Exclusive: Primary head Dame Alison Peacock appointed first College of Teaching CEO

Annual membership for the college could be pitched as low as £29

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Dame Alison Peacock has been appointed the College of Teaching’s first chief executive, TES can reveal.

The primary head does not view “failure as an option”, but accepts that her role in developing the body – designed to offer high-quality, continuous professional development for teachers – will be a “huge challenge”.

The College aims to raise the status of the profession by helping teachers to share knowledge and best practice.

But, it has faced opposition and wariness from unions – amid fears it will lack independence from the government – and apparent apathy from teachers.

Crowdfunding campaign setback

A crowdfunding campaign earlier this year secured less than 10 per cent of its target.

Dame Alison told TES that the campaign had been a “setback”, but said she was confident the College would go “way beyond” the target of 5,000 members in two years .

“I am not worried about attracting support. I think it will be there,” the executive head of Wroxham Primary School, in Hertfordshire, said. “I don’t see failure as an option.”

She revealed that the annual membership could be pitched as low as £29 to encourage more teachers to join. Previous suggestions had been that it could be as high as £80.

Dame Alison added that the original target of signing up just 1 per cent of the profession in two years was “not very ambitious”.

“A lot of things in education feel like a fly-by-night, but this is different,” she said. “This is here to stay, if the profession gets behind it.”

Launch in January 

However, teachers may have to wait until January to sign up while a website is finalised, despite previous plans to launch this autumn.

Dame Alison said: “I am a bit like Tigger and want to get on with things, so I understand it can be quite frustrating.

“But we have got to be careful not to run before we can walk. Everything needs to be about quality.”

The new chief executive made a plea for support from the rest of the education community. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the profession,” she said. “But I can’t do it alone."

This is an edited version of an article in the 26 August edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full story here. To subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. You can also download the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. TES magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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