Last month we reported the establishment of chartered science teacher status, a new professional qualification for science education professionals developed by the Association for Science Education (ASE).

(for further information go to

Since then we have learned of similar developments in other subject areas.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has been investigating what subject associations have planned for their members and has kindly provided CPD Update with its latest knowledge. This audit also gives a clue to how subject associations see themselves interacting with aspects of government education policy.

As you will see in the box below, some have plans that are well advanced and others are beginning to consider what they might do. Some associations already have parallel marks of status and some are in the process of adapting existing forms to include and emphasise teaching. We must emphasise, however, that any inaccuracies in what follows are not the responsibility of the TDA. By the time that you read this developments may have taken place so please make use of the websites listed to follow events.

CPD Update also recently pointed out the growing emphasis upon subject knowledge in national policy. Teachers are to be encouraged to join relevant subject associations, although for many who teach a range of subjects the choice of association will not be straightforward (the TDA and DfES are aware of this).

It will often be the case that subjects must be set in a wider context that includes a number of different initiatives. Imagine, as leader of professional learning, trying to make links for just one teacher between the following:

  • national standards
  • national strategies
  • the GTCE’s Teacher Learning Academy
  • the programmes of the NCSL
  • postgraduate professional development
  • subject associations.

Such links might make for a very complex conversation during a performance management review. If professional learning is to make sense then the relationships between the above should not become so tangled that the end result is confusion. However, without descending into some sort of ‘painting by numbers’ CPD or imposing a straitjacket upon professional learning, it ought to be possible to connect up the above so that they support professionals and help them to develop.

Links with HE

Kit Field of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) (see p10 for his analysis of the national standards) has been talking to the TDA and the subject associations so we can expect some news about accreditation. This autumn’s bids for postgraduate professional funding will be focused on subject knowledge. It would be natural, therefore, for people in higher education writing those bids to make links with subject associations via UCET.

Plans for chartered subject teacher status

Historical Association The HA is currently going through the process of acquiring a royal charter. If it obtains it it is likely to explore a fellowship scheme which will reward outstanding service to the HA. Only once that is established will it go back to the Privy Council to ask permission to award chartered history teacher status. This is unlikely to come to fruition for two or three years after which the HA will be very interested in exploring links to the standards.

Geographical Association The GA has no plans for chartered status but it is working with the Royal Geographical Society on the development of chartered geographer status, which will become available to members.

Royal Geographical Society The RGS has chartered geographer status and is not planning to develop a chartered geography teacher status. It is, however, interested in developing the teacher strand of chartered geographer status to make it more applicable (see above).

National Drama
National Drama is interested in setting up a chartered teacher scheme.

Royal Academy of Dance The RAD does not offer chartered status and is not planning to do so. Members can become registered dance teachers but do not require QTS to gain this qualification. Registration involves completion of a specific RAD qualification. Although CPD is not presently required their faculty of education is working on a compulsory code of conduct that will require registered teachers of dance to engage in professional development. It will be looking at the work of the ASE model of chartered status.

National Association of Music Educators Some of the conservatoires are considering chartered status as a way to recognise instrumental music teachers. However, the large number of different associations and bodies in the music community makes it difficult to establish a common approach.

Mathematics A number of organisations are involved: the Mathematical Association (MA); the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM); the National Association for Numeracy and Mathematics in Colleges (NANAMIC); and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). They have agreed to look together at developing a chartered mathematics teacher status.

NAACE NAACE is considering eventual chartered status, making use of the British Computing Society (BCS) charter. Meanwhile, it is making use of funds provided by the DfES to award a quality mark acknowledging the ICT expertise of the whole-school workforce. If funding is obtained NAACE will be running this as a pilot for a year from September 2006 and fully implementing it the following year. Eventually there could be a step up from the quality mark to chartered status.