Press release

Headteacher standards review

Standards for headteachers will be updated for the first time in a decade.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Teacher meeting

New standards for headteachers to reflect the growing diversity of the school system will be drawn up under a review announced today by the Department for Education.

Many governing bodies use the current standards - last reviewed in 2004 - to inform headteacher recruitment and performance assessment.

The updated standards will be designed by a small group of respected professionals, including headteachers, middle leaders and a chair of governors, and will take into account the changing nature of school leadership, such as executive heads or those responsible for multiple schools under academy trusts.

The review will be chaired by Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, executive headteacher of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and CEO of the Bright Futures Educational Trust.

Schools Minister David Laws said:

We know there is a strong link between school leadership, quality of teaching, and outcomes for pupils. It is a decade since the headteacher standards were last reviewed, and it is right we establish new standards which consider the many different types of school leaders there now are.

Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski said:

I am delighted to be part of a process which enables headteachers a genuine opportunity to review and set their own professional standards. This review must be one of the most significant steps towards a self-regulatory system within education.

The review will consider best practice internationally, call for expert advice and evidence, and engage with teachers and leaders. It will aim to establish a set of standards for headteachers that:

  • are unequivocal, clear and easy to understand
  • can be used to assess the performance of headteachers
  • steer the professional development of both existing and aspiring headteachers
  • are designed to inspire confidence in headteachers
  • focus primarily on the key elements of high-quality school and system leadership

The review, including draft revised standards, will report to the Secretary of State for Education in the summer, with the intention of publishing standards in the autumn.

Notes to editors

  1. The focus of the review is the existing set of national standards for headteachers. It will take account of wider leadership reforms, including the revised National Professional Qualification for Headship (2012), and the revised Teachers’ Standards (2011).

  2. Other members of the review team include:

  • Ian Bauckham - Headteacher of Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Kent
  • Roy Blatchford - Director of the National Education Trust
  • Anika Collins - Specialist Leader of Education at Samworth Enterprise Academy, Leicestershire
  • Joan Deslandes - Headteacher of Kingsford Community School, Newham
  • Kay Dimelow - Headteacher of Huntingdon Nursery School, Cambridgeshire
  • Tony Draper - Headteacher of Water Hall Primary in Bletchley, Milton Keynes
  • Susan Douglas - Senior Schools Adviser at British Council and CEO of The Eden Academy
  • Duncan Hawarth - National Leader of Governance and Chair of Governors at Woodfall Primary School in Neston, Cheshire
  • Helen Morgan - Specialist Leader of Education at Harton Technology College, South Shields
  • Sir Michael Wilkins - Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust
  • Venessa Willms - Director of Primary at ARK Schools

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Published 17 April 2014