New National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers


Today the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, launched new National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers. The non-statutory guidance is designed to help governing boards, headteachers and aspiring headteachers by:

- shaping headteachers’ own practice and professional development, within and beyond the school

- informing the appraisal of headteacher

- supporting the recruitment and appointment of headteachers

- providing a framework for training middle and senior leaders, aspiring to headship.

The departmental guidance is intended to: “inspire public confidence in headteachers, raise aspirations, secure high academic standards in the nation’s schools, and empower the teaching profession.”     

Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association, Emma Knights, welcomed the guidance: “Developing the headteachers of tomorrow is of paramount importance to future pupils - especially in parts of the country where there is a shortage of people willing to take up headship posts. These new standards of excellence and the updated Governors’ Handbook are helpful resources for school governing boards in thinking about their long-term strategy, which should include continuing professional development (CPD) for the headteacher and succession planning. It is extremely important that governing boards determine the school's strategic priorities and use these when appraising the headteacher.”

In a letter to Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynsk, who chaired of the Headteacher statndards review group, David Laws MP said he accepted 5 of the 6 recommendations made in the headteacher standards review. The sixth reccommendation was that the Department for Education should consider the need for a set of professional standards for governors.

Mr Laws said that he was satisfied that governors had enough information already, "to know about their role and responsibilities, including the need to operate in a professional manner." He highlighted the availability of the Governors' Handbook and the Academies Financial Handbook, and said: "In addition, model codes of conduct and role descriptions already exist e.g. as published by the National Governors’Association."

The new Standards replace the 2004 National Standards for Headteachers document.

Click here to the view the new National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers

Click here to view David Laws MP's letter to Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynsk