We can all remember a teacher who made a difference to us at some point in our educational journey. Sometimes this difference is achieved through what turns out to be a significant gesture or event. It might be the teacher who spotted your abilities or talent, who gave you an opportunity or ignited a love of a subject.
But teachers also make a difference in the small, everyday things, which might be less significant or momentous, but that build over time, such as checking in with a child who’s had a difficult day, phoning home to let a parent know that a student has worked really hard or picking up on a misconception and making sure that the child has extra support to fill that gap in the next lesson. These are perhaps more ordinary teaching events, but they are no less miraculous for that.
And these moments, big and small, are happening in every classroom and school. They are created by teachers who are working in what is becoming a more pressurised and difficult working environment. Being able to continue to do their best during the toughest of times is what makes teaching assistants, teachers and school leaders heroes.
However, educators do not have to face all of this alone. The Chartered College of Teaching is the professional body for teachers and we are here to empower a knowledgeable and respected teaching profession. We understand the difficulties that our profession is facing and can help teachers and leaders to develop their practice and work towards improving outcomes for their students, by removing and minimising barriers.
For example, we know how time-pressured teachers and leaders are, with 48% of teachers saying that they work over 50 hours a week (Teacher Tapp, 2022). Despite teachers being keen to undertake professional learning, understanding the impact that it can have on outcomes, teachers report that available development time was often lost to other activities (Ofsted, 2023). How can professional development therefore be flexible and meaningful, and able to fit around other responsibilities?
Within a bewildering tsunami of available educational research, how do teachers and leaders know which research to trust, and what has a chance of working within their classroom or school? How can they avoid “lethal mutations” (Haertel, 1996, as cited in Brown and Campione, 1996), where evidence-informed approaches have been twisted and modified so that they are no longer effective, and can instead be damaging?
Teachers and school leaders are still dealing with the gaps caused by covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, with teachers and leaders focusing on effective assessment and using strategies to help children and young people fill gaps and catch up (Ofsted, 2022). How can we ensure that our most vulnerable learners are back on track and achieving as well as they can?
To help to empower teachers and leaders to overcome these barriers, since 2019 the Chartered College of Teaching has awarded Chartered Teacher Status to over 600 teachers and school leaders. This prestigious award is a professional accreditation that provides formal recognition to highly accomplished teachers who have attained an advanced standard of practice. There are three pathways for Chartered Status, so that candidates can choose the path which most closely matches their role and specialism. There is a pathway for classroom teachers, a pathway for school leaders and also a new pathway for in-school mentors. Chartered Status holders are recognised for evidence-informed, high-quality teaching, leadership or mentoring practice, benefiting their school and the children and young people they teach.
By working towards Chartered Status, teachers, mentors and school leaders undergo a rigorous assessment process, completing a variety of assessments which are carefully designed to showcase different aspects of their practice. The assessments are split into separate units, which can be approached in any order and have flexible deadlines, meaning that the professional learning and development can be structured around teaching responsibilities. The assessment units can be purchased separately, or in a discounted bundle, and details of prices are in the Chartered Status brochure. Most candidates take around 18 months to complete the units and apply for Chartered Status, although candidates have up to three years from starting their journey to apply for Chartered Status.
“Thank you for making the course so flexible. I feel a real sense of achievement from having completed the course and submitting a debate response, and it has definitely reinvigorated and boosted my knowledge.”Certificate in Evidence-informed Practice graduate
Being able to critically engage with research and evidence is an important part of a candidate’s journey to Chartered Status, especially through our Certificate in Evidence-informed Practice. Candidates learn about how to find, evaluate and utilise research, considering their own professional expertise and their own unique context, too, so that they can make informed decisions about their practice. Over 90% of graduates say that Chartered Status has increased their use of evidence to benefit their teaching or leadership.
“When I say something about current thinking or evidence, I’m kind of on top of the game and you can trust what I’m saying.”Richard Potter MCCT (Leadership), CTeach
Working towards Chartered Status also allows candidates to dig deeply into aspects of their practice, ensuring that their classroom, leadership or mentoring practice is effective. We have seen a number of high-quality practitioner inquiry projects submitted as part of our Educational Research and Inquiry unit, which are focused on effective identification and filling of learning gaps across the key stages. We also have teachers using deliberate practice to hone their teaching, utilising evidence from research as well as action planning and reflection to improve an aspect of their pedagogy as part of our Development of Teaching Practice Award. Chartered Status graduates tell us that this increases their confidence (over 80% of graduates) and also that the process has made them more effective teachers or leaders (90% of graduates).
“It was one of the best things I have done. I felt empowered by it. It made sense and it was directly relevant to what I am doing in the classroom. This is the opposite of top down CPD. It allowed me to scratch my own itch. There was plenty of very useful, practical information which is backed by robust research. I really enjoyed it.”Fiona CTeach, on the Development of Teaching Practice Award
Chartered Status means that you will be officially recognised and celebrated by the Chartered College of Teaching for your evidence-informed, high quality practice and expertise in your subject, key stage or specialism. The great thing about Chartered Status is that it’s suitable for teachers, mentors and school leaders working with every age group between 0-19, in early years, primary, secondary, further education or specialist settings. Candidates are from the UK and Ireland, as well as from a variety of overseas countries, including a number of British International Schools. This is because the pathways are flexible and the assessments can be adapted so that they fit the needs of you, your pupils and your setting. You can even receive RPCL (Recognition of Prior Certified Learning) for various qualifications, including NPQs, which could exempt you from needing to take one or more of the assessment units.
Once you are awarded with Chartered Status, this tells your school community that you are committed to your professional learning and that you are a teacher, leader or mentor who will make things happen. Chartered Status is also regarded highly by potential employers, with half of Chartered Status graduates telling us that they have received a promotion or enhanced role following their accreditation.
People who are awarded Chartered Teacher, Chartered Teacher (Leadership) or Chartered Teacher (Mentor) status also join a community of Chartered Status holders. This growing group of professionals are a key part of our work at the Chartered College of Teaching. Chartered Status holders are invited to contribute their knowledge and experience to our courses, events and publications, including our award winning journal, Impact.
With Chartered Status we are developing a growing body of evidence-informed, committed and highly-effective teachers, leaders and mentors. Chartered Status holders will be at the forefront of driving change and improvements in all aspects of our educational systems, from classrooms to the corridors of Westminster.
And you can join them, too.
Start your journey to Chartered Status today, by enrolling on the introductory course for your chosen pathway.
Brown, A. L., & Campione, J. C. (1996). Psychological theory and the design of innovative learning environments: On procedures, principles, and systems. In L. Schauble & R. Glaser (Eds.), Innovations in learning: New environments for education (pp. 289-325). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ofsted (2022) Education recovery in schools: spring 2022: Identifying gaps in learning [online] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-recovery-in-schools-spring-2022/education-recovery-in-schools-spring-2022#identifying-gaps-in-learning Accessed 4 October 2023
Ofsted (2023) Independent review of teachers’ professional development in schools: phase 1 findings https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-professional-development-in-schools-phase-1-findings/independent-review-of-teachers-professional-development-in-schools-phase-1-findings Accessed 4 October 2023
Teacher Tapp (2022) Working 9 to 5, and some! [online] https://teachertapp.co.uk/articles/working-hours-world-book-day-and-the-ideal-gcse-course-length/ Accessed 4 October 2023