Teaching Standards

History of Teaching Standards


What are the teachers’ standards? 


The teachers’ standards we mean here are the ones in use at schools in England since September 2012. The standards define the minimum level of practice expected of practising teachers in England. 

The teachers’ standards are used to assess the performance of all teachers with Qualified Teacher Status who are subject to The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal in England) Regulations, 2012, and may additionally be used to assess the performance of teachers who are subject to these regulations, and who hold qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status. 

The standards define the minimum level of practice expected of teachers from the point of being awarded Qualified Teacher Status. The standards set out in this document constitute the ‘specified standards’ within the meaning given to that phrase in Schedule 2 of The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications in England) Regulations, 2003.


Similarly, in England headteachers (or appraisers) should assess teachers’ performance against the standards to a level that is consistent with what should reasonably be expected of a teacher in the relevant role and at the relevant stage of their career, whether they are a newly qualified teacher (NQT), a mid-career teacher, or a more experienced practitioner.


Presentation Of The Standards

The standards are presented as separate headings, numbered from 1 to 8 in Part One, each is accompanied by a number of bulleted subheadings. The bullets, which are an integral part of the standards, are designed to amplify the scope of each heading. The bulleted subheadings should not be interpreted as separate standards in their own right, but should be used by those assessing trainees and teachers to track progress against the standards, to determine areas where additional development might need to be observed, or to identify areas where a trainee or teacher is already demonstrating excellent practice relevant to that standard.


Progression And Professional Development

These teachers’ standards have been designed to set out a basic framework in which all teachers should operate from the point of initial qualification. Appropriate self-evaluation, reflection, and professional development activity are critical to improving teachers’ practice at all career stages. The standards set out clearly the key areas in which a teacher should be able to assess his or her own practice and receive feedback from colleagues. As their careers progress, teachers will be expected to extend the depth and breadth of knowledge, skill, and understanding that they demonstrate in meeting the standards, as judged to be appropriate to the role they are fulfilling and the context in which they are working.