Seventeen of Britain’s top headteachers are joining the Sutton Trust in calling on the three main political parties to ensure that all teachers and school leaders are entitled to professional development backed by a College of Teaching and a revitalised National College for School Leadership.
Today’s recommendation follows the Sutton Trust’s October 2014 report, What Makes Great Teaching, and is one of five policy proposals put forward by the heads in Developing Teachers, a report published today.
A 2011 report by the Sutton Trust on the impact of teachers on pupil attainment showed that, by bringing the lowest-performing 10% of teachers in the UK up to the average, the UK’s rank amongst OECD countries would improve from 21st in Reading to as high as 7th, and from 22nd in Maths to as high as 12th.
The headteachers drew up their ideas after discussion with colleagues from ten countries at a summit on professional development jointly organised by the Sutton Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington DC in November.
In order to develop strategies to improve student learning by raising the quality of teaching, the group evaluated existing methods for teacher development. Case studies featured in today’s report include Networked Learning Communities in Singapore, where a mix of learning opportunities are held at events throughout the year, and a method implemented at Wallscourt Farm Academy in Bristol of filming lessons and allowing pairs of colleagues to look over them.
The UK representatives at the summit have already presented the report to Nicky Morgan, Tristram Hunt and David Laws and are urging them to consider the reports’ following five recommendations:
Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, said today: “Brilliant teaching can transform lives so it should shock us that today’s teachers do not all benefit from the professional training they deserve. We know that the quality of classroom teaching has by far the biggest impact on pupils, particularly those from poorer homes. Improving the continuing professional development available to teachers should be a key priority in our drive to improve social mobility.”
Sir Alasdair MacDonald, convenor of the heads and former head of Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, said today: “There has been a huge improvement in the attainment of our pupils across England’s schools in recent years. We now have a much greater understanding of how schools can make a difference, and, although there are still too many young people failing to achieve their potential, by underpinning our national system of schools with the values and the five key points outlined in this report, we believe both the learning of pupils and the professional development of teachers will benefit greatly.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
|Alan Yellup||Headteacher||Wakefield City Academy||Wakefield|
|Alison Peacock||Headteacher (Executive)||Wroxham School||Wroxham, Norfolk|
|Andrew Dawson||Headteacher||St. Mary’s Roman Catholic High School||Astley, Manchester|
|Ani Magill||Headteacher||St. John the Baptist School||Woking|
|Bethan Hocking||Headteacher||Herbert Thompson Primary School||Ely, Cambs|
|Christine Owen||Headteacher||Bartley Green Technology College||Bartley, Hants|
|Eithne Hughes||Headteacher||Ysgol Bryn Elian||Colwyn, Wales|
|Geraldine Davies||Principal||UCL Academy||London|
|Jemima Reilly||Headteacher||Morpeth School||London|
|John Tomsett||Headteacher||Huntington School||York|
|Marie Lindsay||Principal||St. Mary’s College||Derry|
|Nigel Arnold||Headteacher||Glengormley Integrated Primary School||Glengormley|
|Susie Weaver||Principal||Wallscourt Farm Academy||Bristol|
|Tom Sherrington||Headteacher||King Edward VI Grammar School||London|
|Tracy Smith||Headteacher (Executive)||Seven Kings HS||Ilford|
|Wendy Hick||Headteacher||Manorfield Primary||London|