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A Great Education for All

The Headteachers Roundtable


Education Election Manifesto 2015

Media contact: John Tomsett
07824 535808

We are a non-party political group of Headteachers operating as a think-tank,

exploring policy issues from a range of perspectives. Our goal is to provide a vehicle
for people working in the profession to influence national education policymakers
so that education policy is centred upon what is best for the learning of all children.
Twitter: @HeadsRoundtable
Find us at: http://headteachersroundtable.wordpress.com
Contact us at: headteachersrt@hotmail.co.uk

A Great Education for All

Less is always more. If we try to change too much we often end up changing very little and
damaging what we didnt want to change in the first place.
Our ten policy proposals are a modest collection of coherent ideas which, if implemented fully,
would result in a huge improvement to the education system of this country.
Implementing our proposals will take the will of politicians and a commitment to investing in
education; without investment, growth is very difficult to establish.
If we are going to grow great teachers and provide a great education for all, we have to invest in
improving the quality of education in this country.
Its that simple.

Ten Policies towards a Great Education for All



To introduce the entitlement to a professional development programme leading to QTS for

all teachers after a maximum of two years induction and a masters-level professional
qualification after five years.
To implement the blueprint for the Royal College of Teaching.
To introduce a National Baccalaureate framework following the Headteachers Roundtable
To introduce progressive qualifications in English and mathematics up to Level 3 to
facilitate continued study to 18 for all learners.
To implement an Intelligent Inspection Framework.
To stabilise Performance Measures.
To harmonise freedoms across maintained schools and academies.
To Introduce Transition Standards Grants to incentivise innovation towards systematic
primary- secondary progression.
To develop a National 0-5 Parent Support Strategy.
To establish a National Recruitment Fund.


The Royal College of Teaching

The chaotic nature of educational change over recent years, particularly in the areas of curriculum and
assessment, have made it more important than ever before that the voice of the profession influences
any further policy-making decisions.
The opinion of teachers, who are delivering the intended improvements to our education system, must
help guide future change in education policy to avoid a repeat of the incoherence now impacting upon
our schools. For instance, to implement the new Key Stage 3 before the new Key Stage 2 whilst the new
GCSEs are being developed in such a haphazard manner with staggered start dates has left many of us
working in schools bewildered. Such a piecemeal approach to policy making has to cease.
The current situation of a disparate collection of educational organisations, all of whom champion the
views of their members, has led to central government too often discounting the opinions proffered as
unrepresentative and politically driven.
In the new status quo of school freedoms and a streamlined Department for Education (DfE), interest has
been building for a fully functioning Royal College of Teaching. That interest culminated in the DfEs
consultation document, A world-class teaching profession; furthermore, the setting up of the Claim Your
College coalition has helped cohere a wider consultation and given increased impetus to the initiative.
The Headteachers Roundtable fully supports the initial vision of a Royal College of Teaching as detailed in
the Claim Your College document: We believe that the establishment of the new College of Teaching will
ensure the profession is given the status, aspiration and professional pathways recognised by chartered
bodies in other professions. Improving the quality of teaching and learning in our schools will the core
purpose of The Royal College of Teaching.
Membership of The Royal College of Teaching should be desirable for all teachers, with schools given the
freedom to pay fees on teachers behalf from school budgets. It will be the main body to represent the
profession, independent of government, setting standards for teachers based upon on-going research
into effective practice.
We need to develop a professional culture where all teachers are continually refining their teaching skills;
The Royal College of Teaching will help drive school compliance in delivering teachers entitlement to
professional development.
It is essential and non-negotiable that The Royal College of Teaching must fully and robustly represent the
professionals delivering on a daily basis in the classroom; it must not become driven by other interested
individuals or organisations.
This document sets out our aspirations, with regard to The Royal College of Teaching, for the election
manifestos of the leading political parties and outlines the priorities for establishing The Royal College of
Teaching for any government during the first 100 days of the next Parliament.

The setting up of a professional body, such as The Royal College of Teaching, which is focused on the longterm improvement of teaching across the country, is long overdue.
Within the first five years of teaching professionals initiating their career there is an alarming number of
teachers who decide to leave their job, with up to half of teachers wasting their training and leaving the
classroom. This is compounded by the fact that our Initial Teacher Education model has been altered to
such an extent that it makes it difficult to quality control entry into the profession effectively.
There is, at best, an inconsistent approach to continuous teacher development (CPD). There are few
systems that function as a quality control mechanism for CPD and we cannot just wish our teachers to be
There is no clear pathway for career progression for great teachers who wish to remain in the classroom
and not take up an explicit leadership and management post. There is no organisation that can initiate
and lead a charter system for such professional progression, if you discount the DfE.
There is no clear mechanism to circulate the best research evidence to support the self-improvement of
the teaching profession.
There is no coherent and independent voice with which to express the opinions of the profession on
behalf of teachers and buffer the political noise of politicians. Teaching unions provide an important role
for the profession, but they lack the independent expertise to be the solution to many of these
The Royal College of Teaching should have a primary role in raising and maintaining the professional
standards of continuous professional development. This would include verifying the standards of initial
teacher training, proving an advisory body for HMI oversight of such provision.
A central aspect of the Royal College of Teaching would be to ensure that a statutory right to high quality
Continuous Professional Development is met and that standards of such CPD training are secured
consistently. All the global evidence states that teacher quality has the single greatest impact upon
student outcomes. We cannot therefore leave the key lever for teacher improvement to chance.
The Royal College of Teaching should validate explicit pathways for teachers to develop their practice on
the path to expertise. A clear professional progression, that is tied to relevant CPD training needs to be
established making the continuous aspect of professional development a reality.
There should be an emphasis on high quality CPD for Development Stage Teachers (phase one would
encompass the first 5 years of professional development). The Royal College could provide training and
verification for the best practice through the following stages:
Initial Teacher Education (ITE);
Newly Qualified Teacher education (NQT);
Newly Qualified Teacher +1 education (NQT+1)
Early Development Phase education (EDP)

Creating a clear and rigorous process, with clear standards and an effective dissemination of best practice,
could help standardise the quality of CPD for teachers developing early in their career. The statutory
expectation for high quality training beyond simply passing your NQT year would help raise the status and
quality of the teaching profession in England and Wales. It would hopefully stem the flow of teachers
leaving the profession for whom support has been inadequate, or the added motivation of high quality
training has been lacking.
The Royal College should initiate a process for Chartered Teachers, whom, having completed their
development stage training, wish to continue their career progression by enhancing their practice as an
excellent teacher. The vast majority of leadership and management roles in schools mean that often the
best teachers teach fewer and fewer students. Akin to the Scottish model for Chartered Teachers, the role
would be entirely distinct from existing posts in school leadership and management.
The Royal College of Teaching would also provide ongoing high quality training and practical workshops
for teachers at all stages of their career to steer the quality of CPD in schools. It would have an important
role in sharing best practice independent of the DfE and any institutions with commercial interests.
The Royal College of Teaching would be the body to best promote and support educational research;
including the dissemination of guidance regarding new and existing research evidence. There is no
systematic, school-led model for sharing the best of research evidence, beyond the setting up of Teaching
Schools, which have proven to be ineffective in some areas. With this breadth of expertise, the Royal
College of Teaching could play an advisory role to the DfE, without compromising its independence.
The Royal College of Teaching should not be an inspectorate, nor be a part of the accountability system.
The Royal College of Teaching should, however, provide independent guidance to the DfE on the
inspection process and ensure that the role of the inspectorate is functioning well and is valid; existing
bodies, such as the Royal College of Surgeons, would prove instructive in this respect.
David Laws was right when he questioned the negative impact of the short-term electoral cycle on our
education system. A Royal College of Teaching could prove the antidote. A self-improving education
system, driven by schools, will prove the most effective method for improving education for children in
England and Wales, but such a complex, adaptive system needs support mechanisms like the Royal
College of Teaching to bring coherence to the development of teaching standards.
The new Royal College of Teaching would provide a central pillar of peer-led support which sees us
establish a world class teaching profession; for the future of our children and our country, nothing, it
seems, could be more important.

The First 100 Days

We believe the following actions should be taken in the first 100 days of any new
The Government to make an explicit commitment to the setting up of The
Royal College of Teaching.
The Government to provide significant funding to facilitate the initial
implementation stages of The Royal College of Teaching.
The Government to engage with The Royal College of Teaching, as the key
partner, over decisions that impact directly on the profession and the ability
to deliver a world class education for the young people we serve; with The
Royal College of Teaching becoming an advisory body to the Department for
Education, HMI, Academy Chains, LEAs and Schools.
The Government to agree to make The Royal College of Teaching responsible
for establishing new professional standards for teaching.
The Government to agree to make The Royal College of Teaching responsible
for verifying the quality and development of Initial Teacher Education (ITE).
The Government to agree to make The Royal College of Teaching responsible
for the creation of a model for statutory CPD for teachers in their first five
years of teaching.
The Government to agree that The Royal College would be responsible for
the initiation of a Chartered Teacher pathway for career progression beyond
the Development Stage that is focused on ensuring that high quality teachers
continue to develop their practice with the highest quality of expert support,
separate to the process of promotion related to leadership and
The Government to agree to make The Royal College of Teaching responsible
for verifying the quality and development of already established training
routes such as NPQH by working with providers directly.
The Government to agree that The Royal College of Teaching would be
responsible for the promotion and support of new and existing educational

Twitter: @HeadsRoundtable
Find us at: http://headteachersroundtable.wordpress.com
Contact us at: headteachersrt@hotmail.co.uk