Exclusive: the College of Teaching unveils its new board of trustees

Eleanor Busby

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The College of Teaching, a new independent chartered professional body for the profession, has today appointed 13 founding trustees.

The trustees – who comprise five classroom teachers, three headteachers and five non-teaching professionals – have been chosen to oversee the establishment of the new college and to encourage teachers to get behind it.  

Hundreds of individuals applied for the voluntary roles but only 13 were chosen:

Claire Dockar – lead practitioner at Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth

Claire Dockar

Before teaching, Claire worked in the newly privatised electricity supply industry. She then taught for six years in the primary sector before relocating to France with her husband to set up a company.

Since returning to the UK, Claire has been successful as a school governor, a class teacher, a head of maths and latterly lead practitioner at the Lipson Co-operative Academy in Plymouth.

She said: “The College is no gimmick and we face a tremendous challenge that just has to succeed. We need to be clear on our core activities and articulate exactly what membership will mean for each and every teacher.”

Simon Dowling – head of English at Colchester Royal Grammar School, Essex

Simon Dowling

Simon was an officer in the Army for 11 years before embarking on his teaching career. He now works at the maintained selective secondary in Essex.

He has been teaching for 23 years and is in the third year of his professional doctorate (EdD) examining the influence of a teaching school alliance on serving teachers’ professional development.

Recently appointed to lead research and development in his own school, Simon is hoping to put theory into practice through his role with the College of Teaching. 

Paul Dwyer – director of sixth form at Putney High School, London

Paul Dwyer

The history and politics teacher, who has been working at Putney High School since 2014, was previously a deputy assistant headteacher at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Paul is about to embark on an MA in policy studies in education at the UCL Institute of Education, which he is looking forward to putting to use in his work as a trustee.

He said: “There is already such an array of fantastic work going on in classrooms everywhere, and the College of Teaching can be a really positive force in pulling this activity together and sharing ideas to celebrate the achievements of our members.”

Victoria McDowell – primary school teacher at Bridekirk Dovenby School, Cumbria

Victoria Mcdowell

Victoria has experience of teaching throughout the primary age range, and has worked in five counties across both the South and North of England.

In her 18 years of teaching, Victoria has enjoyed carrying out research into learning styles. Most recently, she has written key stage 2 plans for the diocese of Carlisle and has supported a Cumbrian primary school in developing its approach to multiculturalism.

She said: “This will be a challenge but one that teaching needs in order to empower its workforce and, in time, return respect to the teaching profession as we carry out the highly skilled task of preparing the next generation for the real world.”

Malcolm Wilson – teacher at Hathaway Primary School, London

Malcolm Wilson

Before entering the teaching profession, Malcolm spent 20 years in programme management and management consultancy, where he led a variety of consulting assignments including a review of the scope, budget and management of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games programme. 

Malcolm, who is in his fourth year of teaching, said: “Like many others, I became a teacher to make a difference to the lives of the children I teach; I hadn’t expected to have an opportunity to serve the profession itself. Teaching deserves to be a venerated profession. I believe the College of Teaching will help us collectively to get there.”

Dr Penny Barratt – executive headteacher at The Bridge School, London

Dr Penny Barratt

Penny is headteacher at a school that caters for students with autism, severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties. She has worked in the field of special education for more than 30 years, both in the US and in England.

She sits on the leadership group of the Challenge Partners schools alliance, is a co-founder of Special Schools’ Voice and a representative on the SSAT’s national special school headteacher steering group, and has been involved with the Department for Education’s bureaucracy reference group for more than six years.  

Penny said: “There is a lot of interest in the college and the challenge is going to be to convince everyone of its worth and value, both teachers and the wider public.”

Joan Deslandes – headteacher at Kingsford Community School, London

Joan Deslandes

Joan, who is head of an 11-16 mixed community school situated in London's Docklands, has been a member of a number of government advisory boards, including the teachers' standards and headteachers’ standards groups.

Her response to a school where more than 100 mother tongues are spoken was to introduce Mandarin for all – a strategy that has been transformative. 

She said: “The education sector needs a college, an accredited body like so many other professions have, to bring teachers together. Whether we represent primary, secondary, state-maintained, independent, academy, special educational needs and disabilities or further education, the college can help to give us all a voice now and in the future.”

Dame Kate Dethridge – headteacher at Churchend Academy, Reading

Kate Dethridge

Kate, who has been headteacher at Churchend Academy for 17 years, has completed six short-term executive headships of schools in difficulty.

She was an additional Ofsted inspector for many years and is a member of the Ofsted primary headteachers reference group. This year, she was invited to chair a panel at the Department for Education to write new standards for teaching assistants.

She said: “It's both a huge privilege and a responsibility to ensure that we set a direction that responds to the needs and aspirations of the profession and that secures their commitment.”

Paul Barber – director of the Catholic Education Service

paul barber

Paul has been engaged with education policy and legislation at a national level for the past two decades. He was responsible for drafting some of the model constitutional documents currently in use in the academy, school and sixth-form college sectors.

He was director of education for the diocese of Westminster for more than 10 years and has been director of the Catholic Education Service since 2013.

With experience of the strong professional culture in the legal profession, he is convinced that the need for a respected, strong and independent professional body for teachers has never been greater.

Professor Sonia Blandford – founder and chief executive at Achievement for All

sonia blandford

Sonia, who has been a music teacher since 1980, is currently founder and chief executive of the award-winning educational charity Achievement for All. The charity provides programmes to improve outcomes for children and young people vulnerable to underachievement in England and Wales.

She led the creation and development of the Teach First initial teacher training programme and EdD programmes at Oxford Brookes University and Canterbury Christ Church University, each aiming to provide the highest quality professional development opportunities for teachers.

Sonia is also author of 150 articles and books written for teachers, leaders, parents and carers, and children and young people, most recently publishing with John Catt and Bloomsbury.

Andrew de Csilléry – business leader and management consultant at Csillery Consulting

Andrew has 25 years of experience in international business after starting his career as a management consultant before moving into a variety of strategy and general management roles.

He has a lifelong passion for learning and personal development and has taken most pride in coaching team members and seeing them progress to positions of greater responsibility.

Andrew is also a foundation governor at St Michael’s CE Primary School in St Albans and a member of the personnel committee.

Kevin Kibble -– chief executive of the Nurture Group Network

Kevin Kibble

Kevin is head of the national charity promoting nurture practice in education, especially for children and young people affected by social and/or emotional difficulties.

He has more than 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 18 of which have been spent working in, or in support of, the voluntary sector.

Kevin, who is passionate about the power of education in effecting societal change, said: “I feel privileged to have been selected as a founding trustee as a non-teacher with an extensive interest in teaching and learning.”

Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE – professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University

Professor Jonathan Shepherd

Jonathan has been involved in the evolution of the new College of Teaching from an early stage. He was instrumental in the development of the College of Policing and the Probation Institute, the new independent bodies for these professions, and brings this expertise to the development of the new college. 

He said: “My work over the past decade has focused on the role of professional bodies in raising standards and, most recently, I have been privileged to be much involved in setting up the new independent bodies for policing and probation.

“We have the opportunity with the College of Teaching to put the lessons from this process – and indeed from centuries of experience from the medical Royal Colleges – into practice.”

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Eleanor Busby

Eleanor Busby is a reporter at TES 

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