Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Miliband backs 'Royal College of Teaching'


Labour has backed plans for a new Royal College of Teaching in an effort to raise the profession's status and standards.

Ed Miliband said the move would result in teachers being "proud of what they do, with the right qualifications for the job" as the party attacked Education Secretary Michael Gove's reforms for allowing "unqualified" staff to take lessons.

The party will be advised on its proposals by Dame Joan McVittie, a former president of the Association of School and College Leaders.

The Labour leader made the announcement on a visit to Langdon Park Community Sports College in east London, where Mr Miliband's former English teacher Chris Dunne is about to retire as head teacher.

Mr Miliband said: "We need more teachers like Chris Dunne. He inspired me when I was at school and he has been a great teacher - and head teacher - for many children since.

"A Royal College of Teaching will help raise the standards and status of teaching further, ensuring we have more of the kind of teachers that inspired me when I was at school.

"Teachers like Chris Dunne: proud of what they do, with the right qualifications for the job, with the freedom to think for themselves so that children can learn to think for themselves."

Dame Joan said: "I am delighted to be advising Labour on the potential for a Royal College of Teaching.

"Such a body could, as in the case of doctors and surgeons, monitor and regulate professional development ensuring that all teachers continue to grow and develop throughout their careers.

"This body must avoid being seen as an arm of the government or the teachers' or head teachers' unions. It is therefore important that the creation of it should be driven by the teaching profession.

"This could reposition teaching as a highly sought-after profession and could transform the professional landscape. This is certainly a prize worth striving for."