The guardian have kindly pulled the standards for headteachers in 2015 in their blog Standards for headteachers 2015 . If you are interested in further reading the standards can be found on the DfE website – Standards for Headteachers 2015 So if you are an aspiring head this a good place to start as it is next reviewed in 2020.
The Four Domains The National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers are set out in four domains.
• Qualities and knowledge
• Pupils and staff
• Systems and process
• The self-improving school system
Within each domain there are six key characteristics expected of the nation’s headteachers.
Excellent headteachers: qualities and knowledge
1. Hold and articulate clear values and moral purpose, focused on providing a worldclass education for the pupils they serve.
2. Demonstrate optimistic personal behaviour, positive relationships and attitudes towards their pupils and staff, and towards parents, governors and members of the local community. 3. Lead by example – with integrity, creativity, resilience, and clarity – drawing on their own scholarship, expertise and skills, and that of those around them.
4. Sustain wide, current knowledge and understanding of education and school systems locally, nationally and globally, and pursue continuous professional development.
5. Work with political and financial astuteness, within a clear set of principles centred on the school’s vision, ably translating local and national policy into the school’s context.
6. Communicate compellingly the school’s vision and drive the strategic leadership, empowering all pupils and staff to excel.
Excellent headteachers: pupils and staff
1. Demand ambitious standards for all pupils, overcoming disadvantage and advancing equality, instilling a strong sense of accountability in staff for the impact of their work on pupils’ outcomes.
2. Secure excellent teaching through an analytical understanding of how pupils learn and of the core features of successful classroom practice and curriculum design, leading to rich curriculum opportunities and pupils’ well-being.
3. Establish an educational culture of ‘open classrooms’ as a basis for sharing best practice within and between schools, drawing on and conducting relevant research and robust data analysis.
4. Create an ethos within which all staff are motivated and supported to develop their own skills and subject knowledge, and to support each other.
5. Identify emerging talents, coaching current and aspiring leaders in a climate where excellence is the standard, leading to clear succession planning.
6. Hold all staff to account for their professional conduct and practice.
Excellent headteachers: systems and process
1. Ensure that the school’s systems, organisation and processes are well considered, efficient and fit for purpose, upholding the principles of transparency, integrity and probity.
2. Provide a safe, calm and well-ordered environment for all pupils and staff, focused on safeguarding pupils and developing their exemplary behaviour in school and in the wider society.
3. Establish rigorous, fair and transparent systems and measures for managing the performance of all staff, addressing any under-performance, supporting staff to improve and valuing excellent practice.
4. Welcome strong governance and actively support the governing board to understand its role and deliver its functions effectively – in particular its functions to set school strategy and hold the headteacher to account for pupil, staff and financial performance.
5. Exercise strategic, curriculum-led financial planning to ensure the equitable deployment of budgets and resources, in the best interests of pupils’ achievements and the school’s sustainability.
6. Distribute leadership throughout the organisation, forging teams of colleagues who have distinct roles and responsibilities and hold each other to account for their decision making.
Excellent headteachers: the self-improving school system
1. Create outward-facing schools which work with other schools and organisations – in a climate of mutual challenge – to champion best practice and secure excellent achievements for all pupils.
2. Develop effective relationships with fellow professionals and colleagues in other public services to improve academic and social outcomes for all pupils.
3. Challenge educational orthodoxies in the best interests of achieving excellence, harnessing the findings of well evidenced research to frame self-regulating and selfimproving schools.
4. Shape the current and future quality of the teaching profession through high quality training and sustained professional development for all staff.
5. Model entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to school improvement, leadership and governance, confident of the vital contribution of internal and external accountability.
6. Inspire and influence others – within and beyond schools – to believe in the fundamental importance of education in young people’s lives and to promote the value of education.