WE believe the teaching profession does not command the respect it deserves and we want to do what we can to improve this situation.
A College of Teachers has now been established under Royal Charter as an independent professional institution. As in other professional institutes, those applying for membership who meet the college's standards, by virtue of their academic and professional teaching experience will be elected by the college's council, itself composed of teachers elected annually by the members.
Thus the college will be run by teachers for the benefit of teachers, with a strong regional content.
The college will contribute to continuing professional development of members, and will initiate research to investigate new or improved ways of promoting the education and care of pupils.
All members of the college will subscribe to a code of good professional practice, and on election will be entitled to carry the letters MCOT (Member of the College of Teachers) after their name.
The teaching profession is surely the most important of all for on it depends the success of all other professions, the quality of our life and our national prosperity. Yet surprisingly there is no independent institution run by teachers to serve all members .
The College of Teachers has been established to fill this gap but if this opportunity is to be seized, then membership must be built up as quickly as possible.
For qualified teachers, who belong to a school or other educational body which has taken up associate membership of the college, the annual subscription for individual membership is pound;10.
Further information can be obtained at: http:www.college ofteachers.ac.uk or from the college at Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, Essex, CM16 7DN. Tel. 01992 812727. Fax 01992 814690. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Robin Viscount Caldecote
John Butterfield of Stechford House of Lords