Barrister and chief executive of national charity. (I have no idea how he came to be eligible to stand in this section).

Key points:

  1. I was right to say non-teachers would take over. I was wrong to ever think it might be subtle or underhanded rather than blatant.
  2. I was right to say headteachers would have a huge advantage in elections and it would not be a fair contest if they could stand against those who are classroom based. Other advantages seem to be an involvement in #WomenED, where I count at least three of their organisers. Also, I see there are two people who are senior managers from the same school. I’d love to know if this is one of the schools that paid for all their teachers to join.
  3. There are some decent people involved here, including people who I recommended, who I know think the organisation should be teacher led. Perhaps change will come.

As things stand though, this is not a teacher led organisation. I don’t know whether the blatant breaking of multiple promises is down to premeditated dishonesty, or just opportunism resulting from a lack of oversight (I notice two of the MPs most associated with setting it up lost their seats last year). But I do think serious questions should be asked as to how an organisation given huge amounts of public money to be one thing, can end up being something else.


I will now spend some time RTing tweets where David Weston told everyone the organisation would be teacher led.

Because that’s how I roll.

Update (Also 6/10/2018):

A friend just found me these tweets. It would appear that Hannah Wilson’s school (I assume she is speaking for her school) did indeed pay membership fees. Both she (the executive headteacher) and Julie Hunter, her deputy head were elected. How can this kind of advantage, unavailable to classroom teachers, possibly be justified?


  1. You are of course entiteld to your opinion. It is what makes the world go round. Can I just correct you on a point of fact though please. Aimee Tinkler is a teacher. She doesn’t work for the LA, or TSA. She is an SLE but you need to be a teacher to be that. She works tirelessly every day in school and further, to enthuse and attract good people to teaching. There is no finer ambassador for the profession IMHO. She is the personification of what the CoT is and should be.
    Could you correct this please?
    Thank you.

    • An SLE is a teacher, I’m assuming my readers know that.

      She stated in her candidate statement “I am a Specialist Leader in Education and also do some work for the Local Authority and local Teaching School Alliance.”

      I don’t think it’s unfair to use that as my reference.

      • Some work for the LA is normal, large amounts of the teaching population do that. You are engineering the facts to fit your anti CoT narrative, I’m sure most of your readers will see that too. She spends every working day and night striving for the small School she works in to be better, the children to achieve more and for them to be happy. She spends two weeks every January in Calcutta, teaching teachers there, transforming lives. Literally. I would appreciate it if you removed the bias from your “facts” just so it fits better with your chosen position. She is exaxtly what you say you want the CoT to be, an outstanding classroom teacher. You’ll catch more wasps with honey than with vinegar….

        • I literally just shared the information she gave and made no judgement of it.

          Seriously, do you want me to add “a teaching role” after SLE? You are taking offence at a point I was really not trying to make.

          • That’s IS my point. Your point overall is that “oh look, the CoT is being overtaken by non teachers” but there you are purposefully choosing to omit the facts the one of the founding fellows, and a council member is not actually a day to day classroom teacher when they are!

          • I didn’t omit it. I thought it was clear.

  2. Have actual voting numbers been released? If an organisation has 25k members, and there’s a 10% turnout, you’re down to 2500 votes. As anyone who has done a local council election will know, 100 or so votes can be quite a significant block in such a context.

    • As I understand it, affiliates (non-teachers who aren’t fellows) and trainees (who get free membership) don’t get a vote. So the 25000 figure is going to be far higher than the number eligible to vote. Number of votes cast would be interesting.

      • Also, just remembered that people who quit teaching to do an education degree, also have (free) membership but no vote.

  3. I think you’ve made some fair points here Andrew, and ones which I’d rather prefer to hear the people involved contest for once, rather than for me to be their apologist.

    I would LIKE to suggest that it is neither about premeditated dishonesty nor opportunism, but rather the inevitable nature of such an organisation, that jobbing teachers are either not going to be that interested in taking-on executive roles, or just not have the time, hence the genuine shortage of teachers going for fellowship. However, the apparent fact that some of the people elected publically stated before that they would step aside, seems to complicate things.

    I guess I’d nevertheless encourage your third key point. Whilst it might not be the teacher-led nirvana pledged or hoped for, it could just be that the diversity of ‘interest groups’ on the board, along with the genuine intentions of ‘good’ people on there, means that in practice it very much serves it’s primary function of developing the standing of teachers as professionals. They are still all fully from within the teaching profession after all (I think).

    Consequently, although I think you have clearly been shown to be entirely right about your predictions at this point (and I thank you for your dogged policing of what’s going on), it still remains to be seen as to what this does to the character of the organisation. The college needs to be teacher-focused, but it also needs to be strong enough to make a difference. The current situation could well be the only way that the latter comes to pass, and the truth of the former is still awaiting us down the line.

    Who knows, although I know your preference is for the organisation to be scrapped, it could well be that your continued public scrutiny of it’s actions could contribute to keeping it honest and ironically help it to succeed.

    • The point that springs immediately to mind is that a professional association should be concerned with professional ethics.

      If the organisation breaks promises and has unfair elections, then that does have huge consequences for the character of the organisation.

      • I wonder if the Headteacher who “covered” the cost of her staff to join this organisation did so out of the school’s budget? If so, was she one of the many headteachers who marched vis-á-vis budgetary pressures? While I am on that point, who covered all of those headteachers’ classes whilst they marched? (assuming of course they teach any classes, which they probably don’t). I think the above are QED regarding Andrew’s post i.e. headteachers don’t actually teach so they shouldn’t really be in a College of Teaching, never mind running it. If there was a College of Headteachers would Headteachers accept unpromoted teachers being President, Vice Presidents etc? Keep up the good work, Andrew – intelligent and trenchant posts.

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  6. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

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