Commenting on the Department for Education’s consultation on a College of Teaching, which closes today, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The NASUWT has never objected in principle to the creation of a dedicated professional body for teaching. In the right circumstances, such a body could have a useful role to play in the provision of professional development and training, commissioning high-quality research and sharing professional practice.

“The Union has continued to emphasise that the deregulation of the teaching profession by Coalition Government and the lack of clarity about a College’s aims and objectives among its supporters has created serious barriers to the creation of a genuinely effective body that would enhance the professional status of teaching.

“It is therefore not surprising that there is still no groundswell of support for a College from teachers.

“The intention of the Department for Education to provide start-up funding to support such a flawed proposal is unacceptable. Teachers have not forgotten the claim by the former Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, that a key aim of the College would be to usurp the role of teacher trade unions, a claim that has not been repudiated by his successor.

“The idea that ministers are proposing to plough vast sums of taxpayers’ money into a College with the intention of allowing it to operate entirely free from political interference is risible as it is insidious.

“Teachers will rightly question the extent to which such an organisation could ever act in their interests or those of the children and young people they teach.”


Commenting on Ofsted’s announcement of changes to the inspection system, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Proposals to introduce a common inspection framework across all sectors of education are welcome in principle. It makes no sense to have different expectations between schools, colleges and early years providers and it is important that the approach to inspection is consistent across the system.

“In making these changes, it is equally important Ofsted makes clear to schools its expectations to remove opportunities for Ofsted to be used to justify workload-intensive and bureaucratic practices that hamper, rather than help, teachers to raise standards of achievement.

“The constant changing of the Ofsted framework does nothing to reassure parents and schools that Ofsted is forming secure judgements on the quality of education.”