What is the relationship between the Foundation and the Chartered College of Teaching?

The Chartered College of Teaching is the professional body for teachers in England and Wales. It will set teacher standards, support high quality CPD and aims to be the professional voice of teaching. The Foundation aims to carry out similar functions but on behalf of education leaders. The two professional bodies will work together in a strong fraternal relationship.

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching is an Honorary Patron of the Foundation.

What is the difference between a trade union and a professional body – and why do we need both?

A trade union is formed to protect and further the rights of individuals. The principal purposes of a trade union are to negotiate pay and conditions, regulate relations between its members and the employer, and take collective action to enforce the terms of collective bargaining.

Many trade unions also act as professional associations which seek to represent their members’ views at the highest levels of government and influence policy.

A professional body is different from a trade union (or professional association) in that it is usually the standard-setting body for the profession and often has a role in professional qualifications. A professional body also usually represents the interests of the public rather than that of the individual professionals.

The Foundation will never seek to act as a trade union.

Table one: overview of typical professional architecture

  Example from the medical profession Education leadership
Trade union and professional association For example, the British Medical Association

Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)

Professional body For example, the Royal College of Surgeons Foundation for Leadership in Education
Regulatory body General Medical Council National College for Teaching and Leadership

The two major trade unions and professional associations for school and college leadership, ASCL and NAHT, have worked with other leadership organisations to establish the Foundation. This means that together with the National Governors’ Association, Teaching Schools Council and National Association for School Business Management, the Foundation includes the breadth of leadership roles in England and Wales.

What is the relationship between the founding organisations and the Foundation?

The founding organisations are:

  • The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)
  • The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
  • The National Governors Association (NGA)
  • The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM)
  • The Teaching Schools Council (TSC)

The founding organisations came together to create the Foundation, but as a registered charity, the Foundation operates entirely independently of the founding organisations.

The founding organisations do have trustees on the board of trustees, but the trustees must and do act only in the interests of the Foundation.

Will the Foundation be a provider of leadership development programme and/or the National Professional Qualifications?
No – although we will host national and regional events and conferences.
Will the Foundation investigate complaints or discipline its members?

No. The Foundation will not have any role in investigating or processing complaints from parents or others – this is the responsibility of individual schools, MATs, colleges or other educational organisations, determined by their own complaints policies and procedures.

Nor will the Foundation regulate the profession or discipline members – this is the role of the National College of Teaching and Leadership.

Will I have to pay to be a member of the Foundation?

No not yet. However, the Foundation aspires to be the voluntary professional body for education leaders. As such, we will invite paid membership after the first few years.

We want the Foundation to be profession-owned and led. We never want to be in the position again where a Secretary of State can decide our fate because we are dependent on the government for funding.

Most of the recognised professions have professional bodies to which they pay a membership fee, for example, the Royal College of Surgeons or the Law Society.

How will the Foundation be funded?
As a charitable organisation, the Foundation will seek charitable donations, particularly in the early years. However, as the professional body for education leaders, it is important that the Foundation is profession-owned and led. Therefore the Foundation will invite paid membership after the first few years. This will ensure it is absolutely independent of government, able to provide a strong professional voice and be financially sustainable.
Who will be eligible for membership?

Membership of the Foundation will be open to individual education leaders. Educational organisations (for example, schools, MATs, colleges, University departments of Education, education charities) can also join. Institutional membership automatically provides membership for individual education leaders within the organisation.

Although the Foundation will be a membership body, it will not represent the interests of individuals – this is the job of a trade union. The Foundation’s primary aim is the advancement of education for the public good through high quality leadership.

Why do we need a professional body?

The Foundation also deliberately sets out to be the successor body of the National College for School Leadership. During the years when the National College was independent of government, it was an international beacon of education leadership. It had a significant role in leading the development of the national professional qualifications, curating research and evidence and providing thought leadership.

Most professions have professional bodies. In fact is could be claimed that a professional body is one of the hallmarks of a profession.

Professions are characterised to a substantial degree by:

  • public obligation – often by virtue of specialised knowledge;
  • performing their services in the general public interest; and
  • being bound by a distinctive ethical code in relationships with the people they serve, colleagues, and the public.

It follows that professions should have bodies that acts for the public good.

What difference will the Foundation make?
The Foundation aspires to make a major contribution to:

  • National professional qualifications and leadership programmes;
  • Developing and promoting leadership pathways and standards;
  • Curating and disseminating evidence on professional knowledge and leadership, in particular relating to addressing endemic educational inequality;
  • Promoting leadership succession planning and professional equality and diversity;
  • Hosting constructive dialogue between education leaders and policy makers, creating a strong sense of collective endeavour and shared vision.
How can I get involved?

For now, please join our email network.

Watch out for our national and regional programme of events, conferences and public lectures.

Have another question?