The Ethics Forum
WHAT IS THE ETHICS FORUM?
We are delighted to introduce the ETHICS FORUM. Based in the Chartered College of Teaching and reporting to its Leadership Development Group, the Forum begins its work in Spring 2019.
The Ethics Forum will be one of the professional services the CCT offers its members.
It has been developed as part of the work of the Ethical Leadership Commission (ELC) which met in 2017-2018
The ELC planned three legacies of its work.
- To promote the language of the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education in school leadership discourse and action. The Pathfinder Programme for school leaders is one of the ways schools may become involved.
- To embed the Framework in initial teacher training, subsequent professional and leadership development
- To establish a Forum to debate ethical issues and offer support and guidance to the profession.
We want the Forum to be a practical way of enabling and sustaining ethical debate.
Our draft constitution is at the bottom of this page.
Why do we need an Ethics Forum?
- Schools are where society looks after its young until they are old enough to take on the mantle of adult citizenship. Teachers and leaders are all always simultaneously diligent trusted professionals and role models for the young. What we do matters, but how we do it perhaps matters even more.
- In the Teachers’ Standards 2012 teachers are required ‘to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour’. This assumes a shared understanding of what those ethics should be.
- The Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education (included in the final report) is a common ethical language for the profession, so we can agree on the ethical foundations of our actions. The words are not new, but we hope they are helpful. They should help us discuss and strengthen the purpose and foundations of our work. The values in the Framework are the Principles for Public Life which all teachers should know. They are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The virtues in the Framework are trust, wisdom, kindness, justice, service, courage and optimism.
- We hope that our Ethics Forum will help school leaders to make decisions and model the values of the good society to children and young people.
- In all of our work, ‘school leader’ includes governors and trustees as well as professionals.
How will it work?
We will establish a steering group and then call meetings of the Forum, three times a year.
The agenda will be set partly as a result of the issues raised by the Pathfinder school leaders and partly through the steering group, reflecting the concerns of the times. We’d also like to be able to make useful comments on the likely effects on leaders’ behaviour of accountability or similar proposals
We hope the Forum will offer space where dilemmas, developments and problems in school leadership are discussed. We want to generate profession-led guidance, through our work; we could, for example, develop ethics-related materials for the NPQs, and provide regular ethical discussion points for training and publications.
How can I be involved?
The Forum will meet three times a year. It will be open to any school leaders and colleagues from other education organisations.
If you are a school leader we would like your school to become a Pathfinder so that you are road-testing the Framework. There is much more information about that here. Pathfinders are crucial to the Forum.
We do not plan to have any formal membership of the Forum beyond a developing mailing list. You can sign up to be part of this using the form below. It will be a community of endeavour!
We will invite nominations to the Forum’s steering group by the end of February. The first steering group meeting will be before Easter 2019 and the first Forum meeting in the summer. We will set dates for 2019-20 well in advance.
Details of the invitation for nominations for the steering group as well as further information about the group will be added to this site as the work of the forum develops, so please keep an eye on it.
Thank you for being interested. We hope to meet you soon.
Chair, Ethical Leadership Commission
Sign up for the ethics forum mailing list
A constitution for the ethics forum
The purpose of the Ethics Forum is to promote, uphold, develop and support ethical leadership and its discussion by school leaders so that they fulfil society’s expectations of their roles, and set a good example to young people.
- The Forum will hold at least three open meetings each year, one of which will be an Annual Summit.
- The Forum’s business will be managed by three meetings each year of its steering group.
- Meetings will generally be held in London, at venues offered by sponsoring organisations.
- The Forum’s steering group will comprise
- Representatives from at least 3 of the organisations represented on the Ethical Leadership Commission,
- 2 school leaders engaged in the Pathfinder programme
- 2 places available for other education organisations which choose to align themselves with the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education
- 1 academic from a relevant field
Each member will be delegated to serve for two years. Three members are required for a form a quorum.
- The steering group will
- support the Forum’s progress and processes through the annual programme of meetings
- agree and support the production of its outputs which will include papers, reports and training materials, position papers, articles and training materials.
- Monitor and evaluate the experiences of the ethical pathfinder schools
- Reflect upon and promote the use of the Framework language of ethical educational leadership and debate
- Arrange an annual conference
- The Forum’s three meetings a year will discuss ethical dilemmas presenting themselves to school leaders. These will be selected, identified or generated
- through the leadership associations
- as arising from the work of the Pathfinder schools
- as live issues in national educational discourse.
- Dates will be fixed for the school year. An open call for issues and attendance will be made well before each meeting.
- Venues for the meetings will be provided by supporting organisations.
- The business of the Forum and its steering group will be facilitated by members fulfilling the following responsibilities.
- The chair could be elected for the year, from the members present at the first steering group meeting.
- The secretary will arrange for the organisation of meetings, keep the records and write or facilitate the production of outputs under 5.b. above.
- A pathfinder representative will be work alongside NGA to represent the experience of pathfinder schools.
- An outreach facilitator will liaise with organisations and publicity media.
- An academic consultant will advise the group
- The Forum will report to the Chartered College of Teaching through its Leadership Development Advisory Group.