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UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE
To be published as HC 1515-iv
House of COMMONS
TAKEN BEFORE the
Attracting, training and retaining the best teachers
Wednesday 25 January 2012
Professor Chris Robertson and Dr Alison Kitson
Mark Powell, Mark Protherough and Christine Williams
Dr Raphael Wilkins, Matthew Martin and Professor Derek Bell
Evidence heard in Public Questions 304 - 436
USE OF THE TRANSCRIPT
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Taken before the Education Committee
on Wednesday 25 January 2012
Mr Graham Stuart (Chair)
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Professor Chris Robertson, Head, Institute of Education, University of Worcester, and Dr Alison Kitson, Institute of Education, University of London, gave evidence.
Q304 Chair: Good morning. Thank you both very much for coming in and joining us in the hot seats. We promise to treat you more kindly than the Murdochs. We are looking into attracting, training and retaining the best teachers, and this morning we are very much focusing on continuing professional development, so that we have the best possible teaching work force, and thus the best outcomes for children. Is CPD that important in delivering better outcomes for children?
Professor Robertson: I think the professional development of teachers is essential. I think that as a nation we need to invest more into the professional development of our teachers, because our children deserve the very best. All the evidence that we gather as an institution at Worcester, along with all of the national and international evidence, shows that it has a significant impact on teacher performance and on the classroom.
Q305 Chair: May I use first names? Alison, you cannot pin failures in CPD on any particular Government. Why have successive Governments in this country given CPD such short shrift?
Dr Kitson: It is a combination of factors. Funding is an obvious one. When the funding for CPD was devolved to schools, some schools were more proactive in ringfencing that money than others. Schools with very committed heads have made sure that CPD for teachers remains high on the agenda, but there is no way of ensuring that that happens. When school budgets are strained, as they are at the moment, and you have a choice between hiring another teacher or funding someone to do a Master’s or to bring someone in to run a session, that is a difficult decision for a headteacher to make.
Q306 Chair: But headteachers are highly trained, they are often leading quite large, complex organisations, and they have strong incentives to deliver quality outcomes for kids. If they do not see the purpose of spending their budget on it, does that suggest that perhaps it is not worth putting the money into it? If you cannot persuade headteachers, whom can you persuade?
Professor Robertson: Many heads do invest. The postgraduate professional development funding that was allocated to support teachers undertaking Master’slevel study has been very effective. I know that the delivery of that scheme nationally has varied in quality, as one would probably expect, but where it has been delivered effectively, it has had a really significant impact on the quality of teachers and also on the retention of teachers. I believe strongly that it also has enabled teachers to then encourage their own headteachers to support funding beyond perhaps the initial PG Cert that was supported through the process.
Q307 Chair: I am still struggling, though: if you have the positive feedback of better results feeding back to pressure on heads to invest more money, even from other budgets, we should have an upward virtuous circle of ever greater investment, higher quality teachers, but that is not the picture that your submissions paint. I am trying to get to the bottom of why, if CPD is seen by everybody as a good thing, it has not received the attention and support that it should have.
Dr Kitson: The two barriers to engaging in CPD that teachers often cite, and have cited for years, are time and money. People roll their eyes and think, "Not that again," but those are the two barriers. In England, unusually in Europe, our teachers have one of the heaviest teaching loads, so typically you might be teaching 22 hours out of 25 hours. If you add in the planning and the assessing, etc., it makes it quite difficult to find time to engage in things like a Master’s programme and so on. That is one real barrier, and money is another.
If you want to engage in some really highquality CPD, whether it is a Master’s programme, attending a subject association conference, or whatever it is, that does cost money. NQTs in theory have some money set aside for their development in schools. No other teacher does. It is a real lottery as to who gets some funding and who does not. It is a very small part. I do not think that headteachers are wilfully saying, "We do not want to spend money on this." I think it is just that they have some really tough decisions to make, and there is not that ringfenced budget, as there would have been when local authorities had it. I am not saying we should go back to that either, but something is not quite right.
In particular, in my opinion, what is really suffering at the moment is subjectspecific CPD. Where is it? It is just not there. Typically, students who are on a PGCE programme will receive the best quality, subjectspecific CPD they will have in their career. In their NQT year, they will receive virtually none, which is scandalous. There is a lot of generic CPD; schools may run perfectly good sessions, but what is good questioning in a history lesson, and what is good questioning in a PE lesson, an art lesson and a science lesson are very different. For me, that is one of the big problems, and the problem that I encounter as a tutor at the Institute.
Chair: Thank you very much.
Q308 Ian Mearns: Good morning. I suppose it might seem an obvious question, but from your perspective, what are the incentives and the requirements for teachers to undertake continuing professional development?
Professor Robertson: In terms of incentives, that is where we have quite a gap. The Postgraduate Professional Development programme provided some subsidised funding for teachers to undertake Master’s programmes, or at least a PG Cert. However, beyond that it is very difficult for teachers, and I think it will be increasingly difficult. When students are considering the debt with which they move into the profession, it will be even more difficult for them, perhaps setting up with a young family, to buy a home and personally invest in their own professional development. It is quite a challenge for the future, and we need to think very carefully about it.
Schools do invest in some CPD. At the moment, we are running about eight different Master’slevel programmes that are located in schools, where all the teachers are enrolled by the school on a Master’slevel programme. We have one focusing on coaching and mentoring in one cluster, and another cluster looking at different levels of leadership development, so schools are investing, and where that happens it has real benefit. Some headteachers are seeing it as a really important development, and something that is worth investing in. The bigger secondary schools are better placed to do that. In the small primaries, for example-in Worcestershire and Herefordshire we have some very small primary schools-it is very difficult for heads to make that kind of commitment when their budgets are small and the demands are great.
Teacher accountability is another barrier for a lot of teachers, and for a lot of headteachers in supporting further development, because teachers’ time needs to be invested in looking very closely at the outcomes and achievements of testing within the school. That is another barrier, and a disincentive, if you like, for teachers to engage in more work.
Q309 Ian Mearns: Thank you. The Government have been in power now for just under 20 months. Do you feel that they have paid enough attention to CPD in terms of their policy thinking so far?
Professor Robertson: No.
Dr Kitson: No. There has been much more emphasis on ITT than CPD.
Q310 Ian Mearns: Right.
Dr Kitson: I think we all feel that ITT is obviously very important, but it is the beginning of a teacher’s career. If you are not paying attention to the whole career development, what you gain in the ITT year can be lost.
Q311 Ian Mearns: Now, in terms of what we can learn from abroad, the world of education out there and overseas, can you focus on a couple of themes where you think we could learn from some good examples from abroad on CPD?
Professor Robertson: Do you want to say something about Finland?
Dr Kitson: Everyone always talks about Finland. I think everyone has been now.
Q312 Ian Mearns: Yes. We have been.
Dr Kitson: Yes. However, I think it is genuinely inspirational. It is difficult: it would require a massive culture shift to do here what happens in Finland. Going back to those two barriers of time and money, in Finland a teacher would teach roughly about half the teaching load of teachers here. They have a threeyear minimum initial training programme. The vast majority of teachers in Finland have two Master’s degrees, one in their subject and one in education. It is taken so seriously. There is an expectation that teachers are engaging in research: it is a researchbased profession. If you are teaching half your time, you have the rest of the time to plan collaboratively with colleagues, whereas here it happens in isolation, to engage in research, to work with other colleagues, to develop other colleagues, to work more closely with parents. It is a wonderful system, I have to say.
Q313 Ian Mearns: Thank you. Do you agree with calls from the GTC for an entitlement to CPD for each and every teacher?
Professor Robertson: Yes.
Q314 Ian Mearns: Right.
Professor Robertson: I think that is very important. For teaching to be a Master’slevel profession in this country, as it is in many other successful countries in the education field, would be a real investment in teachers.
Dr Kitson: As long as it is highquality CPD. As long as it is not a, "Tick, I have done my 30 hours this year." As long as there is a kind of quality.
Q315 Ian Mearns: If ITT goes mainly away from the HE sector, do you think there are potentially implications for the research and development of the future of CPD and ITT?
Dr Kitson: Yes.
Professor Robertson: The integration of initial teacher training within universities and schools in the very exciting and dynamic partnerships that many universities have is really important. It is the meld between academic and practice. It is not one group providing academic and one group providing practice. The way we work with our partners at the University of Worcester, and many other university partnerships with schools, is a true partnership, where academic learning takes place in school as well as practical learning taking place in the university. It is not a location split. It is a true partnership. That is why particular providers achieve outstanding provision, because of that very important link.
That is where the academic bit fits so closely with practice and enhances our students. For example, our retention is amongst the highest in the country for teachers after five years of qualification, because they already have professional understanding and a commitment to their own academic and professional learning to make a difference in the classroom.
Q316 Neil Carmichael: I want to test this a bit further, because we are obviously keen on the idea of more CPD, and both of you have touched on what the central issue is here. I will pose it in this way: we are thinking about having to reshape the timetable of the teacher, aren’t we, to accommodate more time? Most teachers in my constituency would probably cheerfully say, "I would like to do that, but I just do not know when." Ian asked the question about international comparisons. You touched upon Finland, which is of course the really good flagship example, but I think most schools on the continent do have a different timetable arrangement from us. Do you think that is a helpful way towards encouraging CPD? How do you see that developing?
Professor Robertson: Having a lighter timetable?
Neil Carmichael: Yes.
Chair: Can we improve it without changing the timetable?
Neil Carmichael: Yes. At the end of the day, the amount of teaching time that teachers have adds up-the marking time and classroom time and the rest of it.
Chair: Shall we let them answer?
Neil Carmichael: Yes.
Professor Robertson: That is a really interesting question. In secondary schools in this country there is a little bit more flexibility in terms of teacher time, whereas in primary schools teachers have very little time offtimetable. The issues between primary and secondary as it currently sits are different. Obviously, in bigger secondary schools there is more flexibility because you have the capacity.
I think freeing people up to undertake highquality CPD could be of great benefit, but as always we are balancing cost and benefit, and that is a very difficult thing in the current climate, when the economy is not in a good position.
Neil Carmichael: Thank you.
Chair: Alison, were you going to come in?
Neil Carmichael: Alison wants to add something
Dr Kitson: I think it would be absolutely wonderful to create more time for teachers, but I would not want to think that without that we cannot change the system. Ironically, there is a fairly recent policy in schools intended to address the workload issue, called the Rarely Cover policy. It has made headteachers understandably very reluctant to allow teachers out of school. That has meant that an awful lot of CPD is inhouse. There is nothing wrong with some inhouse CPD, but too much inhouse CPD I do not think is very healthy. You will certainly not get that cuttingedge subjectspecific CPD that I was talking about. There are policies working against each other there, and unintended consequences.
Ian Mearns: Chris, as part of your submission, you are quoted as saying, "accredited professional [CPD] at postgraduate level has more value than other forms." That sounds selfevident, but do you have an evidence base to back that up?
Professor Robertson: We know, as I have said before, from our own evaluations of impact on our teachers and on schools, that highquality CPD, accredited CPD, Master’slevel work, where teachers are engaged in critical thinking and analysis, as Alison said, focusing on their subject or their subject strand, has a huge impact. For example, if their role is to lead on SEN, then actually engaging in Master’slevel work on special needs makes a huge difference to the way they think, and the way they analyse data and their own practice. Teachers and headteachers tell us that. We run the national SENCo programme in Worcester, and our external evaluator has talked significantly about the impact that has had on practices in the schools. That is by talking with the headteachers and other members of staff, asking them what benefit there has been from a teacher doing the Government’s SENCo funded programme.
Q317 Ian Mearns: So from your perspective, you feel as though you have done enough robust evaluation to say that solution is spot on?
Professor Robertson: Yes, I think so. We are constantly pushing the boundaries in terms of evaluating programmes. If you took the TDA’s own evaluation of the postgraduate professional programme, one of the key pointers they made was that teachers really value Master’slevel work, and they do not want professional development to lose that academic edge. That was one of their major findings of a major piece of evaluative work.
Chair: Thank you.
Ian Mearns: Thank you very much.
Q318 Pat Glass: What evidence is there, if any, that CPD or lack of it is a factor in students’ deciding to choose teaching as a career, or in teachers leaving the profession?
Dr Kitson: Yes. That is a really difficult one. There is no definitive evidence that says, "Teachers would stay in the profession if they had lots of CPD." There are bits and pieces of research, so for example the PPD Report that Chris mentioned has some evidence that it encourages teachers to stay in the profession.
If you look at the Teach First programme, which has been very successful in recruiting very highquality graduates into teaching, one of the things it does extremely well is to say to applicants, "Look, you will get two years’ structured professional development with opportunities to engage in subsidised Master’s programmes in leadership." Teach First is not aimed at everyone staying in the profession in the long term, but they have a fair retention rate of about 62%, given that is not its overall aim. Mainly it is anecdotal, but certainly, the fact that people have a twoyear programme with a mentor for two years outside the school, with guaranteed professional development, with the Master’s accreditation, I think is very attractive. Even if some of it is anecdotal, it is not unreasonable to say that if someone feels very well supported in their career, and feels like they are making progress, it is likely to encourage them to stay in the profession.
Professor Robertson: We have had a system in place in my university where NQTs have been offered the opportunity, as a right, of moving on to Master’slevel study, and we do that for our PGCE programme, our undergraduate students and our graduate teacher programme-across all of our provision, including our SCITT provision. All of those students can move on, and a large majority of them do. They feel that having Master’s credits aligned to their NQT year takes their career forward. It is not just ticking off the induction year but contributing to their further development. What we find is that, once NQTs or teachers are hooked on postgraduate study, they carry on. Some 93% carry on to further Master’slevel work once they have done a PG Cert. That is significant. That is within my institution.
We know that having that link, as Teach First has, so that students can see that being a teacher is not just about getting QTS but lifelong learning, means that they value that and take it very seriously. From when they begin the programme as undergraduates when they first come in at 18, we are talking to them about undertaking Master’slevel work. We are talking to them about what that will mean for them as teachers, and the need for them to carry on learning beyond the programmes that they do as part of initial teacher training. It does have a difference. It changes people’s mindset.
I can remember one of the Ofsted inspectors saying to us after our last "Outstanding" inspection that headteachers had told them that talking to our students was like talking to colleagues who had been in the profession for some time. It was not like talking to students but like talking to trained teachers, because they had a very professional understanding of their role.
Q319 Pat Glass: If that is the case, do you think there is any correlation-I have often felt that there is a correlation, with no evidence to back it up, but experience-between those teachers who undertake CPD, and those teachers who are creative and innovative in the classroom?
Professor Robertson: Is there a correlation? Yes.
Q320 Pat Glass: We are after good teachers, aren’t we? Equally, my experience has been that if you see teachers who are not interested in CPD, want it during twilight so they do not have to stay after five o’clock, and are not interested in investing in it themselves, they tend to be the more tired teachers. Is there any evidence that sits behind that?
Professor Robertson: I am not sure whether there is any evidence behind it, but I think both Alison and I would probably agree with you.
Dr Kitson: Recognise it.
Professor Robertson: When we select our new trainees to come on to our ITE programmes, we are looking for students and for committed professionals who already show that creative energy and desire to move themselves forward. I think, going back to ITE, it is one of the characteristics that we are looking for when we are selecting applicants for all our programmes.
Q321 Pat Glass: Do you think there is an ideal time for which teachers should stay within a school or a particular department? Does that have an impact on the quality of teaching?
Dr Kitson: Do you want to pick that one up?
Professor Robertson: Yes.
Pat Glass: Should we be moving teachers around, and not letting them stay 14 years in one school without any CPD, for instance?
Dr Kitson: Again, I do not know whether there is any evidence that that holds teachers back in their development. Maybe it relates back to this notion of whether CPD is entirely inhouse or external. If you are in the same school for a very long time and you have no stimulus from outside the school, and no development from outside the school, there is a danger that you can become introspective and you do not get those new ideas, in your subject or in pedagogy or subject knowledge or whatever it is. Whether that is because they are in the same school for a long time, or whether it is because they are not getting that CPD, I would not like to say.
Q322 Pat Glass: Should we be developing separate career structures for teachers who decide to stay in the classroom? I know successive Governments have tinkered with this.
Dr Kitson: Yes.
Professor Robertson: I think that is really important. Even from my own personal experience, I did not want to become a headteacher, and yet I was a forwardlooking, ambitious teacher wanting to make a real difference in the classroom. Finding routes, when I was a young teacher, was very difficult. I moved into the local authority, into advisory work, because that seemed to be a route that I could take and follow my passion for learning and teaching in the classroom. I know that a lot of young teachers feel that strongly, as well. A lot of experienced teachers also feel that strongly. Having a route for teachers, other than headship and management, is really important.
Q323 Pat Glass: How do we make that real? We have had Learning Teachers, and that has had variable success. We now have a situation in which headteachers are paid more than, say, Directors of Education or advisers, so financially the route has to be through becoming a head. How do you make that work? Is it about money? Is it about CPD? Is it a combination of both?
Professor Robertson: Do you want to pick that up first?
Dr Kitson: Yes. There has been a route for classroom teachers, which is the Advanced Skills Teacher route, which has been, I think, incredibly successful. I know a lot of people, personal friends, who have gone down the AST route. Why would they go down the AST route and not the headteacher route? They want to stay in the classroom, but they want to work with other colleagues and develop other colleagues, so they can widen their sphere of influence and share their expertise. Yes, they want to have a pay increase, because I think if you have a lifelong career, you want to be paid more as time goes on. I think that is reasonable. They have status, so the AST pay scale was the leadership pay scale. Some ASTs joined the leadership team in some schools.
I think the future of AST is extremely uncertain. There are virtually no local authorities that now fund it, so the principle of AST, which was four days per week in school and one day in other schools, has pretty much gone. Why would a head pay a teacher to spend a day per week in a different school? I am sorry to keep going on about the subjectspecific, but again that means that ASTs are now working across all departments within the school, rather than sharing their expertise with other fellow subject teachers in other schools. That is another reason why subjectspecific CPD is weakened.
We now have this new role called an SLE, Specialist Leader of Education, which is being run through the teaching schools, which has no link to pay. Whether they will be paid more or not by headteachers nobody knows, but there is no clear link to pay. We have the Master Teacher standards, which are currently being consulted on. They have no link to pay. I am struggling to see at the moment how SLEs or Master Teachers could be a credible alternative to ASTs for ambitious teachers who want to be fabulous teachers and share their expertise, but also want to make progression in their career. It is a real worry.
Professor Robertson: The range of roles that Alison has also outlined indicates that for a lot of teachers they are not sure which route to follow, because there is no clarity there. There is no established clarity. Sometimes, I know, current ASTs are worried about what will happen to their role. Will the position that they have achieved as Advanced Skills Teachers now be as nothing, and will Leaders of Learning or SLEs be more senior in terms of status within the school? Whatever we do, we need to be thinking about stability in the structures we create. It is not helpful to teachers when we change and bring in too many differences, and positions that have had some esteem and status are suddenly removed. I think it is unhelpful to teachers in planning their own careers.
Q324 Chair: We also need to know which structures and what CPD lead to better outcomes for young people. Do we have any evidence across all these acronyms as to which leads to better outcomes for children, which is the ultimate aim?
Professor Robertson: In terms of the roles, the research that has been done is not significant, because often the roles have changed over a fairly short time. Looking at the longterm impact of these roles on people’s careers can be quite difficult, because the roles themselves disappear. To me, that is where we need longer term stability within the roles, so we can undertake that kind of work and see the difference it makes.
Dr Kitson: Yes. There is a lot being made at the moment about parallels between education and medicine. Consultants do not stop teaching. They are still treating patients. They still have an obligation to train new doctors and engage in research. There is no parallel to that in education at all.
Q325 Neil Carmichael: That is a really interesting point that you have just raised about the parallel between teachers and doctors, and indeed lawyers. The one thing that teachers do not have, which the others do have, is a professional body to represent them and effectively corral the very things you are talking about. Have either of you thought about the fact that the teaching profession might benefit from having an effective professional body looking at the issue of training and professionalism and career development on their behalf for them, rather than allowing teachers effectively to be subjected to a huge variety of options and possibilities, as currently happens?
Dr Kitson: We did have one; we had the General Teaching Council.
Q326 Neil Carmichael: No, that is not the same thing.
Dr Kitson: Okay. It was the nearest thing we have ever had to a professional-
Q327 Neil Carmichael: Yes, but it is not the same thing, is it?
Dr Kitson: It is not like the BMA-no, I understand.
Q328 Neil Carmichael: It is not the same thing. We are confusing two structures there. You mentioned the comparison between teachers and doctors, so let us develop it.
Professor Robertson: I think you are absolutely right, and Alison is right in saying that the GTC was the nearest we have ever come to something like that. This is my personal opinion: I think it would be a very useful development to have that kind of organisation. I would want to know what the organisation was going to be responsible for, and how controlling it was going to be, so I would have a lot of questions to ask about that, and in its development, but the notion could be a very important one to pursue.
Q329 Neil Carmichael: You are making the assumption that this would be something created by Government for teachers. It does not necessarily need to be, and perhaps should not be, created by Government. It should arise from teachers wanting to have a professional body to look after their profession, in their interests, and obviously, as Graham quite rightly pointed out, the interests of pupils too. Fundamentally, this is a question of how teachers themselves want to see things happen.
Professor Robertson: Yes.
Dr Kitson: Yes. I think that is right, but education is very politicised. There is no equivalent in medicine for the Government suddenly, through a body like the National College, creating a new role that is Specialist Leaders of Education. I do not think the Government would say to doctors, "We will create this." I do not know-I may be wrong-but there is a sense in which Government does exert a lot of control over those kinds of structures.
Neil Carmichael: Not the BMA, for example.
Q330 Chair: Is that because it is filling a vacuum? It could be a combination of Government stepping in, but also the main voices of teachers are often strident teaching unions rather than professional teachers coming together and representing themselves.
Dr Kitson: I am not disagreeing with you at all. I think you are absolutely right.
Neil Carmichael: Thank you.
Q331 Charlotte Leslie: Talking about the National College for School Leadership, do you think there is often not enough distinction drawn between managerial expertise and duties that teachers are increasingly being expected to take on because of the direction our education is going in, and actual professional development? If you go back to medicine, with the reforms going through you will have an increasing requirement for clinicians to have the managerial expertise. That is a very different skill from being an excellent professional. Do you think we need to divide those two things slightly more when we are talking about professional development-managerial-and expertise in your actual subject area or methods of teaching?
Chair: Who would like to go at that? Chris?
Professor Robertson: I think you are right in some respects, although most teaching roles do have an element of managerial work within them. However, I would say that developing leadership skills within the teaching profession is really important, and whether you are a subject leader or a manager, you need those leadership skills. We find that is something that schools are really focusing on, and have for some time-wanting to develop leadership within their schools, and capacity building, and sustainability. Separating out some of the roles, so that teachers are not expected to do everything, is really important. If you are dealing with a heavy management role, focusing on the development of your colleagues can be very difficult in terms of the time management. I think your point is a good one.
Could I just go back very briefly to Neil’s point about the BMA? The BMA was actually started in Worcester. We are currently teaching in the very room where that happened. Maybe we need to get a group of teachers together in that room and maybe the magic of the room will inspire teachers to do that. To me it is a really important idea, and I think now we have an opportunity, as a profession, because in recent years-for many years now-teachers have been strategied out. They have had so many strategies placed on them that they have not been able to think about their own personal professional needs, and they have been responding to what has been imposed. I think it links with your point as well. This is a really good opportunity for us to help teachers seize the opportunity to think about what they want to do and where they see themselves going as professionals. I think it is a good point.
Neil Carmichael: Thank you.
Q332 Tessa Munt: I wanted to look a little bit at the potential for sabbaticals, and perhaps for charter status and any sort of advanced study. If I could start with sabbaticals, we are aware of the Australian long leave system, and other systems like that, and there has been discussion in previous Committee meetings about perhaps the chance for teachers to participate in inspection, to do with Ofsted or whatever, as part of a break from teaching. I think it was you, Chris, who said a sabbatical scheme might be looked at or offered for teachers to undertake further study and exchange, or a period in industry. Can you talk a little bit more about that, please?
Professor Robertson: In my mind, professional development for teachers is rather like a prism.
Tessa Munt: Can I ask you to speak up a little? Sorry.
Professor Robertson: In my opinion, professional development for teachers is rather like a prism. You have different faces to it, which would include Master’slevel work, it would include network learning communities, and it would also include opportunities to look nationally and internationally to link up some of the activities that you have been doing in those other areas with organisations outside your own organisation.
Often, if you want to engage in some deeper understanding of the work of another country or another system, you need a longer period of time, rather than the tourist going in and just trying to catch the feel for something. You need a period of time for that deep understanding of the way things work. It might be because they want to do some research in a particular area, or it might be because they have identified leadership in another organisation that they would like to explore. I think those learning opportunities could also be built very well into a professional development package. However, they do need more time invested in them than just going on a day here and there, or a couple of days.
Q333 Tessa Munt: You are talking about a specific break?
Professor Robertson: Yes.
Q334 Tessa Munt: I think under the Australian system, as soon as you are salaried as a teacher, part of your salary is put aside for that break after seven or eight or 10 years, or whatever, so there is a threemonth or a sixmonth period-
Professor Robertson: I would see that as being really helpful. I know in the past where we have had opportunities for teachers to engage in international visits over perhaps a few weeks, or to undertake industrial placements, those have not been well taken up. I know Graham will be asking, "What research and evidence do you have?" They were not well taken up, but I think they were set up at a time when teachers were also under the cosh in terms of all the strategy development.
Again, I think now is an opportunity for us to re-look at those opportunities, and I know that where our teachers engage in international experience, where they have opportunities to spend some time with organisations in smallscale research, it has an impact on their thinking. We run some clusters of groups of headteachers working together, where they come together to explore leadership and the challenges of being headteachers, and we do that as part of our CPD for headteachers.
Q335 Tessa Munt: Is that national or international?
Professor Robertson: No, this is local groups of headteachers coming together.
Tessa Munt: Right.
Professor Robertson: What we then do is to link the groups together. We have groups of teachers in this country working with groups of headteachers in Indonesia, and acting as supports for each other.
Q336 Tessa Munt: Why Indonesia?
Professor Robertson: Because we happened to have some contacts with training in Indonesia, so we had groups of headteachers there who similarly wanted to link with groups of teachers in the UK, so it was an opportunity to link. I think universities often have that opportunity of acting as the facilitators of these groups coming together. We are also linking groups of headteachers with whom we work in Somerset with groups of headteachers in Norfolk and in Hereford that we are working with. We can join people together so that headteachers-this is the level at which we are doing this at the moment-are able to share thinking, and to spend, even if it is three days together-
Tessa Munt: But that would strike me as just being good practice. If you were going to make a recommendation to the Committee about whatever it might say in its Report, what is different?
Professor Robertson: Those connections, we know, make a real difference to both sides of the partnership that engage together. Doing that for teachers would also have that same kind of benefit, and if teachers had longer periods of secondment to be able to go and explore models in Finland or wherever-
Q337 Chair: What does this look like? That is what Tessa is asking.
Professor Robertson: What does it look like?
Chair: Is it an entitlement, like Australia, built up over time? How does it work? What would the recommendation look like in a Report from this Committee?
Professor Robertson: I would like to see that kind of development embedded in things like the Master’s standard, for example. That would be one place it could sit. Or it could be for teachers in challenging schools who have made particular achievements and developments that have been noted and noteworthy. It would be an opportunity for them to take their learning on to another level and stage. Often teachers in challenging schools do not get that kind of opportunity because they are so busy dealing with the challenges within the school
Q338 Chair: So it would not be universal; it would be an earned entitlement?
Professor Robertson: Yes. That is how I could see it working. Again, I am thinking about the economies of it.
Q339 Tessa Munt: There might also be conflict. If a headteacher of a very small school has somebody simply brilliant, it is better to just keep them quiet, otherwise they might be flying off and doing something elsewhere. I can see conflicts in that. Maybe you would like to write to the Committee a little bit more about that subject, because I think we are quite pressed for time, are we not?
Chair: We are.
Professor Robertson: Okay.
Q340 Tessa Munt: Alison, is there anything you want to say in 30 seconds about that?
Dr Kitson: No.
Q341 Tessa Munt: Fantastic, thank you. I just wanted to look at what your thoughts were on chartered teacher status generally, and whether it should be an overarching system, or whether it is something that should be opted into by individual teachers.
Dr Kitson: I have worked on chartered teacher status, on and off, for a number of years. I am not expert, as the people sitting behind me are. My concern about a chartered teacher scheme is if it were just added on to what already exists in terms of career paths and so on, because I think there is a real danger of confusion. My questions would be, if you are going to consider recommending a chartered teacher scheme: how will it relate to the Master Teacher standards? How will it relate to career progression? How will it relate to status and pay? Does it have a link with a licence to practice? If there is a requirement to engage in CPD, how are you going to ensure the quality of that CPD? I think that all of those can be resolved.
Q342 Tessa Munt: Those are questions I was going to ask you.
Dr Kitson: The answer is that, in my opinion, you would have to find ways of linking the chartered teacher scheme with the Master Teacher standards, as an obvious starting point. Otherwise you just have a parallel track. If the chartered teacher scheme can be a way, as it is with many other professions, of ensuring that teachers are engaging in an appropriate amount of an appropriate quality of CPD on a regular basis, in order to maintain their charteredness, that is a very good thing.
How exactly should the scheme look? There are so many different schemes. The scheme in Scotland has some very particular characteristics. You have chartered subject teacher schemes, which Professor Derek Bell can talk more about later. You have chartered assessors. There are lots of schemes already. Do you want lots of little schemes? Do you want an overall scheme that will build in with the standards? These are the questions. I used to work at TDA back in 2007. I wrote a report on this, saying exactly that, and nothing has really happened in the last five years to move that forward. I think it is great that you are talking about it today.
Q343 Tessa Munt: So Master’s or chartered teacher-
Dr Kitson: The Master Teacher standards. I do not know whether you have seen those yet, but they are still being consulted on, I think.
Professor Robertson: Yes, they are being consulted on. It is not a Master’s. It is called the Master Teacher standard.
Q344 Tessa Munt: Oh, so it is not a Master’s?
Professor Robertson: No.
Dr Kitson: No.
Q345 Tessa Munt: I am under time pressure. If we are going to go down this route, which route is your preference? What should we do? Do we go to the Master’s, or a Master Teacher, or-
Professor Robertson: I think we ought to be going for an academic Master’slevel profession.
Tessa Munt: Yes.
Professor Robertson: Whatever scheme we put in place ought to have that embedded within it, whether it be a charter scheme, whether it be the Master Standard that is being consulted on at the moment, or whatever it is. I think Master’s-level qualifications ought to be embedded within that.
Q346 Tessa Munt: Is that linked to pay and conditions, status-all that sort of stuff?
Dr Kitson: Not necessarily.
Tessa Munt: Thank you.
Professor Robertson: But I think it should.
Q347 Tessa Munt: Yes. Sorry. Perhaps my question was too rhetorical. Do you think it should be linked?
Dr Kitson: Yes, I do.
Tessa Munt: Yes, you do.
Professor Robertson: I think it should be linked.
Dr Kitson: I think that comes back to rewarding classroom teachers for excellent practice, which is what charteredness ought to be about.
Tessa Munt: Thank you.
Chair: Thank you. Thank you both very much for giving evidence to us this morning.
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Mark Powell, Executive Director, Product Development, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Mark Protherough, Executive Director, Learning & Professional Development, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and Christine Williams, Head, Global Membership, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, gave evidence.
Q348 Chair: Thank you very much for coming in to give evidence to us this morning. Obviously, your schemes will be very different from anything that would occur in the teaching profession, but I hope there are lessons to be learnt from the successes and challenges that have occurred in your own schemes. If this Committee were to recommend setting up a chartered teacher scheme, what one lesson might we learn from the world in which you work? I will start on the left, if I may.
Mark Powell: That is a really good question, Chair. One thing you might be able to learn from our institution, and from the others that are here today, is the link between the professionalism of a member of our institution and all the other things that we require the members to do in order to maintain that professionalism.
For us within the RICS, the value of a chartered surveyor is much more than about being a technical specialist and achieving academic qualification. It is a competencybased institution. The way we measure individual members of the institution is through their competencies, and how we encourage them throughout their careers and regulate them is around the competencies they demonstrate to the general public and the institutions they are working for. That would be the one thing that I would try to pass across to the Committee.
Q349 Chair: How important is your independence from Government to your ability to do that?
Mark Powell: Clearly we do have links to Government, because a lot of the standards that we encourage our members to work to are based on legislation. Therefore our members will be advising different Government Departments and organisations on the development of legislation. Building control legislation is a good example of that, and our members consult on that, but we are not directly involved in putting that in place. We are a global institution, and we are working with institutions, banks, insurance companies and other Governments around the world, helping them to understand the standards and the implementation that the RICS members can bring, and how they can help in those different jurisdictions.
Chair: Thank you very much.
Mark Protherough: If you will let me, I will give you two very quick ones: the technical rigour of the qualification, and the standard of the qualification. We have heard already about Master’s level. Ours goes up to Master’s level. Secondly, there is the importance of mandatory continued professional development. It is essential that accountants, all professionals, keep themselves up to date.
Chair: Thank you very much.
Christine Williams: I am Christine Williams, of the CIPD-the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I would agree that our professionallevel qualification leading to chartered membership is pitched at Master’s level. However, one of the lessons I would give to the Committee is that the focus is not just on what people know. The real focus is on "So what?" To me that is a really important thing. It is based on a competence framework, but it is about the actual results that people deliver in the workplace for the customers, the clients, or the children. That is something I would say.
We have 135,000 members. We have a high proportion of chartered membership, and I think that has helped to reposition the profession as being regarded, perhaps, as having that credibility that previously people talking about old "personnel" maybe did not see. I think chartered status does help our position. In running a scheme, that is very important in terms of credibility.
Chair: Thank you.
Q350 Tessa Munt: Can I ask you one very quick question? I am not talking about people who have gained their chartered status here and then moved abroad, but do you have people from other countries applying for the chartered status of your bodies?
Mark Powell: We absolutely do. In fact, last year was the first year ever that we had more individuals come into chartered status membership outside the UK than we did inside the UK.
Mark Protherough: Some 25% of our student intake last year was from outside the UK.
Christine Williams: Yes. The majority of our international students still do come to the UK to qualify, but we are expanding globally. We have opened an office in Singapore and are now delivering outside the UK. Yes, the globe is looking to the UK for leadership in this area.
Q351 Tessa Munt: Right. Would that be the case for all of you: it makes people’s jobs more valuable in all parts of the world?
Mark Protherough: No, I would not say all parts of the world. There are recognitions of chartered status in many parts of the world, but not in all.
Mark Powell: We would be the same as the ICAEW as far as that is concerned.
Q352 Tessa Munt: That is interesting. Thank you. Can I ask you not about your specific disciplines but to outline the key components of your scheme: how people get there and how it might be adapted by other professions? Obviously we are talking about education here, but can I ask you for your comments on that, just quickly?
Mark Powell: Very quickly, to become a chartered member, a chartered surveyor, we have a range of feeder universities that have accredited qualifications. Some are degrees, and some are postgraduate qualifications. These feeder qualifications enable graduates then to find employment with firms that are in the space, and we work with the firm to have what is called a structured training agreement.
During a minimum twoyear period, the individuals then develop a whole series of competencies, which we define, and the firm works with them. They will have other chartered members within the firm who will mentor them through that process, and then ultimately, at the end of a minimum of two years, they come forward for a structured interview. Three members sit in a room with them, go through their competencies, interview them, and at the end of that they are either judged to be competent and achieve the competency to be a chartered surveyor, or they are referred.
Q353 Tessa Munt: How many referrals do you make?
Mark Powell: That is a good question. In the UK, at the moment, the pass rate is just under 70%.
Tessa Munt: Okay, fine. Thank you.
Mark Protherough: It is very similar. They get a job with an authorised employer. We authorise employers to train. They go through a three to five-year training period with a training agreement. They develop their workplace skills-we call them "skills" rather than "competencies". The difference with us is that they have also to study academically. There are 15 papers that they have to sit and pass.
Q354 Tessa Munt: How many?
Mark Protherough: Fifteen. One-five.
Q355 Tessa Munt: That is over a period of three to five years?
Mark Protherough: Over a period of three to five years.
Q356 Tessa Munt: Okay, fine. And the failure rate?
Mark Protherough: The failure rate is relatively low. The reason for that is what is called an early hurdle: the students will sit an exam within three weeks, typically, of joining a firm. If they fail that exam badly, they will be terminated.
Q357 Tessa Munt: Is the exam set by you?
Mark Protherough: The exams are all set by us. That is a central control, which I think is very important.
Q358 Tessa Munt: How do you choose the firms that are good, and how often do you check the quality?
Mark Protherough: We go and visit them before they start training, to check their systems and their processes and the support they give to trainees, and we monitor them every three years. Every three years we go round to check with them. They are organisations like PwC, the National Audit Office, Barclays: a huge range of bluechip employers.
Q359 Tessa Munt: What is the smallest size of firm that you are working with?
Mark Protherough: We work with sole practitioners, who will be one person who will have maybe five or six staff, and they will have a trainee.
Q360 Tessa Munt: How often do you check their quality?
Mark Protherough: We check them the same: every three years. If there is a doubt or concern about them, we will obviously visit them more often, but it is a standard procedure. It is a minimum of a threeyearly visit.
Q361 Tessa Munt: Okay, fine. Can I move to you, Christine?
Christine Williams: Yes. We have a set of professional standards that the Institute has set, which defines what a competent professional should be able to do. There are three elements: their knowledge, so what they should know; their activities, so what they do; and quite importantly their behaviours-the way they operate in the workplace. The knowledge for chartered membership is set at a postgraduate level, so that is delivered through a range of universities, colleges and providers. Candidates are required to join the Institute initially as students whilst they are undertaking that Master’s or postgraduate qualification. Quite often they achieve the Master’s degree from the university as well as having the underpinning knowledge for chartered membership.
However, it does not lead to chartered recognition simply on the basis of completion of that qualification. The charter is then awarded once they have been able to demonstrate the activities and their behaviour-the practice in the workplace. It is the role of the CIPD, as the professional body, to define those, to support people through that, and then to recognise and assess that when people have achieved it.
Q362 Tessa Munt: Measuring behaviour, that is quite an interesting one to try to do, isn’t it?
Christine Williams: Yes.
Q363 Tessa Munt: How many challenges do you receive to judgments that are made on assessment of somebody’s behaviour?
Christine Williams: The way that it is done is the core approaches that people have-some of the key, or people may call them "core", competencies around the way people will demonstrate the courage to challenge, the way that they will be driven to deliver. We gather that from both the individual and two colleagues, so to be quite frank the evidence normally is sufficient. As long as we can give feedback as to the reasons for those decisions, there is very little challenge on the behavioural side, to be honest. If anything, the dispute tends to be around the activities, the level of accountability and responsibility that people feel they have, rather than on the behavioural side. It is the way that people approach it, not just whether they have the knowledge and whether they have the job. It is whether they do it in a professional manner.
Q364 Tessa Munt: Can I ask you for your referral rate, or your failure rate, or your retake rate, or whatever it is?
Christine Williams: On the qualifications and the examinations, I am afraid it really does vary, because 450 providers and universities, potentially, are offering those. As far as the progression into chartered membership goes, again it is relatively small. I would say it is around 5% of applicants. Again, the reason is that there is a lot of support and hurdles, precounselling, before people submit the final application. There is more support on the weaker candidates before they finally go through for assessment, rather than it being a high failure rate from people having a go when they are not ready.
Mark Protherough: Sorry, Tessa, I did not answer your question. About 80% of people who start with us complete. Our failure rate is about 20% overall.
Tessa Munt: Okay, fine.
Q365 Chair: Who are the 450 providers?
Christine Williams: They will be a range of universities-Westminster University, Kingston, local ones here-some further education colleges that do the lower level qualifications, and as I say, we are starting to make relationships with overseas universities as well.
Chair: Right. Thanks.
Q366 Tessa Munt: Could I ask you about how much it costs you, in time and money, to administer your chartered schemes, please?
Mark Powell: One of the benefits that we have is that our members are heavily involved in the operation of our organisation. We have over 1,000 active members involved in both sitting on panels and boards, and our assessment. The three individuals that I indicated would sit and run that final assessment are volunteers. They are members. We train them, absolutely we train them, and there is a Chair in there, but they will only have their expenses remunerated. This means our actual costs of administering the process are relatively low. Clearly we have to have a team that sits there and manages all the applications coming in. We have teams who make sure the competencies they are reviewing are up to date. The actual processing of the individuals coming through for the final assessment is more costeffective than it would be if we had to run it on a full commercial basis.
Q367 Tessa Munt: Can you put a figure on it, though?
Mark Powell: An individual would pay £500 for their overall assessment programme, so an individual graduate coming forward would pay a proportion at the beginning and a proportion at the end, and that is the assessment fee that they would pay in total.
Q368 Tessa Munt: Does that have any relation to what it actually costs? Sorry, I am really trying to pin you down on the cost.
Mark Powell: It more or less washes its face.
Q369 Tessa Munt: Right. Thank you. Sorry, over how many people a year?
Mark Powell: In terms of the individuals coming forward?
Q370 Tessa Munt: No, how many people are attempting to gain-
Mark Powell: Yes. I will just reverse engineer that. Last year globally we had only 2,000 new members come through.
Q371 Tessa Munt: 2,000?
Mark Powell: 2,000.
Tessa Munt: Okay.
Mark Powell: Given our referral rates, that would be in the order of slightly under 3,000 individuals that are coming forward for assessment.
Tessa Munt: Okay, fine. Thank you.
Mark Protherough: There are about 100 people in the Learning and Professional Development team at the Institute. Speaking from memory, our expenditure is about £13 million and we receive about £11 million in income. The Institute overall has about £80 million, both expenditure and income, so we make a loss.
Q372 Tessa Munt: Yes. Of £2 million.
Mark Protherough: As my Chief Executive reminds me.
Q373 Tessa Munt: How does he feel about that? Or she?
Mark Protherough: He is relatively relaxed, because after all they then go into membership, and hopefully they do stay and continue with us for maybe 30 or 40 years.
Q374 Tessa Munt: Fine, very good. Can I ask you the same?
Christine Williams: Yes. Our premise is that it is a costneutral exercise. In terms of the accreditation of the providers of the Master’slevel qualification, that is done on a cost-recovery basis. A provider would pay around £750 initially for their accreditation, plus a fee depending on the size of the cohorts, to be able to offer the programme. That covers the cost of our quality assurance of the programme. If the provider is doing their own examinations, there is no additional cost to the Institute. If we are setting the examinations, the candidates would pay a cost that would cover that for us.
Q375 Tessa Munt: How much is that for the candidate?
Christine Williams: The candidates would pay about £50 per examination, which would cover the cost of operating that scheme. For candidates who then progress, having gained those qualifications, and apply for chartered membership, at the moment the fee for moving into chartered membership is set at £60 for the application, but the assessment of those applications is done by trained and licensed volunteers, members of the Institute.
Q376 Tessa Munt: On a voluntary basis, again?
Christine Williams: Yes.
Q377 Tessa Munt: Okay, fine. Thank you very much indeed. Can I ask you to give one key strength and one key weakness of your organisation’s chartered scheme, if we are looking at it from the point of view of the organisation, the individual member and the wider public?
Mark Powell: For us, a key strength is that we have member involvement all the way through, which means that when we assess individuals against their competencies, the three individuals they are meeting will be individuals from their same professional background or pathway and able to give a really good assessment of that individual, to make sure that they have met the competencies we expect, backed up by the support they have had from a member running through the time that they have been on that training activity.
The weakness for us is scalability. You have heard me talk about working outside the UK, and if you think about us working in areas where the RICS does not have a huge presence or a huge number of members, our ability therefore to assess new members coming in is constrained by the voluntary resources we have in those territories.
Q378 Tessa Munt: Thank you. Can I just ask you one other thing? How many complaints are registered against members who are chartered every year?
Mark Powell: I do not know the answer to that question. I will have to come back to you on that.
Q379 Tessa Munt: I do not want to end on a negative note, but could I invite all three of you to submit that to the Chair? It would be very handy. Thank you very much indeed. Can I ask you the same question about your strengths and weaknesses?
Mark Protherough: The strength is the quality of the qualification programme. It is the perceived quality, as well. It is not just my own words but how it is seen by our employers, by the public, and by various aspects of Government. It is the quality. The downside or the weakness is that, allied to that, there is sometimes a perception that chartered accountants are elite, because they tend to have come through this programme, they tend to have come with good academic backgrounds and be holding good jobs. So there is possibly a perception that chartered accountants are in the elite of the accountancy world.
Tessa Munt: Thank you.
Christine Williams: A strength could also be an element of our weakness. The strength really is that the chartered recognition is not just on the basis of the acknowledgement of the qualification. It is on the applied practice in the workplace, so it delivers for the employers professionals who are able to do and know what they are doing.
The weakness in that is that the academic level of qualifications-so up until now, the recognition of somebody achieving that level-has in itself been seen as the pinnacle of what people have been striving for. We have had a challenge and a weakness, in that candidates will remain with our academic qualification, rather than perhaps progressing through to full chartered status. A weakness has been in terms of the employers valuing the academic qualification and not necessarily recognising the added value that the chartered status can have.
Candidates perhaps realise that the employers value that additional chartered status once they have left their qualifications, and they come back to us. I suppose the weakness is how we get them to really focus on that right from the beginning of their journey-that it is chartered status they are aiming for. I think their focus tends to be on getting the qualification, a sigh of relief, and then there is sometimes a bit of a hiatus in progressing to the chartered status.
Chair: Thank you very much.
Q380 Craig Whittaker: I fully understand that although you guys are involved in education, you are not involved with teachers and schools, etc. However, during the last session, I saw some of your heads nodding, and at some points shaking as well. You heard from the last panel some of the challenges and some of their advice on what chartered status would bring-things like, "It should not just be another avenue; it should have strong links." I think that was the advice given on how that linked in with the Master Teacher standard-whether it is linked to a licence to practice, and whether it is linked to pay and conditions and all those things. What advice could you give teachers on setting up a chartered status for their profession?
Mark Powell: I do not know too much about the teaching area, but having listened to what I have heard earlier today, and if I take CPD as a specific example of that, reflecting on the comments from the panel, CPD is massively important in terms of what we would expect the chartered surveyor to be able to do. However, we expect chartered surveyors to generate CPD on a whole range of different things. They will go to evening events, they will invest their own time, they will do their own research. It is not necessarily about going on training courses, or going on conferences. It is about getting coaching from colleagues.
Therefore, we would not necessarily expect a chartered surveyor to maintain their professionalism in that nine-to-five window that they are employed. It is about them being a professional, and how they behave, and how they would work through that. In some ways, if I try to compare and contrast what I have heard, and some of the constraints around teachers being able to have professionalism through CPD, it is not necessarily for a chartered surveyor being done in their normal working day. It is part of their being a professional and continuing to maintain their competency throughout their career.
Mark Protherough: Yes, I agree with that. It was interesting, because the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales was set up by practitioners in insolvency. They got together and said, "We need to improve the standards of the insolvency profession." That is how they got together. They formed the Institute, and then it received its Royal Charter. It was a membergenerated thing. The advantage of having a Royal Charter is that it sets out your aims, your objectives, and what you are supposed to be doing. Thinking about the teaching profession, I think they were talking about either an incremental addon or an overarching structure. I would probably favour the overarching structure, because you can then have a holistic view of the qualification, the qualification standards leading to their Master’s, you have rules and regulations regarding the standard and behaviour of members, and you can look at the whole profession, rather than just, "Here is a stickingplaster you put on."
Christine Williams: I would agree with that. HR are very diverse in terms of the specialisms, with an overarching set of professional standards that govern the practice and define the standards for a professional in a range of specialist areas. I would definitely support that. Again, one of the things that I would say is that I heard quite a lot of focus on CPD, but very much around almost continuous education. One thing I would say is that it is about the professional practice, not just the focus on the continued knowledge. Knowledge is essential, but it is essential because it is translated and used, and I would put a recommendation that the focus is very much on how that is put to use, rather than the simple acquisition of it.
Q381 Craig Whittaker: Let me go back to you, Mark, about what you said about the emphasis being on your candidates or your trainees to do a lot in their own time. How much time off from work would your individual professions give a trainee to go on and work within the chartered service?
Mark Powell: It would vary from firm to firm. We do not require, but we strongly advise any member that we would expect them to do a minimum of 20 hours per year of continuing professional development to maintain their competency. As to how they do it, some large firms, for example, will clearly have internal programmes of training and education and things that they are doing. Smaller firms will not have that; they will have to work through more informal structures. The RICS runs networking events, local events, across the country as a whole, but there are many, many other ways in which individuals can obtain their CPD without directly engaging with us as an organisation. Some will allow work time.
Q382 Craig Whittaker: Would you like to hazard a guess as to how much work time they would allow?
Mark Powell: It will vary very much from firm to firm, but as I said, the guidance from us is that it needs to be a minimum of 20 hours.
Mark Protherough: Did you say trainees, or members?
Q383 Craig Whittaker: Sorry, I was talking about trainees.
Mark Protherough: Trainees?
Craig Whittaker: Yes.
Mark Protherough: When our trainees go and get their job with an employer, typically over the three- to fiveyear period they will be given 23 weeks’ paid study leave to study for the 15 exams.
Craig Whittaker: Okay.
Christine Williams: As far as the candidates doing the qualifications, we do not have a requirement and do not know what the individual employers would give. Some of the qualifications would be up to two days or two half-days per week in terms of their study, but we do not really go into that. As far as the ongoing development into achieving chartered status, the CPD element, we do not have an hours requirement at all. It is very much about the output rather than the input of the hours. However, we do know from our research, our labour market outlook, that organisations who give time for training and development of their employees find that there is a much higher engagement. There is an essential link in organisations or schools that support employees in terms of giving them training and development, and ongoing CPD enhances that employer engagement, which I think is crucial.
Q384 Craig Whittaker: Did you want to update us on the "at least 20 hours per year"? What about the trainees?
Mark Powell: Because we do not have an examinationbased methodology, there is no reason for that. But what I would say is interesting, as I was pondering on that, is that the referral rate from the larger firms, which tend to have a much more structured training programme, tends to be much lower than those from the smaller organisations, and there could be some correlation within there around the training programmes that the major firms are able to put in place. The flipside of that is that it is recognised that individuals working for much smaller organisations tend to have a much richer experience, because they are involved in a much wider range of activities. Therefore, when they come forward for assessment, they are probably able to demonstrate a wider range of competencies.
Q385 Craig Whittaker: What about pay and conditions? How does having chartered status relate to that?
Christine Williams: There was a piece of research, which I guess my colleagues will know, by an organisation called CCPMO, which is a group of professional organisations. It said that over the course of a professional career, there is an average of about £152,000 that people will earn above those who do not have that chartered professional recognition. Certainly from the CIPD’s point of view, a piece of research that we did last year showed that an average HR professional would be earning maybe £38,000 per year. Somebody who was a chartered member of the CIPD would, in contrast, be earning about £44,000. There is a financial differential.
Q386 Chair: For accountants, it is obviously a great deal more.
Mark Protherough: Yes it is, but I was not going to say that.
Christine Williams: Yes.
Chair: I thought I would.
Mark Protherough: There is a reason, also, because it is related to the type of student who joins, the type of firm that employs them and the type of job that they do. However, you are absolutely right: the average salary four years after qualification is about £48,000. After 20 years, the average salary for a chartered accountant is £84,000. I will let you do the maths as to how much that is likely to be worth over a lifetime.
Mark Powell: It is similar for us as well. Within the major firms, there will be individuals who are not chartered surveyors, and some that are. For those who are working their way through, the average salary uplift when they go from being a trainee to being qualified as a chartered surveyor is around 16% overall.
Clearly, as far as the employers are concerned, the moment they have a chartered surveyor on their books, as opposed to someone who is still a trainee, they can charge different chargeout rates for that individual, because they are at a different scale in their chargeout rates. The commercial firms are getting more benefit from having a chartered surveyor working for them, and the salaries are therefore reflected accordingly.
Q387 Craig Whittaker: What about mentoring? How much is it expected of your members to mentor others?
Mark Powell: For us there is quite a large expectation. I have already indicated that we have a structured training agreement, which is an agreement between us, the trainee and the firm. The individual has a supervisor and a counsellor. The counsellor will always be another chartered surveyor, and they will counsel them through that programme. The supervisor is typically their line manager. Additionally, we have an organisation called Matrics. Matrics is a group of individuals who are newly qualified chartered surveyors. Again, they are all volunteers. They act as buddies; they act as an informal support forum for individuals working their way through that programme.
Q388 Craig Whittaker: So quite a lot, really.
Mark Powell: Absolutely.
Mark Protherough: It is exactly the same. We have the same processes set in place to support our trainees in the workplace, and there is a passion among chartered accountants to support and bring into membership more chartered accountants.
Christine Williams: We do not have a formal requirement of mentoring. We do, however, encourage mentoring to happen on a more informal basis, and, referring to the previous conversation, that is a role that a professional body can play in terms of encouraging its existing members, as indeed part of their own professional development, to act as a mentor to the people coming through the profession and working towards their chartered status. Any mentoring is much more on an informal basis, by the profession for the profession, rather than being a formal requirement of the scheme.
Q389 Craig Whittaker: I know Mark mentioned earlier about being tied in to regulation and legislation. Do your organisations have a regulatory role, or one in licensing members to practise?
Mark Powell: We do not have a practising certificate as such, but all of our members globally are subject to RICS regulation-not only from a technical perspective but more importantly from a code of conduct, behaviour and ethics perspective. It is an important blend for us.
Q390 Chair: So how many get chucked out? That is your question.
Mark Powell: It is a relatively small number. We have a series of other activities that we would put in place, including fines and formal warnings, before we get to the final end. The number of chartered surveyors who are expunged every year is relatively small.
Q391 Chair: How many? Famously, the General Teaching Council was criticised-you read different numbers in different newspapers-as something like 17 teachers over 10 years were expunged, to use your word, from the profession. How does it work with you?
Mark Powell: It would be handfuls of members as opposed to more than that. I can confirm the exact numbers back to you.
Mark Protherough: Our members working in audit are under the supervision both of us and the FRC. The investment business is under the FSA and insolvency is under the Insolvency Service. We are subject to Government regulation, but we also monitor the work that our members do, and also our practising members, members giving advice to the public, have to have a practising certificate regime. Before you ask me, I do not know how many members have been disciplined. We will provide that evidence afterwards. There is a range of punishments. They are not necessarily expunged: they could be fined.
Q392 Chair: Your members handle money, so temptation can sometimes-
Mark Protherough: I know that the disciplinary page is the most widely read page on our members’ magazine.
Q393 Craig Whittaker: Christine?
Christine Williams: The CIPD is not a licence to practise, but we do regulate our members through their membership, completion of the standards, and our code of professional conduct. We have recently updated our code of conduct and, indeed, are currently updating the disciplinary procedures that accompany that. I myself know of two members who, since the start of this financial year, which is 1 July, have been removed from membership. However, I am sorry that I do not know the total figures.
Interestingly enough, one very hot debate at the moment for us as a professional body is how public we make the outcomes of those decisions where people are removed from membership, and how publicly that is known in terms of our own membership, let alone the wider public, and whether it is down to numbers, or indeed names and frequency. It is a very key issue at the moment as well.
Craig Whittaker: Thank you all very much.
Q394 Chair: Were any of your organisations prompted into being by any arm of Government or action by Government? That seems to be one of the most difficult things; it is an area dominated by the state. Employment is dominated by the state, and we have a lot of existing institutions and trade unions in the area. I am trying to understand how hard it is to allow the teaching profession to take ownership.
Mark Protherough: I think you are possibly comparing apples and pears. We were set up in 1880, 131 years ago. I think the world has changed slightly since then in terms of what Government does and what professional bodies do. Though we were set up by members, not by Government, I think it is a different situation now.
Q395 Chair: How important to the quality of what you do, and the value that your members and the public put on what you do, is your independence, do you think? How important is the fact that it is the profession that drives all these aspects? It is within a legislative framework, but fundamentally within that framework it is driven by members rather than by Government.
Mark Protherough: I think it is central. That peer pressure is important, but as you say, we are also subject to oversight by various aspects of Government, which I think is important as well.
Christine Williams: The CIPD started 100 years ago, as the Welfare Workers’ Association, so I suppose it started as a reaction to, but not as a direct start from, Government. One of the things that we use as a marketing selling point is the fact that, as a professional body, we are indeed independent. That is very important.
Q396 Neil Carmichael: I was going to ask a general question, which is basically this: do you think that by being professional bodies you enhance the reputation of those who are involved in your bodies, and overall you effectively encourage professionalism amongst your membership?
Chair: If anybody wants to say "No", I would be interested to hear it. Do you have any comment on that? What role do you play in public confidence? We are very interested in that. How do you raise the status of teachers with the public? Are there any lessons from what you do in terms of any programme going forward to raise the status and professional standing of teachers?
Mark Protherough: Certainly for us, the RICS stands for professionalism and trust. People go to a chartered surveyor because they trust the brand. Therefore, it is massively important that that independence, the trust, the qualifying, regulation, maintenance of professionalism, is all part of the bundle of the value for which people come to a chartered survey. For example, if you are a banking institution and you are looking for a valuation, a chartered surveyor will do it the same way, regardless of where you are in the world, and give you a standard consistency around that.
Mark Protherough: From our point of view, all that is true. In addition, we do a lot of public policy work. We try to respond to consultation documents. One of my other colleagues, the Executive Director, was here yesterday at a Select Committee. We try to represent the profession, and bear in mind that is the profession in the public interest, rather than just the interest of our members. That is a very important aspect of our work.
Christine Williams: Absolutely. I am afraid that I would agree that that is crucial. That is the role of the professional body: to raise the profile of HR and whatever profession you are representing. On that point around the public, I think the days of just saying, "Trust me, I am a professional," are long gone. The public are demanding and expecting. Therefore, on top of "I am a professional because I have achieved a qualification," that is a crucial role that professional bodies can offer, if you like, to their members, but also to the public-reassuring the public around that ongoing quality assurance that the chartered members and the professional members actually have, over those who do not belong to a professional body.
Q397 Chair: Can I thank the three of you for coming in? It is very generous of you to give up your time this morning. We have really appreciated the evidence you have given us. Thank you very much.
Examination of Witnesses
Witnesses: Dr Raphael Wilkins, President, College of Teachers, Matthew Martin, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, College of Teachers, and Professor Derek Bell, Professor of Education, College of Teachers, gave evidence.
Q398 Chair: Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you very much for coming and giving evidence to us today. I know you have heard the evidence of the previous two panels. Do you feel the College has the same reputation and role as other Royal Chartered Institutes, and if not, why not? Who would like to start?
Dr Wilkins: Shall I begin with that, Chair, and then perhaps I could pass over to Matthew? Patently, at the moment, it does not. We are a very small organisation with an honourable history. We had a big role in the 19th century, and a much smaller role subsequently, with so many of the things within our core area having been taken over by Government and its agencies, and indeed university faculties of education. We have had a very small residual role, but of course with the capacity to occupy more space as Big Government recedes from certain areas of education. I believe that same comment applies to the many other professional bodies within education, including the subject associations.
Q399 Chair: Would we naturally look to an organisation that had been so effectively squeezed out? For such a venerable institution, you are looking pretty embryonic. We wonder whether you would have the dynamism and robustness to fight for space in a crowded landscape. The state may temporarily recede, but it tends to fill any known vacuum, given the chance.
Matthew Martin: Yes, I think we do. To echo a comment made by a previous witness, the College has been strategied out over the years. We work in 70 countries around the world. We offer courses of our own, and through commercial training providers, and through universities-joint qualifications as well as accrediting the qualifications that universities provide. I think, to answer your question, you come back to the original purpose of setting up the College, and the Royal Charter that it possesses from 1849. The reasons for that Charter being in existence are as valid today as they were then. This is a time of political instability in that sense, where there are strategies being taken away and others brought in. It is an ideal opportunity to provide some protected space for the profession to manage itself.
Q400 Chair: Do you have the dynamism to fill it? That was the other aspect of my question.
Matthew Martin: Me personally?
Q401 Chair: No, I meant the organisation-and you are representing it, so yes. I suppose you would not be here unless you were a pretty key component.
Matthew Martin: Absolutely. I personally have been talking about this with subject and phase associations for the four years I have been Chief Executive. I think it is fair to say-without their being here, of course-that there are six or seven subject associations at the moment that offer some form of chartered status for teachers. They all offer an industrial chartered status, and they, for their members, have seen the benefits in doing so. Collectively, yes, I think we do. We would only ever want to be the guiding body for such a status. We would not want to be the sole owner of it. That would be for the profession. Yes, I think we do have the energy and the dynamism to fulfil that role.
Chair: Thank you.
Q402 Charlotte Leslie: Could you give us a bit of background about the College now, how many members you have, and how people become members? What kinds of sections of the profession become members?
Matthew Martin: We have about 1,500 members, from associate through to full through to fellow member. We have student members in the order of about 55,000 currently. People within membership come from every area of teaching and training, but might well be state teachers in this country, or the equivalent overseas. It may well be industrial trainers, but we have a membership category for anybody who fulfils a training role.
Q403 Charlotte Leslie: What is the difference between an associate and a fellowship?
Matthew Martin: An associate member is someone who has an interest in education, so a parent might choose associate membership. A fellow member is a mature member of their profession, so we would expect them to have at least five years’ worth of experience as a practitioner, and a Master’s degree or equivalent of experience academically.
Q404 Charlotte Leslie: And you monitor that? You assess that and monitor it and then grant fellowship?
Matthew Martin: That is right.
Q405 Charlotte Leslie: Let us go back to the medical analogy of the role of Royal Colleges and their focus not on what the unions do very well, which is to represent the professional’s individual interests, but on representing the professionalism and expertise of the area. Do you think such an organisation is best placed to provide chartered status? What do you see as the role of Government in that?
Dr Wilkins: Yes. The merit we see of chartered status is first of all that it is a permanent arrangement, a longterm arrangement. The recognition of a chartered teacher as a generic recognition would be something that people can plan around over a much longer period than Government schemes aimed at improving professional development, which come and go with changes of Government. Secondly, the point made by the previous witnesses about the independence and the ownership by the profession itself we see as an important energising and motivating factor. We also see, although I do not want to overplay this point, that at a time when a lot of professional development is needed, with very few resources to achieve that, the professional model using chartered status is a financially effective model of bringing that about.
As Matthew was saying, the generic chartered teacher model that we advocate would be a new development that would have numerous stakeholders, including the subject and phase associations, which we would wish to see codesigned, cocreated, and coowned. If we were facilitating that, obviously we would develop our constitution and arrangements to ensure that there was that broad ownership and fitness for purpose.
Professor Bell: If I could just come in on that, one of the things we need to understand is the landscape of organisations that teachers join. Subject associations are part of that, which goes back to Alison Kitson’s point about the importance of subject in teachers’ lives. If you take the number of subject associations-science, English, maths, across the piece-there is a significant number of members, all of whom are looking at professional development for themselves. With a couple of exceptions, which I can talk about, as individual units they have not been able to move down this track by themselves.
The College of Teachers provides the potential to bring that power together in one reasonably sensible scheme and framework, which takes things forward and again, going back to some of the earlier comments in previous sessions, it does not conflict with a lot of other developments. They could all be fitted in quite neatly using a charter status as an umbrella framework, which directs it all forward.
Q406 Charlotte Leslie: So in a sense the analogy would be something like the Royal College of Surgeons, where you have Cardiac, Orthopaedic, General-all of those specialties within the umbrella of a Royal College?
Professor Bell: You could have a situation where the College of Teachers holds the Charter and the ability to award the status, but some of these other bodies, with appropriate quality-assurance procedures, would be licensed to make the awards. You would have a chartered science teacher, chartered English teacher, or whatever, if that was what was required and appropriate.
Matthew Martin: There is a very important point there. A chartered status should be available to every member within the profession. That is fine if you happen to be a history teacher: the Historical Association is big enough to be able to get their own Royal Charter and their own status. The Royal Geographical Society, of course, already has an industrial status they can use. The same is true of the ASE and the Science Council. For the smaller subjects or phase associations, however, that simply is not possible.
Q407 Damian Hinds: What proportion of teachers would that be, and which subjects are of the most concern?
Professor Bell: Sorry, can you just clarify your question?
Q408 Damian Hinds: You are saying that there are a number of subjects in which there is already some form of charter mark, so that is all fine. Then there are some others; I cannot remember how you described them-phase subjects-
Matthew Martin: Subject or phase associations.
Damian Hinds: Phase associations?
Matthew Martin: Yes. Representing primary or secondary, for example.
Damian Hinds: Okay, right.
Matthew Martin: To answer in a slightly roundabout way, mathematics have got together to do it. I think there are five individual organisations that have grouped together to develop the chartered-
Q409 Damian Hinds: Sorry, my question was coming from the other side. Apologies, Charlotte; I have cut right into your questioning. There are a number of subjects that do have some form of charter mark. Which are the ones that do not, and therefore roughly what proportion of teachers have no chance of achieving such a mark today?
Professor Bell: Science, geography and maths are basically the ones that do.
Q410 Damian Hinds: I thought you mentioned history and geography.
Matthew Martin: No, no. I was simply saying that the Historical Association is a very large subject association.
Q411 Damian Hinds: So they could?
Matthew Martin: They could.
Professor Bell: They could. They could do it under their own power, if you like. That is only three subject areas.
Damian Hinds: Right.
Professor Bell: Most of those focus on secondary rather than primary, so actually there is no clear obvious route for primary teachers, who generally do not have a subject specialism.
Damian Hinds: That is a very different question already for the universal teachers.
Q412 Ian Mearns: The idea is of the chartered status, once being achieved by an individual, being a permanent benchmark that they have achieved that status. However, a teacher could achieve chartered teacher status, say in their late 20s or early 30s, and still have 25 or 30 years of their career ahead of them. How can the College of Teachers ensure that the level they have achieved in the teaching profession is maintained over that 25 or 30year period, having already achieved the status? There must be some requirement to continually undergo CPD to ensure that the chartered status attained by an individual is right up with that mettle from that perspective.
Professor Bell: I give you the example of a chartered science teacher, which is a chartered status that we set up when I was Chief Executive of the Association of Science Education. We set it up in partnership with The Science Council for various reasons. One of the important reasons for setting it up there was that it gave it an external benchmark. It was not something happening outside; it was a very clear benchmark of requirements. It was Master’s level. Those were the sorts of requirements.
Building that in, once people have met the initial requirements, which are an element of academic demonstration of ability, competence, etc., they are now required to submit annually a record of their CPD. This is not a list of courses they have been on, or anything like that. Indeed, the requirement is much more a relatively short piece, which says, "I have done this." It might be, "I have attended a course," or "I coached one of my colleagues," or "I was coached by them," that sort of thing. "This is what happened. This is what it did to my teaching. This is how I changed my teaching, or I improved my teaching, or/and this is what happened to the performance of my pupils, or the way it helped one of my colleagues." I think it was Christine who said it is not just about having the knowledge. It is what you do with it, and how you develop that knowledge. This particular scheme is running on an annual basis at the moment.
Q413 Ian Mearns: Therein lie the capacity issues of any organisation taking over chartered status for teachers. In a massively expanded workforce, which we would all be aiming towards if we are going to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our classrooms, it would really be a fairly bureaucratic task to manage all that and make sure that each and every chartered status teacher was keeping on top of their game.
Professor Bell: It could be, but if you have the situation we described, where the awards are licensed to smaller bodies, who all have a very vested interest, you reduce some of that bureaucracy, and it is not simply about one central body. It is distributed throughout the profession. I think that is what we are all talking about. It is something that has to be distributed in the profession, and coming up as well as down, so people can actually know outside. A parent can know that a teacher is good, not just because they say they are good but because there is external recognition by peers or whomever.
Q414 Craig Whittaker: Just a quick question. In a couple of comments, you have said we could have a chartered status for teachers, and I think, Raphael, you said, "If the College facilitated this." Why do you not just get on and do it?
Dr Wilkins: In a moment, I will pass to Matthew on a technical point, if I may. We would need an amendment to one of our by-laws, and for Privy Council to approve the wording of that amendment. We could not submit that to Privy Council with any hope of its being approved unless there was a weight of national consensus behind this development. Fundamentally, one of the vital elements would be a letter from the Secretary of State.
Q415 Chair: That indicates national consensus, does it? Sorry, carry on.
Dr Wilkins: What I am saying is that it is not something one smallish organisation can just do in a way that does not have a weight of stakeholder engagement and a national will.
Q416 Chair: Do you have that? Sitting here, you have said you can do this overarching structure, but you will put it out there. Do you have the support of the major teacher unions, and the various others? There are a huge number of institutions in this educational landscape. Have you been out lobbying them? Are you signing them up? Are you doing a big launch one day, with a press conference, to show all these top people coming in to support you?
Dr Wilkins: There is a phasing to how that should be managed. Our main liaison work has been with the organisations who would be actively involved under the umbrella, as Derek was mentioning, as licensing bodies, and conversations such as this and with the Department. At a certain point, then, if this was something where there was clearly a national will to move forward in this way-for example, if this Committee were to recommend Government to think about this, for instance, as a way of accomplishing the objectives that would be the same as the Master Teacher criteria-and that were the chosen method of proceeding, what we are saying is that because the College currently holds the relevant Charter, there is no need for any new Charter. We are currently the holders of the Charter. We need to be part of the process of facilitating that implementation.
Q417 Chair: What support is there? Have you spoken to the National Association of Headteachers? Do they support you? Does the NUT support you, just to pick a couple of unions?
Professor Bell: Based on the evidence that you have had, my understanding is that those two organisations do in principle. In direct response to yours, we have gone out and done it, not through the College of Teachers specifically but through the chartered science teacher arrangement. That arose because there was not necessarily a demand but certainly a view that we ought to be moving in that direction.
Q418 Craig Whittaker: But with all due respect, we heard from the last panel that each individual profession has set up the standard, and yet in the teaching profession, which seems to be all over the place, there is a plethora of-
Professor Bell: Sorry, can I just carry on with-
Craig Whittaker: Yes.
Professor Bell: We actually got a long way, talking with all the subject associations, and there was a broad consensus across them, including the College of Teachers. We are talking now about 2005, where people wanted to move this forward. We started to move it forward. The ASE happened to be in a position where it could actually, in effect, pilot a scheme, because we could do it through the various routes that were available to us. Then it hit the buffers, or at least got a knock back, because the then administration brought in their own teaching standards. They did not conflict with anything that we were saying, but they were perceived to, and the teaching profession became, if you like, overregulated directly by the Government through the GTC. This move for a general chartered status was squeezed out by, in effect, Government action.
Q419 Craig Whittaker: So it was Ed Balls’s fault, then?
Professor Bell: No. I am not saying it was his fault. I do not think it was. We are now seeing a situation where there is-going back to what Craig was saying about a vacuum-a space that we feel needs to be filled, and this particular approach could fill it, and fill it very effectively.
Q420 Chair: It is not just an approach, is it? Someone has to go out and sell this.
Professor Bell: Absolutely.
Chair: I asked that question, "Who is supporting you?" You need to come straight back and tell us exactly who. You need to line them up, surely, if you are going to fill it. Otherwise the Government will fill it.
Damian Hinds: What space are we trying to fill? Could someone explain that to me? What space is it?
Chair: My vacuum, but we will ask the witnesses, rather than me giving evidence to you.
Q421 Damian Hinds: It is a serious question. What space are we trying to fill? I understand the demand for better teaching. I understand the demand for more stretch. I understand the demand for better professional development. I understand all those things. I am yet to understand the problem that chartered status for teachers in general fills.
Dr Wilkins: Let me start off on that, if I may. The issue really is about whether and to what extent teaching is seen as a profession. The space to be filled is the professional organisation structure, which would help to give a clear signal to the general public, and to the profession itself: "Yes, it is a profession." That is the space we are discussing filling.
Q422 Damian Hinds: What are we saying? Obviously, there are gradations within teaching, so you gain status from being a headteacher, or a head of department, or a head of year-all these sorts of things. Separately, there are people who want to stay as classroom teachers. I think it is a concern, and it is a concern that we have talked about in this Committee before, and you want great teachers to remain in the classroom being great teachers. Are we saying that what this chartered teacher status is supposed to do is to recognise teachers who do not take management routes and remain at the front line? Different sectors have different ways of doing it, but it is a different way of stretching out the career path, having something to aim for, and then ultimately something that you pay people more for, and so on?
Dr Wilkins: I will just come in on that before Matthew. That is not quite what we are saying. The generic chartered status we are suggesting is not linked either to any particular pay scale or job description or role. If I may use the example from the previous session, a chartered surveyor is a chartered surveyor whether they are very much on the ground for 100% of their work, or whether they are running a business of chartered surveyors and doing quite a lot of management and leadership in that; they are still a chartered surveyor. The same applies to other chartered professional areas. We would see that in time, as chartered teacher status catches on and develops, people would acquire it and retain it right through their career, and that it would be very natural to see most senior positions in education occupied by people with that status, just as it is in other professions.
The point I would like also to add, if I may, is that the professionalisation of teaching may open up a little bit of debate about the nature of headship and the nature of management roles in teaching, and the different ways those roles can be conceived and carried out. For example, a headteacher who is very interested in, and very good at, pedagogy might distribute the leadership of some of the more administrative aspects of that role. We could be encouraging different understandings of what we mean by a leading educator that do not necessarily always equate that with the administrative management function.
Q423 Charlotte Leslie: Going back to the medical analogy yet again, do you think in that case there may an analogy you would be happy with? We have teaching schools coming on board, with a specific role for teaching teachers. One of my concerns about a very generic chartered status that is rolled out and possibly monitored at a level within each individual school is that you might have quality issues, and the validity of the status itself may come into question.
If you had a layer above that, which was teachers teaching teachers, do you think that might be a mechanism of doing that? It would be a tiered process. Education is very different, because there are a lot of teachers. In surgery it is much simpler. If you have a surgeon who is not performing, and again and again the patient outcomes are not good, questions are asked. In teaching, that does not seem to happen. You could have teachers whose outcomes with children are not as good, but there is no mechanism to ask, and if they do, it tends to be Government that does. That does not hold very much respect, because Government are not teachers, and there is not that professional oversight. Would one of the main functions of the Royal College and chartered status be having very rigorous professional oversight as to standards, as opposed to governmental oversight, which tends to fall into targets and does not earn much respect from the profession?
Dr Wilkins: Absolutely.
Charlotte Leslie: Oh. Okay.
Matthew Martin: This would be the reason for our maintaining that generic status. But for the interaction of professionals, they would be involved with their subject or their phase associations, because it is very much about professional practice, and not so much about the academic level that is achieved.
Dr Wilkins: Can I come back again? Obviously, the criteria would be fully discussed with all of the relevant agencies, but one of the criteria we are suggesting for achieving chartered teacher status is demonstrable accomplishment in the leadership and supervision and development of the work of other teachers. That sort of role, which obviously is especially evident in teaching schools, but indeed in every other school to some extent, would be something we would be looking for.
Q424 Charlotte Leslie: I suppose one major thing about becoming a junior doctor and then going up through that is that one day you might become a consultant. Chartered status is great, in that it provides a baseline of recognition for all teachers, but what is the aspirational consultant level that you can offer that makes someone think, "I really want to get ahead. I am going to be a consultant one day"? What do they say if they are going to be a teacher?
Professor Bell: If they wish to stay in classroom, to use that as a phrase, the proposals for Master Teacher could well fill that role. The Master Teacher standards, which were published in December, state quite clearly it is not expected that all teachers would ever get to that. It is for the best. If you are thinking about teaching as a career progression, we have our phase of preservice training, induction, and chartered, which you would expect everybody to get, or you should be able to get.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: if they cannot get the chartered requirements, and they are not prepared to maintain it, we have to consider whether they should be still in teaching at all. What you have then is an aspiration for those who really want to push on to become Master Teachers, with the slightly higher standards that would define that group of people, equivalent to your consultants. Then I think we have other issues about helping them to move back and to share that expertise with colleagues, as well as through the children.
Q425 Chair: It is not the same, but Threshold was designed to reward teachers who stayed. They would apply the threshold, and then I think 90% of applicants got Threshold, so it did not act as a quality bar at all. What is there about what you are proposing that would give us greater confidence that we would actually have a genuine quality bar that was respected by fellow professionals, and by parents and the public?
Professor Bell: One of the differences is that Threshold was only ever dealt with in individual schools. It was entirely down to the headteacher-and maybe the Government, but it was essentially within a school, so you saw enormous variation. This is about the profession, whichever mechanism you use, which has peers from different places looking at the applications of the standards that are achieved, so you actually have some sort of bar, if you like, or benchmark that you can work against. Listening to the earlier conversations about the number of people who fail to become chartered surveyors, etc., if they are looking at 70% to 80% success rate, which I think is not unreasonable, you would expect the same in teaching. Threshold was all about pay, and it was simply dealt with in the school.
Matthew Martin: There is also, of course, the issue that Threshold was a oneoff event, five years after you initially qualified as a teacher. The whole point of a chartered status is that if you do not keep it up, you lose it. There is a constant renewal period, which seems to be between three and six years in most chartered professions, and you can access that when you see fit to access it. Twenty years into your career, you may well lose that status. Threshold was never put together on those lines.
Q426 Charlotte Leslie: Can I take a slightly different tack? If we are looking at the idea of the Royal College of Teaching and the chartered status of teachers, this Committee has already seen the rather unfortunate incident of the setting up of the Royal College of Social Workers, where there was much disagreement, Government had quite a big hand in it, and it did not seem a model of how to do things. From what you have seen of medical colleges, and from what you are, what do you think the best relationship with unions is for a Royal College? Is it a different function, or is it the same function?
Dr Wilkins: Someone has to risk saying something on this. We would see it as really quite separate. The emphasis of the function we envisage for an overarching professional body would be on standards, professional development and professional recognition. The professional life that we emphasise in our submission, being involved in researching and debating and thinking about practice, is a very different emphasis from a trade union function, which we think is best left to trade unions. We do not want to get into that at all.
Q427 Charlotte Leslie: Do you feel you could contribute to the trade unions’ effort to professionalise teaching in your role?
Matthew Martin: They could contribute to ours, certainly.
Professor Bell: If we were able to move forward with a chartered status, I would be very disappointed if we could not get the unions to work in partnership on that, recognising the distinctive roles that they have and the role that this would be developing.
Q428 Charlotte Leslie: And their concern to increase and improve teacher status?
Professor Bell: Very much so.
Q429 Chair: They are extremely powerful. If you were going to be leading on the professionalism of teachers from your angle, who would win if it became a tussle between the teaching unions and you?
Matthew Martin: I think the teachers would. Teachers join unions of their own free will, and they join their subject or phase associations at will. It is entirely down to the individual teacher as to whether, if there were a straight battle between becoming recognised professionally or not, they would take that choice. I cannot honestly believe that the majority of teachers serving in schools in this country would not wish to become recognised as more professional.
Dr Wilkins: May I add two comments? The kind of scheme we suggest would be a voluntary scheme. It would be for teachers to aspire to at their choice. It would be introduced, it would catch on, it would grow and it would become more popular. But as Derek has been reminding us, there are already chartered status schemes within teaching. Normally it is a fairly safe assumption that people who have those designations are also in membership of one of the teachers’ unions, because most teachers are. There is not a fundamental bridge of principle that needs to be crossed here. We are talking about the expansion and development of something where the matter in principle is already resolved.
Q430 Chair: The point is not about in principle; it is in reality, isn’t it? The GTC arguably clashed with the unions and was restricted as a result, which may have contributed to its ultimate fate, and indeed the College of Social Workers came to us looking to do a deal with the largest union, because they obviously thought they would struggle to get the numbers without the blessing of the largest union.
Neil Carmichael: That is not a good example, as Charlotte has quite rightly pointed out.
Charlotte Leslie: That is with Government steering as well, so that puts a slightly different premise on things. But there is the BMA and the Royal Colleges, and many members of Royal Colleges in medicine are also members of the BMA. They do not always agree with everything the BMA says, but the BMA performs a function for them, and then they have a Royal College life as well.
Matthew Martin: Absolutely. Yes.
Neil Carmichael: We seem to be heading in the right direction, because there is a strong consensus developing that we do need to go down a professional approach to teaching, and a professional body to represent teachers. It would be best if that were organic through teachers.
Pat Glass: There is?
Ian Mearns: A oneman unilateral consensus.
Neil Carmichael: We will discuss that one later.
Chair: Pursue your consensual approach, Neil.
Q431 Neil Carmichael: It is interesting; this Committee is coming up with something that could be quite a significant policy initiative, so let us develop it. You are really saying, from your point of view of the chartering approach, that that could become a kernel to the process, if you like. I think you said that it was 1,500 teachers and 55,000 student members. There are in fact 460,000 teachers in England, as far as I know. That is quite a big number that we have to get involved in this process. I think Graham has asked the question already, but I will ask it: how do you think we can move in the direction, if this is the direction that we want to move in, to get those 460,000 involved in a professional body?
Matthew Martin: Do bear in mind what we are proposing here. It is not that we are proposing anything new. We are proposing to tie together what is already there, and widen participation within it. There may well be only 55,000 teachers in membership of the College, but there are far more in membership of subject and phase associations. All added together, that is an enormous number. We are here today because this is not something that we would want to own and to drive. All we would want to do is to maintain the code of practice for the profession, and to develop and maintain the requirements for the chartered status that would be taken by each of those organisations, subject to the appropriate vetting procedures. That would be something for them to work on with their members.
Q432 Neil Carmichael: Who should own and drive it?
Matthew Martin: Organisationally, we should, along with any subject and phase associations appropriate to-
Q433 Chair: You just said you did not want to. That is a bit of a problem, isn’t it?
Matthew Martin: There will be cases, I am sure, where teachers would want to have a generic status, rather than one that is linked to a specific subject. There would be a role for the College, not only as the provider of the status under the Charter, but also as the provider of a generic chartered status to teachers directly.
Professor Bell: Having experienced going through and doing my relatively small scheme, if you like, previously, that did not happen overnight. It will take time-not necessarily a long time, but a time. There was a lot of negotiation going on, because in the science world you have the Association for Science Education, which is the only association specifically for science teachers and education. In addition, you have some big boys like the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society, etc., who all have a legitimate and strong interest in education. In order to get that agreed, we had to get all of those people on board, all of whom supported it in the end, and still do. However, we had to go through that negotiation. It is scaling that up.
There is a lot of work. As Matthew said, in one sense, ultimately, you would want the thing to be effectively driving itself, but the leadership for that has to come from the College in order to do those negotiations with all the different organisations. Some of that has already gone on, and it is something that I have worked on for probably 10 years now. It is something that I will keep working on in the way it is possible within the scope. If this Committee came out with a green light and said, "We think it should happen," there is plenty of enthusiasm to start making it work and doing some of those negotiations with the unions and everybody else alongside.
Q434 Neil Carmichael: I was going to ask one other question. Of course the Government, at the other end of the scale, is thinking that teachers who are not really up to the job should be able to be removed from the school, or whatever, and about the empowerment of headteachers. What do you think of that policy direction, and how does it fit in with your vision of the charter?
Professor Bell: Can I jump in, because in a way I can speak slightly independently? In the same way as the chartered surveyors, the actual contract of employment lies with the school or the local authority or whoever, specifically, so direct issues around performance in relation to employment rest with the employer. In that sense, the chartered status does not directly impinge on that. However, if someone has chartered status and is not performing, you would expect the employer to take their role as an employer seriously, and decide that they are not doing the job. They would also inform the charter body, who would remove that person from the register, therefore publicly making a statement, "This person is not meeting the requirements." You have, in fact, a twotrack way of dealing with it, which is not in conflict and should work together very strongly. Issues around employment are with employers. As I said earlier, if people are not up to scratch, they should not be left in the classroom.
Neil Carmichael: Absolutely.
Q435 Craig Whittaker: Very briefly, how much time do you need? You said before that you have been at it since 2005, and I know you had the hurdle. Sitting here as an outsider, it sounds as though there does not appear to be a will to get this going. At the end of the day, it is about the teaching profession, and the quality of the teaching profession, and how that sits within the general public. I understand there are the individual ones, but if we are talking about a profession overall, then surely somebody has to take the lead. I am not convinced Government is that body. I think it should be the profession themselves. Why is there not this role? I cannot grasp why there does not appear to be this role for somebody to grasp it, run with it, and as the Chair said earlier, sell it, get in, get people in, because that would not happen in the real world out there. Seven years to get a charter set up for a profession to me just seems unbelievable.
Dr Wilkins: Should I come in to begin with?
Chair: Perhaps you could reflect on lessons from the Chartered London Teacher scheme, because having done that in London, you would think there would be lessons from that, and you would be ready to roll out.
Dr Wilkins: That is certainly the case. However, given where we are and where we need to get to, there would need to be a certain amount of national initiative involving Government in this area. Indeed, if we look at other recent developments, such as the establishment of the Chartered Institution of Educational Assessors, which was triggered in that way, they do not happen very quickly. In our case, we already have our Charter. We do not need one of those, but we would need some official endorsement to the Privy Council to make the change of wording to our by-law that would enable us to move into the phase of some sort of proper timed and resourced project plan, doing that work with the other bodies that we need liaise with.
Q436 Chair: In a sense, this Committee would be in a far better position to make such a recommendation if you were able to show us that you have created and could demonstrate a consensus, or at least a very wide body of opinion pushing for this. Then we would simply be saying, "Of course, you must recognise there is clear demand from the profession," and get this Privy Council rule changed. It is not a big deal. At the moment-I can only speak for myself on the Committee-one would hesitate. You have not demonstrated that you actually have the people you need behind you to do it.
Dr Wilkins: If I can answer that one, it would be wonderful if it were that easy. If it were that easy, it would suggest the profession is already professionalised, and perhaps we do not need to do this. It is because it is not that we need to build knowledge of, support for, involvement in such a scheme, and it will take a number of years to do that. There will be early adopters, and it will gradually catch on as its benefits are seen. However, we fully acknowledge that we are starting from a point where those employed in teaching are simply not used to thinking in these sorts of terms. It is not part of their daily life, and we want to change that.
Chair: Thank you all very much for giving evidence to us this morning.