Teaching and school leadership


To improve standards in schools, we need to raise the quality of teaching and school leadership.

We want to:

  • raise the status of the teaching profession to make it more attractive to top graduates
  • make sure that teachers receive solid training that gives them the practical skills they will need
  • give teachers access to high-quality professional development so they can continue to improve throughout their careers

To improve the quality of teaching, we are giving school leaders more freedom and responsibility to lead and manage their staff. This includes giving schools the flexibility to pay the best teachers more.


To improve the way new teachers are trained, we are:

  • expanding school-led initial teacher training (ITT) through School Direct
  • encouraging more schools to become accredited providers of ITT (called SCITTs, school-centred initial teacher training) with programmes taught by experienced, practising teachers
  • only allocating places to ITT providers that Ofsted has graded as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’
  • increasing the number of high-achieving graduates teaching in disadvantaged schools by expanding Teach First (an employment-based teacher training programme for outstanding graduates)
  • providing opportunities for former members of the armed forces to receive teacher training through the Troops to Teachers programme
  • setting up 2 trial university training schools (UTS), where university faculties:
    • set up and run a school
    • give teachers access to their latest research
    • provide training for new and existing teachers

To raise the status of the teaching profession and make it more attractive, we are:

  • reducing bureaucracy and giving teachers and school leaders more freedom to use their professional judgement
  • encouraging more new teachers into priority subjects through:
    • training bursaries of up to £25,000
    • tax-free scholarships worth £25,000 in maths, chemistry, physics and computing
  • making it easier for schools to attract and retain outstanding teachers by giving them more flexibility over pay

We are improving the quality of current teachers by:

To improve the quality of school leadership at all levels, we are:


In the schools white paper ‘The importance of teaching’, published in November 2010, we set out our commitment to support teachers and improve standards in schools.

We have:

Evidence of the impact our reforms have had on the teaching profession is available.

Who we’ve consulted

Teacher training

Teachers’ pay and performance

From 24 May to 16 August 2011, we consulted on simplifying schools’ teacher performance management arrangements. We received 250 responses.

Following Lord Hutton’s recommendations from his review of public sector pensions, we have reformed the teachers’ pension scheme (TPS), with changes taking effect from April 2015.

In developing the new pension scheme, we negotiated with unions and set out a proposed scheme design. We have run the following consultations:

As part of the independent review of national standards for headteachers, we launched a public call for evidence on the revised headteacher standards on 16 May 2014. The call for evidence closed on 16 June 2014.


Following discussion with unions and wider consultation, we published the equalities impact assessments on the revised teacher’s pension scheme in the autumn of 2012.

On 13 September 2013, we published an updated equalities impact assessment on the teachers’ pension scheme. The impact assessment looked into whether teachers’ pension contributions from 2015 onwards would have a disproportionate impact on any group of teachers.

Bills and Legislation

The following regulations are relevant to this policy: