Press release

New headteacher standards and review of ITT published

The Education Secretary welcomes new professional standards for school leaders and the Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT).

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

Teacher walking through a classroom

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has today (19 January 2015) unveiled new professional standards for headteachers in England ahead of a speech she will give at the Education World Forum - the biggest global gathering of education ministers.

Raising teaching standards lies at the heart of the government’s plan for education - and world-class, excellent school leaders are vital to driving this ambition forward. But while the education landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, the standards we expect of our school leaders have not.

The revised standards, created by the profession, for the profession, are designed to empower and inspire heads, drive aspiration, promote excellence and reflect the greater decision-making powers heads now enjoy.

A review of the existing 2004 standards was conducted last year, led by Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski and assisted by other leading members of the profession with the aim of defining leadership standards that are applicable to all headteacher roles in the current educational landscape.

Rather than simply creating a set of baseline standards, the new ‘standards of excellence’ set out the skills, knowledge and behaviour headteachers should aspire to, including:

  • raising the bar for all pupils, overcoming disadvantage and instilling a strong sense of accountability in staff for the impact of their work on pupils’ success
  • boosting teacher quality through high-level training and sustained professional development
  • identifying talent and coaching current and aspiring leaders of the future

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

At the heart of our plan for education - at the heart of all great education systems - are great teachers and great teaching.

But strong leadership in all our schools is absolutely crucial and a key part of securing the best outcomes for pupils. We already have many talented headteachers driving forward our programme of improvement and ensuring young people are prepared for life in modern Britain.

That is why we want to champion these dedicated professionals who regularly go the extra mile for our children by providing them with aspirational standards of excellence that will support them to get the best of their staff and pupils

I’d like to thank Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski and the reviewing panel for all their hard work.

Dame Dana said:

I am delighted as chair of the review to be able to announce the launch of the revised national headteacher standards. The review was a process which gave headteachers a genuine opportunity to review and set their own professional standards.

The review group devised standards which are applicable to all headteacher roles in the current educational landscape, and will support the move to a self-improving school-led system. The review group hopes that these standards will inspire public confidence in headteachers, drive aspiration and excellence, and empower the profession.

Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Assocation of Head Teachers (NAHT), said:

It is important that headteachers and school leaders have a set of professional standards relevant to the modern state of the role. These highly aspirational standards will provide a solid foundation for professional development and dialogue. They also state proudly to the world what heads stand for and how they hold themselves to account.

The Education Secretary has also welcomed a review by Sir Andrew Carter into initial teacher training (ITT). Sir Andrew’s report - also published today - highlights that the system in England is performing well but that more needs to be done to ensure all trainees receive some core grounding in the basics of classroom management and subject knowledge.

In response the government has confirmed today that it will:

  • commission an independent working group made of expert representatives from the sector to develop a core ITT framework
  • commission the Teaching Schools Council to develop a set of national standards for mentors
  • develop the Get Into Teaching website and provide information about ITT on GOV.UK so that applicants of ITT and schools can find clearer information about provision

Sir Andrew said:

What really matters most in a child’s education is the quality of the teaching.

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead this important review.

We have been inspired by the many examples of excellent training we have seen. I sincerely hope that our recommendations are taken forward by the sector and by government.

Notes to editors

  1. The revised headteacher standards guidance and the review report are available on GOV.UK.
  2. The review of headteacher standards, chaired by Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, was launched by the Department for Education on 17 April 2014. It brought together a group of respected professionals, including headteachers, middle leaders and a national leader of governance to review the 2004 National Standards for Headteachers.
  3. The review group’s aim was to define leadership standards that are applicable to all headteacher roles in the current educational landscape and a self-improving school system. They wanted these standards to inspire public confidence in headteachers, drive aspiration and excellence, and empower the profession.
  4. The new, high-quality headteacher standards will build on the work the government is already doing to support and empower the profession and free up teachers to focus on what matters in their jobs, including:
    • supporting the creation of a new, independent, professional body for teaching - a college of teaching - that will give the profession greater responsibility over things like professional standards and development, placing teaching on an equal footing with high-status professions like law and medicine
    • establishing a new fund to support more high-quality, evidence-based professional development programmes - the kind of professional development opportunities that teachers and school leaders have long argued for.
    • taking decisive steps to reduce unnecessary workload for teachers by cutting over 21,000 pages of guidance, streamlining the inspection process and making it clear that formal written plans are not expected for every lesson
    • launching the Workload Challenge survey in October - the biggest DfE consultation of its kind in a decade. Thousands of teachers shared their experiences, ideas and solutions on reducing unnecessary workload.
  5. An independent review of the quality and effectiveness of ITT courses, chaired by Sir Andrew Carter, was launched by the DfE on 1 May 2014. The review looked across the full range of ITT courses to:
    • define effective ITT practice
    • assess the extent to which the current system delivers effective ITT
    • recommend where and how improvements could be made
    • recommend ways to improve choice in the system by improving the transparency of course content and methods.
  6. Sir Andrew Carter’s review report and the government’s response are available now.

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Published 19 January 2015