Be king of your castle

26th October 2012 at 01:00

We welcome your enthusiasm for a Royal College of Teaching led by teachers ("Arise if you like the concept of a royal college", 12 October). It could allow the profession ownership of the research, evidence and ethics of teaching, freeing it from politics. Comparison with the Royal College of Surgeons is notable in that it is not a Royal College of Surgery - so why the name Royal College of Teaching?

Historically, teachers' identity as workers in need of a union has dominated over their identity as scientists, craftsmen or professionals. This creates a dynamic in which teachers are defined by their status as employees of the government and the aims of education are increasingly defined by the employer.

When teachers are employees, they should feel confident that their right to collectively bargain is respected, but perhaps in order for them to take back ownership of the profession this needs to stop being their defining feature.

Emma Whitehead, Professionally a history teacher, employed as director of policy at Edapt.

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