There's bad ideas and then there's really bad ideas


And this idea of a Royal College of Teaching falls into the category of really bad ideas:

This time it is from Labour’s Tristram Hunt, in his plan to introduce teacher licensing. The implication is that teachers cannot look after their own standards so the state will have to set them, and police them.

Increasing centralisation: no, that's not what we think the economy needs.

But a solution to this gradual erosion of teacher autonomy, dignity and professionalism may be at hand. For the last two years, teachers and educationalists have been looking at how they might set up a ‘Royal College of Teaching’.

And that's worse. For what it does is centralise how things are taught into the control of the one group of people we don't in fact want to have control of that. That is, the educationalists who have messed up the system already.

As Hayek pointed out, knowledge is local. Yes, that foes mean that we don't want the politicians telling teachers how to do their jobs in detail. We want headteachers, people with actual experience of teaching, to be telling teachers how to do teaching. But not only don't we want politicians describing the details, we also don't want the so-called experts in educational methodologies telling teachers how to teach. Nor the sort of bureaucrats and educationalists who would flock to a centralised body like a Royal College of Teaching. What we want is as above: headteachers working with their teachers to work out what works best in their particular circumstances.

Another way to put this is that centralised control under the politicians would be undesirable: but centralised control under the "experts" with no outside influences would be even worse. After all, who do you think is responsible for the current mess in British teaching? Teachers, or those who have been educating teachers for the past 50 years and who would inevitably be those running the new College?

No, a very bad idea indeed.