A list of frequently asked questions about the Teachers' Standards which apply from 1 September 2012.
The Teachers’ Standards were developed by the independent Teachers' Standards Review Group, led by Sally Coates, principal of Burlington Danes Academy, and supported by leading headteachers, teachers and educational specialists. The Secretary of State accepted all of the recommendations in the review's first report, published on 14 July 2011 and the new Teachers’ Standards were introduced on 1 September 2012.
The Teachers' Standards Review Group considered evidence from a number of key stakeholders and experts while developing the Teachers’ Standards. It also tested a draft version of the standards with users of the standards, including: headteachers, teachers, unions, initial teacher training (ITT) providers and induction coordinators.
There is no obligation for academies, Free Schools or independent schools to use the new Teachers’ Standards for the purposes of annual appraisal or to steer professional development, although some might choose to do so.
The Teachers’ Standards define the Department’s expectations of teachers’ professional practice and personal conduct, setting out minimum requirements expected and a benchmark for excellent teaching practice and exemplary personal conduct. They set the standard to which all trainees should aspire, and to which all qualified teachers should adhere and improve upon throughout their career.
If academies choose to offer statutory induction, then they need to use the Teachers’ Standards.
There is no requirement for academies to use the Teachers’ Standards in any appraisal process they choose to use, although some might choose to do so.
Ofsted inspectors consider the extent to which the Teachers’ Standards are being met when assessing the quality of teaching in schools including academies.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership uses Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards, relating to professional and personal conduct, to assess cases of serious misconduct brought against teachers in any educational setting.
Schools would be expected to make arrangements for teachers to improve their practice, for example through mentoring, coaching or other developmental provision. Many teachers will be able to improve with the right support. But where, despite support, teachers are unable to meet the standards, schools may decide that the only appropriate action is to take action through the school’s capability procedure, which could lead to dismissal.
This is not about making the standards harder or more difficult for teachers to meet. The point is to simplify by getting rid of ambiguity and duplication, to make sure they are easy to use, and to focus on the key elements of excellent teaching.
The standards identify the key elements of teaching, and the expectations of personal and professional conduct that underpin the practice of teachers at all career stages.
The previous standards defined the award of QTS and the end of induction as two different career stages, by adding small distinctions through a further eight standards on top of the 33 QTS standards. In practice this is an artificial distinction. The induction period should be about consolidating ITT and demonstrating consistency of practice.
It is right that those assessing trainees and NQTs should use their professional judgement to determine what the expected level of practice should be, in relation to the stage at which a trainee or teacher is operating, within the overall framework provided by the standards.
Yes. The review group included representation from each educational setting to ensure that standards were developed that could be universally applied across all phases and types of school.
There is no requirement for teachers working in mainstream Free Schools (other than SENCOs and the designated lead for children in care) to hold QTS. Instead, Free Schools will be expected to demonstrate how they intend to guarantee the highest quality of teaching and leadership in their schools. We do, however, expect that many Free Schools might want to use the standards and will find them helpful for appraisal and staff development.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership uses Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards, relating to professional and personal conduct, to assess cases of serious misconduct against teachers in any educational setting.
There is no requirement for teachers in independent schools to have achieved QTS, nor for the standards to be used in any performance management process. However, it is likely that some independent schools will choose adopt the new standards.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership will use Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards, relating to professional and personal conduct, to assess cases of serious misconduct against teachers in any educational setting.
The regulatory system applies to all teachers within every school, relevant youth accommodation and children's homes in England. The National College for Teaching and Leadership, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, investigates cases of serious misconduct and professional conduct panels recommend whether to impose a prohibition order against the teacher. Professional incompetence is not be dealt with by the national regulator.
It is for the Secretary of State to decide which criteria to use when assessing whether a teacher is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards is one of the factors that he may take into account.
The Teachers’ Standards set out clearly the legal position of the standards and how users should interpret them. Three information sheets to help schools implement the Teachers' Standards are available to download.
The Teachers' Standards apply to all of those who are assessed for QTS on or after 1 September 2012.
Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) who qualified under the previous standards but complete induction on or after 1 September 2012 will be assessed against the Teachers' Standards at the end of their induction.
The Department respects teachers’ right to a personal life outside school, but it is right that schools and teachers can be clear about what is expected of teachers as professionals both inside and outside the classroom.
Teaching is a highly responsible profession and teachers are seen as role models to children and young people. They must be able to demonstrate appropriate standards of behaviour, honesty and integrity and uphold public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.
The Government recognises that this country has some very able teachers, who are very good at their jobs. However, international evidence shows that we are not keeping pace with the countries with the best education systems.
This is why the Teachers’ Standards have been introduced from 1 September 2012 which apply to the vast majority of teachers. The standards set a benchmark for what good teaching looks like. If there are specific areas where teachers need additional support or training in order to meet the standards, then schools will need to consider how best that should be provided.
Due to the requirement for those teaching early reading to have a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics, all teacher trainees are now being taught to teach reading through this method.
The Department is currently offering match-funding of up to £3,000 to all schools with KS1 and KS2 pupils so that they can purchase approved systematic synthetic phonics materials and/or training. This will enable all teachers affected by this new standard to access relevant support.
ITT providers are expected to ensure that trainee teachers can access appropriate opportunities to demonstrate the standards in a way which is consistent with their status. ITT providers have the expertise to do this, and have been working since July 2011 to prepare, so that programme design and delivery challenge trainee teachers to achieve the standard by the end of their training.
Ministers have been very clear about the importance of tackling extremism in schools and believe that associating with groups with an extremist outlook is not compatible with being a teacher.
They want to ensure that the necessary powers are in place for headteachers and governing bodies to deal with any teacher who promotes inappropriate views or behaviour or advocates discrimination in schools.
The new standards for the personal and professional conduct for teachers make it clear that all teachers must show tolerance of and respect for the rights of others.
Teachers must not undermine fundamental British values, including:
In its 21st report, published on 5 December 2012, the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) recommended that the existing threshold arrangements should be replaced with simple criteria based on one set of standards, and that the current post-threshold standards should be abolished. The Government has consulted on its response to the STRB's recommendations, and has accepted all the key recommendations, including those relating to accessing the upper pay range.
The new arrangements for accessing the upper pay range are set out in a revised School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2013.
The new arrangements give schools maximum flexibility to make robust and transparent decisions about when a qualified teacher merits access to the upper pay range.
Further information about the recommendations in the School Teachers’ Review Body report can be found on the Department website.
The Secretary of State has already welcomed, in principle, the simplicity and clarity of the recommendation of the Teachers’ Standards Review Group to create a Master Teacher standard.
No decision has yet been made on whether or not to introduce a Master Teacher standard.
With the exception of teachers who have QTS by virtue of holding QTLS status, the performance of all teachers and headteachers to whom the 2012 Appraisal regulations apply must be assessed against the teachers’ standards.
These are relevant to headteachers as well as to other teachers. Many headteachers do teach some lessons themselves but, even where they do not, some of the standards, for example 'Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils' and 'Promote good progress and outcomes for pupils' are clearly relevant to them.
Governing bodies should use their judgement and common sense when assessing headteachers against the Teachers' Standards.
Governing bodies may, if they wish, also choose to assess headteachers against the National Standards for Headteachers, which are available to download from this page.
Information about the new Teachers’ Standards effective from 1 September 2012.
Information and advice about the implementation of the recommendations of the STRB’s 21st report on teachers' pay. This page also includes the draft 2013 School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).