The Chartered College of Teaching is developing a Code of Professional Conduct, and we would like your help. Our regulations state that ‘members of The Chartered College of Teaching shall abide by the Code of Professional Conduct, as approved by the Council‘.
Complaints to the College about members are rare and we do not anticipate this happening often, but if a complaint is made, our procedures provide for the President to decide whether a Disciplinary Committee will convene to determine how the matter is to be resolved.
In 2021 we published an ‘interim statement’ on the handling of complaints against members, with a commitment to develop a full Code of Professional Conduct and disciplinary process in consultation with the membership. The Ethics Committee have now developed the draft Code or Professional Conduct, below, subsequently approved by Council for consultation.
We would be grateful if you could complete this short consultation survey on the draft Code of Professional Conduct by no later than 17 February 2023. Our aim is to then refine the Code in response to your feedback, before submitting to Council for approval in March and adoption from 1 April 2023.
You will see that the proposed Code of Professional Conduct is based on the Teacher Standards relevant to each member’s competent authority and is not designed to replace them. Rather it sets out the membership standards of the College, and the disciplinary process to be applied in the event of a complaint against a member.
If you have any questions please contact our Director of Membership, Simon Bowen at email@example.com.
The following principles underpin the Chartered College of Teaching Code of Professional Conduct (the Code):
1. The Code is aligned to the Chartered College of Teaching’s Values, Chartered Professional Principles and relevant Teacher Standards.
2. The College can only regulate standards for membership and Chartered status; it is not the regulator for the profession.
3. The College does not have any investigatory powers and can only take action against a member when it is made aware that a breach has been determined by a third party, typically the member’s employer and/or teacher regulatory authority. However, it reserves the right to suspend membership pending any outcome from third-party investigations when not doing so could increase reputational risk for the College.
4. The College only has powers to either reprimand a member or refuse, remove or suspend membership of the College or Chartered status.
5. Any action taken against a member should be proportionate and based on clear evidence of a breach of the Code.
The Code of Professional Conduct
The Code of Professional Conduct is based on the Teacher Standards relevant to each individual members competent authority (the jurisdiction). It is not designed to replace these standards as they are the foundation of professional standards and the benchmark of competence by which all teachers are expected to adhere to. Within the UK, each authority publishes the Teacher Standards which can be found here:
In addition, in joining the College, all members commit to acting in accordance with behaviours that underpin our three core values:
• Recognition of the importance of the collective
• Building, valuing and connecting a professional community
• Building a sense of professional identity
• Taking time to rest and recuperate
• Sharing and celebrating each others’ successes.
• Commitment to working in a collegiate, evidence-informed manner
• Commitment to doing our best to help every individual child to learn and to thrive
• Courage to do what is right on behalf of others
• Accountability for our own actions, learning and development
• Being brave enough to challenge, when necessary
• A passion for learning, both personal and collective
• An openness to new ideas and ways of working
• A belief in the potential of every individual
• A culture of continuous learning and improvement
• An ability to inspire others through our own sense of purpose and belief
Those members who have achieved Chartered status are expected to adhere to the Chartered Teacher Professional Principles.
Where appropriate, members should also be aware of and act in accordance with the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education, established by the Ethical Leadership Commission though the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
Use of social media – guidance
Whilst rare, when the College does receive complaints against members they are often in relation to comments made on social media. Guidance on the use of social media from both a professional and personal perspective has been developed by each independent regulator and the College encourages all members to apply the guidance to safeguard themselves and to ensure that membership standards are maintained. The College will not investigate any complaint against members based on the use of social media. However, it can apply its disciplinary procedures if any inappropriate use of social media has led to a third-party investigation and disciplinary action being taken.
Disciplinary powers and disciplinary process
Within the College Regulations and subject to the disciplinary process, the College
disciplinary powers are:
Refuse admission to membership
Admission to membership is based on entry standards articulated in the College Regulations and Membership Handbook. On this basis it is unlikely that any applicant who meets these standards would be refused membership. However, the Disciplinary Committee does have powers to refuse entry to membership if an applicant is known to have previous convictions, or other adverse disciplinary and safeguarding findings on record, that could bring the College into disrepute.
If the College is made aware that a member is being investigated by a third-party for misconduct that could bring the College into disrepute, the Disciplinary Committee reserves the right to suspend membership; according to the nature of the complaint under investigation and until such time as the investigation has been completed.
Remove from membership
If a member has been removed from the teacher register under their jurisdiction or found guilty of improper conduct, the Disciplinary Committee will automatically determine that the Code has been breached and recommend removal of the member. If the circumstances of any member previously removed from membership should change and they meet the entry criteria for membership, they will be entitled to reinstate their membership of the College
Any complaints or relevant information suggesting improper conduct should be made to either the Chief Executive or her/his delegated representative, who will make the President aware of the complaint or relevant information.
If the President considers a prima facie case has been established, we will notify the member:
• that a complaint has been made against them and that it will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee;
• that if they wish to do so, they can provide a written statement in response to the complaint for the Disciplinary Committee to consider as part of their deliberations;
• of the disciplinary powers of the College;
• that they can choose to resign their membership with immediate effect, rather than be held to the membership regulations in regards to an annual membership;
• failing any notification of resignation, the Disciplinary Committee shall meet to consider all the evidence and determine the resolution.
A member may appeal against the decision of the panel no later than 15 days after the date of notification and this Appeal panel shall be chaired by the President, another Honorary Officer and a Member of Council neither of whom have been involved in the original hearing or have any prior knowledge of the matter, who shall consider all the evidence and determine the resolution. The decision of the Appeal Panel shall be final.
In accordance with the College Regulations, a member is guilty of improper conduct if, in the opinion of a Disciplinary Committee, that member:
• is convicted of an offence which renders them unfit to be a member;
• has acted in breach of the Code; or
• is precluded from the performance of professional duties in a manner which is consistent with the standards of the profession.
The Council shall establish a Disciplinary Committee to consider complaints against members.
The membership of the Disciplinary Committee shall be at least six members of Council.
Three members of the Disciplinary Committee will hear any complaint against a member – it shall be for the committee in consultation with the President to determine the appropriate members of the committee to hear each case.
Membership and the terms of reference of the Disciplinary Committee shall be as determined by the Council.