Our History

Home > About us > History


close all open all


A Royal Visit

In December 2022, Chris Pope, Co-Director of the PTI, retired after 15 years of service. Over those years the PTI’s tenacity and bold single-mindedness kept the importance of teacher scholarship and refreshment and the centrality of subject knowledge alive in the sector through years when it was nearly lost. That the curriculum is resurgent is thanks in no small part to Chris’s work at the PTI and his relationships with key decision-makers. Chris's successor was Dr Hugh Rayment-Pickard, formerly Chief Strategy Officer of education charity IntoUniversity, who joined the charity in January 2023. In April 2023 our Royal Founding Patron, HM King Charles III visited Liverpool to attend an event marking the twinning of the Liverpool Central Library with the Odesa National Scientific Library in Ukraine. During the event, King Charles met with several students who had fled Ukraine during the war and had now settled in Liverpool and studied at schools in the area, including St Edwards College who are a PTI Unlimited school. Headteacher, Mr Stephen Morris, Head of Geography & PTI Lead, Mr John Wilkinson and three Ukrainian students were all able to meet and talk to King Charles.


teachers reached


Back in person

As the country emerged gradually from lockdown, we made it our priority to reintroduce face to face events. We ran Subject Enrichment Residentials in all our subjects, catching up on two postponed years, as well as reintroducing all our face to face events. As well as this, we continued to offer many more online courses than prior to the pandemic, including a one-off event “Teaching children with little or no English” to help schools prepare to welcome Ukrainian refugees. Martin Roberts, founding member of the Prince of Wales Education Summer Schools in 2002 passed away, and we instigated Martin Roberts prizes for new teachers creating particularly effective teaching resources.


teachers reached


An all-online year

With the pandemic making public meetings all but impossible for most of the year, we were forced to postpone Residentials once again. Instead we ran an online Leadership Conference over three days and in the summer an Enrichment Series of online lectures which featured talks from eminent speakers like Tim Marshall, Simon Reeve, Howard Goodall, Marcus du Sautoy and Simon Schama. All our other activities continued in an online format and were particularly appreciated during this difficult year.


teachers reached


Connecting schools and teachers during lockdown

The year began well, with the launch of our Subject Leadership Certificate and the Bernice McCabe Award. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early 2020. Over the Easter holidays, we put in place fortnightly national online Forums for Headteachers and Subject Leaders to meet, share experiences and help guide each other through the uncharted waters of schools trying to teach students who were mostly at home. All our activities except the summer Enrichment Residential were moved to an online format. With teachers at home and in need of support, we had three times the number of teachers join us in the summer term compared to a normal year.


teachers reached


Creation of PTI Primary Hubs

Building on the pioneering work of the Primary Leadership Programme, where schools choose to enhance the quality of their subject teaching, PTI Hubs were developed to enable groups of primary schools to deepen their teachers' subject expertise. As well as a stunning residential for subject leaders in Art, Music, English and Geography, our first Subject Enrichment Day was run with Lancaster University, and at the James Sabben Clare annual lecture Andrew Graham-Dixon convinced everyone that Art can change your life. The year was tinged with sadness, as our founding Co-Director, Bernice McCabe OBE, passed away following a 13 month battle with cancer.


teachers reached


Ten years of the Subject Leadership Programme

We were proud to mark ten years of the highly successful Subject Leadership Programme (formerly the Schools Programme) with 20 schools who helped us launch it and who have had member departments without interruption ever since. The year featured our first residential for subject leaders in Mathematics, Science, Modern Languages and History in the beautiful surroundings of Downing College, Cambridge, and a burgeoning number of online courses. We also extended our School Leadership Programme and residential to include MAT System Leaders.


teachers reached


Launch of online e-seminars

A stimulating CPD session for English teachers launched a series of new e-seminars. The primary programme continued to go from strength-to-strength after a sell-out residential. New Teacher Subject Days continued in London and school and curriculum leaders continued to take inspiration from our annual Leadership Residential. Subject Enrichment Residentials took place for Art, English Geography and Music teachers, and the Royal Photographic Society displayed international images for Science at our Maths and Science Enrichment Residential in the autumn. Our lecture series continued with The James Sabben-Clare Lecture, given by Simon Schama CBE FRSL.


teachers reached


Launch of the Primary Leadership Programme

Following a second successful residential for primary headteachers, the Primary Leadership Programme was launched in October 2015 to inspire primary school leaders to introduce more rigorous subject teaching in their schools. 440 pupils and teachers from around the country attended the PTI Annual Lecture by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and a record number of CPD Subject Days were held with over 500 attendees. Our second Residential for heads of Latin began with a keynote talk by Charlotte Higgins, Chief Culture Writer at The Guardian.


teachers reached


Expansion of New Teacher Subject Days

New Teacher Subject Days grew to include three new regional centres in Ivybridge, Harrogate and Cambridge, and over 700 teachers participated. The new PTI website was launched, making it easier for teachers to access our wealth of unique teaching resources. A pilot Primary Residential was held for selected primary headteachers, who explored the idea of launching a Primary Leadership Programme. In December 2014 the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Schools expressed their support for a new College of Teaching, and as a result of consultations across the education community a new charity was founded.


teachers reached


10% of schools in the country are now affiliated to the PTI

Our membership expanded to include affiliates from 10% of schools in England and Wales. The first action-based research projects conducted by our Associate Department Scheme and Schools Leadership Programme were completed and published in the first PTI Yearbook. In February 2014 we published a Blueprint for a new College of Teaching, which received widespread support among the educational community. New Teacher Subject Days expanded into a third centre in Birmingham, and over 500 teachers participated. Over 400 teachers and pupils attended our Annual Lecture, given by Bill Bryson.


teachers reached


Our biggest ever Residential Summer School

The Schools Programme expanded to include Art, Music and Latin. An inaugural Residential for Art and Music teachers was held in Autumn 2012, followed by our biggest ever Residential Summer School for teachers of English, History, Geography, MFL and Latin. Following the success of the New Teacher Subject Days pilot, we added MFL and opened a second centre in Manchester and had over 300 participants. Our lecture series continued with a new 'Annual Lecture' given by Melvyn Bragg.


teachers reached


Celebrating our ten-year anniversary and launch of New Teacher Subject Days

To mark the ten-year anniversary of the first Prince of Wales Education Summer School, we ran a series of lectures at the Royal Institution, with Stephen Fry, Sir Tom Stoppard, Professor Simon Schama, Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Francis Wells and Michael Palin. We also launched our New Teacher Subject Days in London. 135 teachers attended courses in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History and Geography.


teachers reached


Launch of the Schools Leadership Programme and Associate Department Scheme.

A two-day Headteachers' Residential was held in January 2011. Participants requested that the PTI set up a membership scheme for Senior Leaders in schools, and so the Schools Leadership Programme was launched in October. It required members to undertake three-year action-based research projects in their schools. Modern Foreign Languages was introduced at the 2011 Summer School in July, which was followed by an English, History and Geography Residential at Harrogate in November. The Schools Programme grew to over 360 departmental members from 170 schools across the country. The Associate Department scheme began for members who had completed three years of Schools Programme membership. Associate Departments would conduct three-year action-based research projects for the benefit of all members. HRH The Prince of Wales paid a visit to the annual Schools Programme Day, held at The Royal Institution of Great Britain, on July 4th to see for himself the great work that members had been undertaking. New Teacher Subject Days was launched with seven subjects at Pimlico Academy in London, allowing new teachers to also benefit from PTI activities for the first time.


teachers reached


Continued growth of PTI courses and programmes

Residential courses for all five PTI subjects were held - English, History and Geography at Homerton College, Cambridge in June, and Science and Mathematics at Crewe Hall in November. The Schools Programme expanded to such an extent that two regional Schools Programme Days were held, in London and Coventry, to fit in all of the members. An expanded programme of one-day CPD events were organised for all five PTI subjects and a Headteachers' Conference for 100 Heads was successfully run at Drapers' Hall, London, in January.


teachers reached


Geography and Mathematics streams added to the Schools Programme

Mathematics was piloted at a Summer School at Queens' College, Cambridge. Lord Wilson stepped down as Chairman of the PTI, and was succeeded by Harvey McGrath. The first cohort of Schools Programme departments completed their first year of membership and the second cohort was expanded to include Geography and Mathematics. A full programme of one-day CPD courses was run in English, History, Science and Geography.


teachers reached


First Headteachers' Conference and Autumn Residential held

The first cohort of Schools Programme Departments in English, History, and Science began their membership. Geography was piloted at a joint Summer School with Science teachers at Homerton College, Cambridge, and once again an extremely positive response from delegates ensured it became a regular feature of the PTI's activities. A second residential event of the year was held in the autumn of 2008 for English and History teachers at Crewe Hall, Cheshire. The first two What Works in Schools seminars for headteachers were held in partnership with Business in the Community.


teachers reached


Launch of the Schools Programme and inaugural Science Summer School

The Prince of Wales announced the launch of the PTI Schools Programme for alumni. A pilot Summer School for Science teachers was run at Homerton College, Cambridge. Its great success led it to being adopted alongside English and History on the PTI's curriculum. The PTI's website, www.princes-ti.org.uk was launched with a huge range of teaching resources available for Summer School alumni. One-day continuing professional development courses were confirmed as a regular feature of the PTI's programme of activities. Christopher Pope was appointed as full-time co-Director.


teachers reached


The PTI established as a charity and the launch of our one-day CPD courses

At the Summer School at Robinson College in Cambridge, The Prince of Wales, making his fifth consecutive keynote address, announced the creation of his 17th Charity, The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), to expand the work of the Summer Schools. The course itself involved Primary Teachers for one day. It also included a series of lectures given by Cambridge academics and attended by former alumni. The PTI came into being, with a Board of Trustees, chaired by Lord Wilson of Dinton, and a Management team. The partnership with Cambridge University was announced. The first one-day CPD events took place, organized by alumni.


teachers reached


Prince of Wales Education Summer School established and refined

In 2001/02 HM The King when he was The Prince of Wales initiated a series of discussions between various people interested in education, whether as teachers, employers, or policymakers. With support from all those consulted the idea of an annual Summer School for teachers of English and History took shape. A pilot Summer School was held at Dartington Hall, Devon where The Prince of Wales made the opening address. Discussions centred on the questions of why we should teach English and History, and what contribution these subjects should make to pupils’ cultural, moral, political and social values. The highly enthusiastic response from the teachers who had taken part in the first Summer School prompted a repeat the following year where the Secretary of State for Education, Charles Clarke, attended the opening session. In the course of the third Summer School in 2003/04, external consultants carried out an evaluation of the purpose and value of the course. Their findings were extremely positive and helped to shape the strategic development of the project. At the same time the aims of the course were refined, with more emphasis being given to subject-based training for teachers. The Summer School returned to Dartington Hall in 2004/5 and invitations were sent to delegates who had attended in any of the previous three years. The discussions were, as a result, concentrated on more practical elements: what could be done in the classroom in order to achieve the educational aims that the Summer School stands for.


teachers reached